Fear, Faith, and Commitment

Yesterday I was listening to a Jillian Michaels Show podcast on how to overcome fear. I found it very interesting, and Oh so true! … so, I thought I would share my take on it …

Firstly, a description of the content of the program …

Jillian first talked about her experiences snow boarding for the first time. She explained that you have to point the nose of the board down the mountain and lean into it, which causes the board to pick substantial amounts of speed very quickly (very scary). Our natural inclination, when we are afraid, would be to lean back, away from the board, right? Her instructor explained that this is the wrong thing to do as it causes the board to slide out from underneath you, and you end up flat on your butt (or worse, with broken bones and other nice things!)

So, instead of leaning back, you are supposed to commit, allow the board to pick up speed, be patient and wait for the board to straighten out and at the right time turn it, which gives you control. This requires faith that you will be ok and won’t hurt yourself. Very scary. Not sure I could do it.

Jillian then goes on to explain that her instructor talked her through how she needs to have faith in her abilities, commit to pointing that board down the hill, and be patient in waiting until just the right time to make her turn, all while feeling the fear of falling off and being hurt.

Snowboarding, Jillian says, or more accurately the fear of snowboarding, is a great analogy for life. In anything we encounter in life, in anything we fear, we need to have faith in our abilities, commit to the task at hand, be patient and wait for the perfect opportunity to take action.

I agree with her. Anything that we are scared of but also really really want, we need to “feel the fear and do it anyway” … have faith, commit, be patient …

Think about it. What happens when we don’t commit? If we look at relationships for example, the more fear you have, the less faith you have, the less patient you are, and the less committed you are … the more likely you are to create exactly what you fear. You may call your partner constantly, which can result in him or her becoming “sick” of your “clinginess” and eventually walking away. Isn’t this what you feared at the beginning? This is what happens if you allow the fear to control your actions, if you don’t commit, if you hesitate. And this can be translated to every area of your life. 

If you allow fear to control, you eventually create exactly the situation you are afraid of …

So, how do we do this?

  1. Prepare – learn and educate yourself about the task. Get the information you need and create a gameplan.
  2. Think about a time when you have felt confident/successful. Each of us has at least one area in our lives where we feel confident. Whether it be in certain aspects of our careers, real estate, parenting, or whatever. Draw on those experiences and remind yourself that if you can be successful in those endeavours, then you can do it in THIS area as well!
  3. At the opposite end, think about a time when you have been unsuccessful/failed, and then got up, made changes and went on and achieved your goal. Remind yourself that you lived to tell the tale and have learned some lessons. What did you learn from this experience? This is how we learn and grow.
  4. Look and study other people who have been successful in the area you are working on right now. What did they do and how did they do it? Then copy and paste it into your own endeavours.
  5. Build a support system around you. This is absolutely imperative for your success. This is the “if they can do it, then so can I” theory 🙂

One last thing to keep in mind. Failure is a comfortable state of being. It takes a lot of courage to step out and make the decision to be brave. A LOT of courage! So, to help yourself along the journey, try choosing your tasks wisely. If you are afraid of something, then focus on those things that will improve your life. After all, why would you bother doing something unless it was really important to you and it would help you improve your life in some way?

What do you think of what Jillian said? I really like it, personally! Just think about your own experiences. If you are participating in the 12wbt, isn’t this exactly what we are doing? And if you aren’t, think about some other experience you have been afraid of …

Ali 🙂

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