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Do It Scared

Fear will keep you from having many awesome experiences. I am not immune to fear and anxiety. In fact, I feel nervous often. I have simply learned to manage those feelings, and any time it comes up, I do my best to embrace it and approach the situation with curiosity. I ask myself, “How could this experience make me better?” This is the foundation of a growth mindset, which I have written about previously.

I have always been encouraged to grow. As a child, I was VERY shy. In fact, I was TERRIFIED of public speaking…which, at elementary school level, means oral book reports. I did not even enjoy reading out loud in class. That said, from 5th grade and beyond, I participated in speech contests, and actually WON a few. Despite being skilled at writing and delivering speeches, it was a task that scared me. Honestly, it still does. As a coach, previous dog trainer, and previous member of organizational leadership teams, I have given instructions, educational presentations, and more in front of an audience. I enjoy teaching. I have learned how to embrace those nerves.

A few years ago, a friend and I auditioned for a role in a community cast for a dance performance. Guess the level of experience I have as a dancer or performer on a stage? NONE. It scared the SHIT out of me, and that alone drove me to do it. Oh, and I got a role. The audition and workshops were scary. Many of the community cast had dance or performance experience. Ultimately, I met some amazing people and learned SO MUCH about movement, myself, etc.

Moving across the country, moving to a bigger city, having a baby, raising a child, interviewing for and starting new jobs, being hospitalized for numerous days (not related to baby), etc, etc can all be scary experiences. I have been through all of those and more. I bet you have, too.

How about a more direct fitness-related experience?

Running in any capacity used to make me nervous. I was worried that others would watch me, and that made me uncomfortable. Obviously, I did not have a positive self-image. Instead of letting that fear hold me back, I decided that I would be most comfortable starting with running outside. I focused on my breath, and ignored the feeling that others were staring. I know now that people are not looking at me. Most people are more concerned with themselves; they are not staring at people working out. And, in fact, I enjoy telling people that my plus-size body has completed marathons and 50Ks!

So, what is holding you back from making changes to your lifestyle? Nowadays, we are all inundated with information about our bodies and how to be “healthier” and “fitter.” You are probably aware of needing to make some changes.

You might say you do not have time…energy…finances…or whatever else. These are your perceived “barriers.”

But, if you look deep, deep down, are any of those the REAL reasons you have not committed?

If you are anything like me, I bet it is more about being scared, worried, nervous, fearful, intimidated, etc. That fear holds us back, not just from pursuing improved wellness. Acknowledge these feelings. But do not let them stop you. You may discover you CAN be happy with yourself, you CAN learn that new skill, you CAN speak up in a medical appointment, and so much more. You can have some AWESOME experiences by just going for it.

Instead of thinking about all the reasons NOT to do something, start thinking about all the ways you could LEARN or GROW from the experience. If you approach it this way, you will make the time, you will find the money, you will set that alarm. You WILL take the time for YOU. You will find a curiosity for life that will likely motivate and revitalize you.

Share a time when you felt scared in the comments (or send a message)! How did you manage those feelings? How did you grow / what did you learn?

And, if you would like some assistance with this, join our new 6-week Align Yourself program! Mindset is one of our discussion topics.


Dr. Ana

Ana Grimh, DPT, CNPT, BA, CSCS, FMS-1, CF-L2 Trainer Doctor of Physical Therapy, University of Wisconsin – Madison

Certified Nutritional Physical Therapy Owner/Mastermind

Align Wellness Services, LLC


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