Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Overcoming Fear

I've been seeing a lot of posts about fear lately. A couple days ago I saw this post on Facebook by Simply Positive:

"Don't let fear take over & paralyze you. Store it, learn from it, cultivate it, CHALLENGE it, gather it into a "powerball within your core". Then mentally USE IT to PUSH you into action! Let it inspire/motivate a positive change OR a leap of faith! Fear can be a big set-back OR a "fierce motivator" . Eat it up. USE IT to propel you towards something positive! YOU ARE a fighter & you CAN do it! :) SP"

I didn't think much of it at the time. I don't feel as if there is a lot of fear in my life.

Then I saw a blog post today posted by Bob Harper, trainer for The Biggest Loser

This is basically his thoughts on last night's (March 8, 2011) episode of The Biggest Loser. He is focusing on two contestants who are letting fear hold them back from their weight loss goals. Both contestants have previously been in car accidents and were told by doctors that they couldn't do certain things. One was told she'd never be able to walk again, the other gave up her volleyball career due to the accident. Now, years after these accidents, these two girls are extremely over weight and have looked to The Biggest Loser to help them. Bob and his partner Jillian Michaels are trying to show these girls, and all the other morbidly obese contestants that they are capable of doing anything. If your mind tells your body to do it, your body will do it. There's no question!

While watching The Biggest Loser, you see this fear all the time, even in contestants who've not been in an accident. When you weigh 200 or 300 pounds, you think "I can't run a minute let alone a mile". Then Bob and Jillian throw these contestants on a treadmill and say "Do It! No excuses." Surprisingly, the contestants are capable of doing it.

Fear is all in your mind. It can be a motivator or a hindrance, it all depends on how you use it. Most people let fear control them by saying "I can't do that." If you believe you can't, then you won't. If you believe you can, you will.

So I did a little thinking about this. Where is fear holding me back? Where can I use these lessons?

What dawned on me was that fear actually is holding me back.. or at least it was. How many years did I spend sitting here on my butt, miserable about my situation, but choosing to do nothing about it? I had a million excuses for each of my problems. I don't have time, I don't have the finances, I have five kids.

Then something happened. My misery over my situation overcame my fear. I became fed up with being over 200 pounds, so I found the motivation to pursue a weight loss journey. I found the means to join a gym for a low membership fee, and the time to go to the gym daily. In six months I lost about 80 pounds. Then I got fed up with my financial situation. My excuse has always been that I cannot afford child care in order to have a job, and I did not have an education to get a good job. This was fear holding me back. These excuses came from my fear. However my motivation to change my situation overcame the fear. Here I am now, enrolled in school and working part time. Yesterday I opened a savings account. We've gone over a month without overdrawing our checking account, and four days after payday we still have $200 in our account (typically by now we'd be overdrawn).

Where is fear holding you back? What areas of your life do you want to change, but are afraid to? What excuses are you making for yourself because of this fear?

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