Each week, someone will chat with me about goals they’d like to achieve whether related to weight loss, running/fitness, career or personal goals. Many times, I can sense a hesitancy; something holding them back from proceeding with 100% effort. The end result they are looking to achieve would definitely make them happier, more fulfilled; yet fully committing to the journey creates an uncomfortable feeling….fear.
Fear of change. Fear of feeling like a disappointment. Fear of failing. Fear of the unknown.
Fear can be found creeping in every area of our lives – careers, families, relationships, extracurricular activities, our health, attitudes towards ourselves and others, etc. Sometimes due to our fears, we become slaves to habits, patterns and actions which do not serve us and may actually hurt us.
The fuzzy gray zone of the unknown stops many people in their tracks – should I stay in the less than ideal, somewhat comfortable area I know so well? Or should I push my boundaries, struggle a bit, be uncomfortable to hopefully reap big rewards?
There are no guarantees. We can plan our hearts out, work hard every day, do everything we can to succeed and still, we can end up with a different result than we anticipated.
Is your fear stopping you from living your life to its full potential? One day will you look back and think, “What might have I achieved if I didn’t let fear get in the way?”
What can you do? Feel the fear and do it any way. Yes, you will have to decide whether the struggle will be worth the possible prize waiting for you on the other side of fear.
Whether or not we believe we are in control of our destiny, we are certainly in control of our choices. Don’t let fear paralyze your actions. After all, YOLO!
How does this relate to me right now? I definitely have fear approaching this 50 miler. Yes, racing is not life-altering, but it’s the current fear I am experiencing. I have trained and trained for months. Run hundreds of miles, made a plan, studied the course and yet, I may fail. Running 50 miles is going to hurt. My brain is going to fight me; want me to give up. I fear giving in. I fear feeling extreme discomfort.
Outside of the upcoming race, I also have fear of returning to the old me. I feel I need to keep moving forward; always looking for the next goal to stay focused. I fear injury and needing recovery time. I fear letting others down. Like you, I have many fears. Some I am attacking full speed and others I am still tip toeing around; dipping my little toe in the dark, unchartered waters. If I don’t try, how will I know what is possible?
Once again, I encourage you to do what makes you happy – whatever that is. If needed, take a step back to see the big picture. Maybe write down goals you’d like to accomplish – where do you want to see yourself a year from now? 5 years from now? How can you get there? Who can help you?
Whatever the goal is, I want you to buckle up, brace yourself and take the first step. Don’t let fear decide your future or kill your dreams. Remember, fear is only temporary – regret is forever. Be brave heading towards the unknown. You may reach the other side and be surprised by what awaits you.
And if you fail, at least you tried – you probably learned something about yourself along the way. Go try again.