Do you often start new exercise programs or new meal plans only to find yourself going back to old habits within just a few short weeks or even days? It’s not easy making change, but one thing that seems to stop people in their tracks is FEAR.
We all have some type of fear that prevents us from moving forward. Remember as a kid when you were scared that something under the bed might get your feet? Ok, yes, I still have that fear! Ha ha!
When you think something is under the bed and it’s going to get your feet, you get scared and don’t want to move. You don’t want to take that step out of the bed.
It’s the same thing with making lifestyle changes. You can be scared to change which leads to you being scared to take the steps you know you need to take.
Brendon Burchard, motivational speaker and coach to high performers including Oprah, suggests that there are four types of fears that stop us.
Four Fears That May Be Stopping Your Success:
As humans, we are genetically wired to seek acceptance or belonging. We get scared that people will dislike us or think we are fools for doing something different or out of our norm.
What if you do lose the weight? Will people think you are vain? Will people think you are selfish? Will they make fun of your new food choices?
Don’t think this is you? Think again: How often do you say “yes” when you mean “no”? Are you a people pleaser? If you have a hard time saying no or you like to make everyone happy, then you probably have a rejection fear.
We like to catastrophize things by making them way bigger than they really need to be.
“I will be ruined if I eat that slice of pizza for lunch. I will “ruin” the whole plan, so I might as well just not do it anymore.”
“I can’t take a new job because if it doesn’t go well, I will be ruined!”
When we feel like this, it’s because we are scared to be a failure. We are scared that we will disappoint ourselves and others if we don’t follow through or do everything perfectly. Therefore, we stop trying so that we can’t fail.
When you start to realize that there is no such thing as failure, but instead only learning, you can stop the fear of ruin.
Burchard says, "As long as there is a tomorrow, there is no ruin or failure."
Everything we do is a chance to learn and an opportunity to keep taking a stab at it until we get it right for ourselves.
Many people don’t give their best effort when reaching for goals due to the fear of not getting the result they desire. They don’t want to “regret” it not working. They don’t want to regret putting in the full effort without any positive results.
If you start focusing on doing good, positive actions, you won’t regret a thing. All good and positive actions lead to good feelings and good outcomes, even ones you didn’t expect.
Instead of thinking about NOT doing something because you may regret it, flip it and think about doing it because you don’t want to regret NOT doing it.
I don’t know about you but at the end of my life I don’t want to regret NOT doing what I wanted. I want to feel fulfilled and happy with my life. If I don’t try now I may never get a chance. Don’t regret taking action!
The thought of being responsible for something or someone (even yourself) can be very scary and intimidating. That’s a lot of pressure and power. Many of us are afraid of our own power and what it means to use our full power.
We get scared that we won’t be able to show up as our best selves and look like a fool. We get scared that if we DO succeed, that we will have to continue being our best selves and continue to use our full power always. That’s a lot of pressure!
Not sure this is you? Do you ever feel like a victim when starting something new?
For example, I’m doing an 8 week nutrition/fitness program now and I’ve had a few people tell me they feel sorry for themselves because their favorite drink (soda) is not on the plan. They are feeling like a victim because they can’t have their 3 sodas every day. By not having their sodas, they will see a change in their physique, but if they do see a change, that will mean that not drinking soda works and therefore, they will need to continue the new habit. This is good news, but in the moment before the results occur, it can seem overwhelming – which means they have a fear of responsibility to do the right thing.
Another example is feeling scared to continue being good at something. Once you’ve reached a success (for example weight loss), you will have to continue being responsible with your food choices and exercise to maintain and keep the weight loss. Again, this can lead to fear in many people.
Ok, so what's next?
Now that you have a better understanding of different types of fears, what can you do once you recognize them?
You can overcome all of these fears. It just takes some persistence and good ol’ optimism!
Rejection: instead of fearing you will be ostracized, realize that you can be the connection instead. You can be the new, positive light in the darkness. If you are worried your friends will not include you on their girls night out because you are eating better, then invite them to a healthy girls night out and show them that it’s just as fun!
Ruin: Instead of being fearful that you will lose everything or ruin your chances, focus on new beginnings. As long as there is a tomorrow, you don’t need to be scared. Every day, every moment is a new opportunity to keep trying to be your best.
Regret: Instead of living a life of regret and guilt, take positive action steps each day to live your most desired life no matter what!
Responsibility: Instead of being scared of your own power, lean into your power and make your life what you desire by being in complete control of your actions.
Finally, understand that fear will always grace us with its presence. Learn how to manage it and you will succeed in all things!