I find myself occasionally fueled by fear, and yet, in other situations, I dispel the fear to help myself progress forward. Do we need fear? Can it be used as a motivator? How can you alter your perception of fear as a roadblock into motivation? 

While I may seem incredibly outgoing and not afraid of much (I post my innermost thoughts on the internet for crying out loud) there are some things I am scared of. I think we all share the fear of putting our selves out there because there is always the risk of rejection or failure. This is where I feel that fear can be used as a motivator. We spend too much time telling ourselves that we can’t do something for a myriad of reasons, when really I think the reason is that we’re scared. We’re fearful to make that jump to the next level of whatever activity it is, whether it be work, family, or socially related, terrified that it may not work out. And if it doesn’t work out? Oh well…at least you tried.

On more than one occasion I have hesitated responding back to professional requests that would elevate me both professionally and financially, only to miss out on the opportunity entirely. Do I gain anything by being driven by fear? In this situation, absolutely not. I find that I gain the most when I use that uncomfortable feeling to propel me forward. If I played it safe, I would not be where I am today. No lie. I would have never stepped in front of a yoga class or approached those I look up to, which has built the education, experience, and relationships I currently hold dear.

Fear lets us know when we’ve dared to step out of the box, into a potentially exhilarating new adventure. And again, if you fail, OH WELL. At least you tried and now know it’s not meant for you, which in my book, is much better than wondering about the “only ifs” for the rest of your life.

On the other hand, fear is a huge component for me in the instance of an injury or set back. When I am fearful of an ache or pain and how it may limit my activity or ability to teach, the pain seems to linger FOREVER. Yet when I am able to get rid of the fear and focus on what I can do to help, such as rolling on my Yoga Tune Up® Therapy Balls and stretching, the discomfort is gone much faster. Even if in my fearful state I am taking measures to help with the healing, they are not as effective for me. This has a lot to do with Power Posing and the idea that how we perceive ourselves has a direct effect on how we feel (see last week’s post). Wallowing in pity because you slammed your finger in a car door? Guess what, it’s probably going to hurt for a long time. But if you can brush it off and move on? You’ll be good as new in no time.

So instead of accepting fear at face value, think about it. Is this fear reasonable? Is it holding you back? Or can it propel you forward? When we can learn to confront our emotions and dig into where they’re coming from, then we can use them to our advantage! So, today I challenge you to go out and do something slightly scary ;)