Is Fear Holding You Back?

Fear. It’s an interesting feeling. And when I say interesting, I mean curious. And when I say curious, I mean interesting. There are so many ways to see and feel fear. I’m fairly certain I see it most days. I see it in the eyes of the Magpie being beaten up by other Magpies outside my house. I see it in the eyes of some PT clients when I mention burpees. I hear in the voice of a co-worker who’s trying to explain they shouldn’t leave their comfort zone. I feel it in my gut when I’m driving on the highway and I see a kangaroo hovering on the side of the road with intent. I hear it in my response when a potential suitor suggests we should catch up for a drink sometime. I see it, hear it and read it in potential clients when they say “I could never go to your bootcamp, I’ve seen the photos!”.

I say that fear is a curious and interesting thing because from the context I’m talking about here, fear can be something we manifest in our own minds. There are many variations of that manifestation. For some people, it paralyses them. They can’t physically take any action. For others, they just ignore the situation causing the fear, employing avoidance tactics (how I deal with every suggestion of a potential date). For others, fear of remaining in the same situation, feeling the same feelings, not seeing another way to live, can lead to self-harm. My heart breaks for this particular group of people. They are not one person I know. They are many I know, many I don’t know. And I don’t know how to help them through this fear. This paralyzing, self-destroying fear. It makes me incredibly sad.

But on the flip side of this sadness I have, I also see great joy. I see joy in people who have conquered their fear. Whatever it might have been. In whatever small step it might have taken. I have personally taken great joy in facilitating the boxing classes. The behaviours I see in these sessions are quite honestly amazing. I have seen infectious behaviours sweep the class and take hold of everyone there. Box dancing has now become a thing during boxing classes. A little bit of incidental exercise during the rest periods. This, to me, represents that people have let go of any fear of what people might think of them and are truly comfortable in their skin in that environment. The other thing that has taken off during boxing classes has been the strong vocal support to the boxer and this tells me that people are now comfortable with what they know about their skills and technique enough to share it with others. This is why I say I’m facilitating the boxing classes. I provide the gloves, the direction and the space. Everyone else there is providing the motivation and support. If it weren’t my actual place, I’m not sure I’d be needed anymore 😉 I love seeing this community spirit. It’s what I wanted Fitness For Wellness to be all about. Recruiting more warriors for positive change so that I don’t feel like I’m working on my own. Because, when it comes down to it, no one wants to be on their own. No one wants to feel like they are the only one. No one wants to feel the fear of being alone. I know I don’t. I’ve felt alone in some pretty extreme situations and I really don’t like it.

So I’ll take this emotion of fear, and take it back to what it is. A manifestation in ones own mind. What does that actually mean? Well, for me, it means that if I’m manifesting it, then I can make it whatever beast I choose. I just have to choose and not let it run wild. Fear can be controlled if you address it in a clinical way. First, acknowledge the fear. Let it have some time in the world, then if it’s not serving you in a positive manner, kick it to the curb. If it is serving you, and fear can sometimes serve you well (think of the feeling you get before climbing out of an aircraft before you skydive, or the sweaty palms you might get if you’re about to cross a rickety bridge above a raging torrent of water), you may do well to listen to it. It’s your body telling you this is not a safe thing to do!! It’s your flight, fight or freeze response. But that type of fear can often lead us to great things if we can control it. And the euphoria afterwards!!!! But that’s another story altogether. Maybe for another blog.

My point about our manifestation of fear is that often it is in our control. I’ll say it again. Manifested fear is in our control. It’s in our control to change, to use, to ignore, to reframe. Imagine the wonderful things you can feel (that are in your control) if you were leave your comfort zone and try something new. Explore your boundaries, really understand why the boundary is there in the first place, and if that boundary doesn’t serve you, move it! It’s in your control so take control of your fear and make it your bitch