Tackling Fear

I cannot believe it’s March already, but I’m very happy with how February turned out. How would you rate your February?

Has the beginning of this New Year treated you well or has it been off to a rough start? It’s important to process these things, so be sure to take some space to do so! 

This March, things are going to change around here, and I will be announcing that in one of the next few posts. I’m planning on tackling irrational fears and invite you to tackle yours with me. 

False Evidence Appearing Real

FEAR is an acronym that stands for False Evidence Appearing Real. 

So how are we going to tackle them? Let’s first take some time to ourselves and allow ourselves to be honest. Take out your computer, a piece of paper, or something and list all the things you want to do, habits you want to have, but are too scared to try any of them. Anything you're too scared to admit, write that down too! Write them all down, and write down why. 

Why are you scared? What are the thoughts in your head? What fears do you have when thinking about them? Be as honest as possible!

Of course, we don’t have to share them if we don’t want to, but sharing them with someone you trust may help you stay accountable for tackling them.

For example, some irrational fears that I have are:

Partaking in gym-life. 

I’ve wanted this for a while now, but it’s been scary to admit that I’m nervous and intimidated by the gym. I feel like I’m going to get judged, look awkward not knowing where to go or what I’m doing. I’m still unsure if I’m supposed to wear my bikini prior to the Aquazumba classes or change when I get there. I’m not sure where the showers are. I know basic common etiquette, but what about showering at the gym? I feel like a child off to preschool for the first time, and I want to grip someone’s hand to help me out. I’m not like this about everything, but the gym freaks me out! But nonetheless, I want this more than anything for myself.

Take classes at the gym. 

Where is the class located? How will I know where to stand/sit/setup? 

Rent a swim lane for an hour. 

How will I know which lane is which? Will I be able to swim the whole lap? Will people wonder what’s wrong with me? Will I have problems in the deep end like I used to? 

Doodling and drawing more. 

I’ve been scared to draw because of the expectations I give myself. Impossible expectations. I stress myself out too much in this area, and I just want to enjoy the moment and see where it takes me. Start with a doodle, and go further. No pressure. It’s the pressure that’s been causing fear. I look at all these artists on Instagram and compare myself. This is who I should have been if I never stopped practicing. This is who I would be now. 

Taking it a step further

Next, I want you to take a look at your list and figure out how are you going to combat your fears? What can you do to ease into them? Make them feel more normal?

For example, with gym life and taking classes at the gym, I’ve reached out to someone who goes to the gym I signed up to. I asked her what it’s like, how busy does it get, where do I sign up for classes, what to expect, etc. I've taken it a step further by finding their class schedule and penciling each one I can take into my planner. That doesn't mean I'm going to do them all, but I can see that I have options. It gives me a plan. Sometimes when your fear deals with something that seems unknown having a plan helps! Knowing what you're going to do when you get there. Come up with a workout app to use at the gym, etc. For me, personally, I know down the line I want to work with a personal trainer to get an appropriate schedule for what and how I should be working on things. 

This week I do plan on taking my first class, an Aqua Zumba class, and while I'm there I can take a good look at which lane is which. I will know where the pool is at, etc. I can figure out where the showers are. 

Changing the expectations we have for ourselves

When it comes to something outside of our comfort zone, we tend to have expectations for ourselves that just aren’t realistic. We should be okay and normalize being a beginner at something constantly. Too much of our lives we are expected to be the best, to perform well, to be perfect, to get straight A's or good grades, you name it! Focusing on that perfection doesn't give us room to be beginners at anything new. Or maybe your parents told you at one point, "Hobbies are pointless." "You suck at it, so why bother?" 

Trust me I've been there, I've heard it all! I still do at my age! My parents think they're experts in everything, but they really didn't finish much schooling. People outside of my friends have an opinion on what I do or don't do because they don't actually have anything else to do. You have to look at our parents and those people with opinions and see that they're unhappy! They don't have a hobby, they don't find joy in little things, they don't progress themselves further, they don't focus on personal development. They just do their routines every single day. And we don't want to be like that right? Otherwise, why would you be here?

We're going to be awkward in the beginning, We're going to suck! Eventually, we won’t be horrible at it, but that takes time and patience. 

Story Time

I remember when I first started indoor rock climbing. I sucked the first day and felt like all eyes were on me. The gym was packed, and I couldn’t stand it. High-tailed it out of there and two days later came back in the morning when it was empty.  But before I did, I reached out to a friend who I knew rock climbed as a hobby and asked her loads and loads of questions. She reassured me, she told me stories about how she couldn't get up any of the walls the first few days. I even asked her questions like, "Socks with rental shoes or nah?" 

When I came back, I took another refresher of what I learned, and after that, I was able to climb up multiple different sets of challenges (paths). That first one I made it up on, I was so happy I screamed at the top of my lungs, “I finally did it! Yes!” That sheer joy made not giving up and that initial fear so much more worth it! 

Insert inspirational quote that's so true

There’s a quote out there that goes something like, 

“Try something new 3 times. Once to get over the fear of doing it. Twice to learn how to do it. And a third time to figure out if you like it or not.”

I suggest all of us to remember this quote going forward this month. 

Wrapping it up!

As to how I will be tracking my progress and accomplishments, I’m not entirely sure yet. That’s for me to figure out.

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Till next time!