My answer for this question is yes and yes. Fear holds us back because we imagine things that might happen. The symptoms are completely real, upset stomach, trembling, anxiety, sweating, you name it these are things that happen to me. I have recently been facing fears head on and I want to say “winning” or maybe better yet, “succeeding and becoming stronger”.
Let’s start with a fear faced today. This story is brought to you by the letter “C” for Chicken or Cold (or cake, cookie or cookie monster!), I’ll let you decide. I was all prepared for my long run Sunday, headed to gym because it was cold outside. Not a big fan in running in weather under 40 degree temps with snow on the ground, not really sure why but I think it is has to do with fear of Cold. My brain tells me over and over, “you’re from the Midwest 50 degrees is cold to you”, “Your lungs will burn and ears will get cold”, then of course the normal “You’re crazy go the gym it is safer and you can jump off the treadmill if you can’t make it the long distance.” Well anyway, back to the story, I was in my car headed down the hill from my house and the sun was begging me to come out and play, so I listened. I turned around, went home and got dressed in clothing that I hoped would defeat my inner voice of cold. (See pic) And it worked. I faced this fear of running in the cold head on! And loved it! In fact I was able to keep a great pace (8:27 per mile) for 12.23 miles. My best, longest, training run yet! I wasn’t even cold until the end when I was walking to cool off.
This facing of my fear allows my larger fear of completing my first marathon seem a little less daunting.
I guess the real question here is do we let fear win or do we use it as a motivator to go farther, push further, do things we never thought we could do. The fact is, fear is a state of mind. It is a voice that runs through our head determining our actions. The key is to turn the voice into something positive. Reframe it! Use it for good not evil! 🙂
Have you faced a fear and succeeded? Or are you letting fear hold you back? Now is a perfect time of year to face it and make some big changes (notice how I didn’t say make some resolutions!). Changing your thoughts can change your world. What will you do to face a fear this week/month/year?