Is fear stopping you?

I have been thinking a lot about fear lately and how I let it stop me from doing things I want to do.  I always think of the worst case scenario in any situation and automatically assume that is what will happen.  If I get stuck in that way of thinking, I never move forward.  And without moving forward, I don't allow myself to try new things.  I don't allow myself to fail.  And I keep myself from realizing my full potential.  And what I have found is that in most situations, the absolute worst thing never happens.  In fact, things usually turn out even better than I could have dreamed.  So, why do I let fear stop me?  

Fear is actually a natural protection mechanism.  We learn from past experiences to know when we may be in danger; however, in today's world, this sense can be heightened, and we respond in fear to situations that do not warrant it.  So, we have to consciously change the way we think about our fear and train ourselves to see things differently.  

Can you relate to letting fear stop you from doing things you want to do?  Think about your practice.  Is there something you would like to try but fear is holding you back?  Maybe it's an arm balance, such as crow.  Or maybe it's an inversion, such as a handstand.  Whatever it is, think about the worst case scenario, and then think about the reality of that actually happening.  In some of the more challenging poses in yoga, we can do many things to minimize the physical risk, such as using props or getting support from another person.  Or there are many variations of a pose that lead up to the ultimate pose.  So, these ways of building up to a pose help you to build physical strength and gain confidence, until one day you can do the pose and you can't even believe it!  

Just as you can build up to facing your fear in your yoga practice, you can also do the same thing off your mat.  If there is a situation that scares you, first think of all the potential outcomes (if it helps, you could write them down).  Then think about the likelihood of each outcome.  Also, think about if you can approach the situation through smaller, more manageable steps that will help you realize the outcome that you want.  In addition, you can enlist the help of a friend or loved one to help you on your path.  You don't have to go through things alone, and you can set yourself up for success by planning and then executing on that plan.  

So, right now, think of one thing in your life where fear has been holding you back, whether in your yoga practice, at work, or in some other area of your life.  Take a moment and commit to taking action on that thing!  

I believe in you, and so should you!