Fearing Fear Itself

You know how sometimes you hear things, but don’t really understand them until you realize you finally understand them? That’s was me with, “you have nothing to fear but fear itself.”

Hi class, my name is Stephanie and I have something I’d like to confess: fear scares the begeebers out of me, and not in a good way. Fear scares me to stay in my comfort zone and not take risks. Then I get frustrated because I am not growing and change isn’t happening although it can’t happen because I’m afraid to make the necessary changes for those things to happen.

I realized this the other day in yoga. Side note: if you have not really given yoga an honest shot, I really strongly encourage you to try it. I used to think it was for crazy hippies who liked to show off that they could touch their toes- but that is soooo NOT what it is about. That was my ignorance to the subject and close-mindedness coming though. Again, something I’m not proud of.

But back to my story- so I was in the middle of class, really pushing my body and not really loving the discomfort I was in with the particular asana, and then it hit me- I was totally afraid of fully giving in to it. I was afraid my body couldn’t do it, wouldn’t be able to do it, and that I would get hurt from even trying. The result, I stressfully clung to my half-arsed attempt at holding onto the asana. And that is when it hit me- my own fear lacked my ability to even see if I could do it. I wasn’t even going to TRY to do it. My answer to this revelation…I let go.

I let go quickly like ripping a band-aid off and fully allowed my body to go for it regardless if I broke my wrist, neck, rib, whatever it may have been I was thinking would absolutely end up broken (and death would surely come as a result). Not only was I FULLY capable of reaching the position, but it was incredible when I got there. Suddenly that stress I was feeling by trying to cling so tightly to my attempt was no longer there. There was no pain, in fact quite the opposite. I felt an enormous relief both mentally and physically.

The next day I challenged another fear-based thought. Again, I proved not only could I do it- but the end result was wonderful and nothing that I feared transpired.

Now I am on a mission to seriously challenge my fear. Let’s not get crazy- I’m not swimming in the ocean anytime soon or skydiving- because that obviously will result in death. I’m starting small to prove to myself that in order to know I really cannot do something, I have to try it first. If I let my fear win, I lose. For those of you who know me, you know that I do not taking losing well- especially when it is to myself.

I feel better sharing this, because I feel like there are others out there that it may resonate with. Perhaps it makes sense and the next time you catch yourself choosing not to try something because of a fear-based decision, maybe you’ll challenge yourself to go for it. Or maybe this will just plant itself in your mind like a seed, and then one day you will have that moment when you realize, “that’s what she was talking about!”

Regardless, I feel like I just made the next scientific breakthrough and felt obliged to save everyone else around me- should you need saving. You’re welcome.

P.S. Should you try to challenge yourself and actually break a leg, neck, etc.- not guilty!