What are you afraid of?

Does fear cripple you? Do you let fear cripple you? Does fear hold you back from life?

So many of us hold back from doing things because we are scared. We are afraid. We are fearful. Is that natural? Or do we learn to fear things? I really wonder.

Fear is defined as an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.

Although fear can apply to anything, let’s use an example of working out. Are you afraid to work out? What is it about working out that you are afraid of?

The most common things I hear are fear of getting hurt, fear of looking funny, fear of judgment, fear of not being good at it.

Those are all very valid fears. But I challenge you. Remember when we were little and we were learning how to tie our shoes or we were learning how to ride a bike or learning how to jump rope? We knew we couldn’t do it the first time we tried. We practiced, and then we practiced some more, and then we practiced some more after that. We live in a society of quick fixes and instant gratification. Getting good at something and overcoming fear is not a quick fix. It takes practice and patience.

Instead of being fearful of working out, embrace that fear and start practicing. You never know what will happen. If you are afraid of getting hurt, start slow. Start with walking. It’s pretty hard to get hurt by walking. If you are worried about how you look, start working out at home. Hire an online trainer or hire a trainer at a private studio. If you are fearful of not being good enough, everyone starts someplace. It is okay. A good trainer will guide you and help you learn proper form before throwing you to the advanced versions of exercises. If you are intimidated by a gym setting, start on the treadmill, using headphones or watching TV. You have already won half the battle by showing up. That is a huge step and not an easy step.

When you really want something and you are justifying not taking action because you are afraid and because you think things are out of reach, that is when you need to keep going. Nothing worth having is quick. It takes time. It takes effort. It takes failure. Failing is learning. Failing makes you stronger. Failure helps you. Don’t be afraid of failing.

A UK study showed that 75% of women put off exercise because they fear what others might think of them. Can you believe that? 75%! That is just crazy. We certainly are a judge-y society. The women polled said they were afraid of their appearance, their ability, and the fact that people would judge them as mothers for putting themselves first. Isn’t that sad? I think so.

Fear stops them. Fear stunts their confidence. Fear and more fear.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Half the battle is showing up. Don’t give up on yourself. Don’t let fear be an excuse. Take off that lampshade and shine on!!