Our fears can often paralyze us from action. We’re afraid of a lot of things. Sometimes, the fear is so deeply rooted in our subconscious that we don’t realize we are making decisions that ultimately shape our lives from a place of fear. Why does it seem to have so much power over us? We’re afraid of rejection, of failure, of not being good enough, of getting hurt. We fear not having enough, that our finances and investments won’t grow, that our loved ones could be affected by tragedy. We’re even afraid to realize our full potential and truly succeed at something. These are very real, concrete, and fair concerns. It comes down to our needs. The need for safety, connection, and fulfillment.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind. -2 Tim 1:7
Personal Share: Facing my Fears
The second half of 2017 has been marked by facing my biggest fears and acting in the midst of them. At the end of July, I left my career in accounting to embark on the journey of entrepreneurship. I worked in financial services for six years- three years in audit for a public accounting firm and three years in investment accounting for an insurance company. I started teaching yoga back in 2014 and got involved with Girl Get Outside?around that same time. Like many of you, I discovered my passion for yoga and wellness. I often dreamed about leaving the corporate world. It would come up in conversations with people and I always shared that when the time was right, I would feel it.
April 2017 came. I felt like God was asking me- Are you ready to go on an adventure with me? Where you have to trust me every step of the way and rely on me for strength and provision? When I first felt that, I couldn’t believe it at first. I was so used to being self-sufficient and loved my career because of the financial freedom it provided me. Then I really leaned into it. And I realized the only thing stopping me were my fears.
During that season,?I spent many nights in stillness, contemplating what this meant for me and my future. I listened to countless sermons and podcasts, read my bible, and prayed. I knew in my heart I needed to take this step to unlock the next level. Almost like there were blessings connected to this one decision. So I took the steps to prepare. I left my job at the end of July 2017.
Personal Share: Learning to Manage my Fears
It’s been a month and a half since I made the leap.
One Sunday, I was so gripped by fear. I hit a wall mentally and couldn’t think about anything else.
I knew I had to get on my yoga mat because that’s where I can quiet my mind enough to really understand what was going on.
Right before class, I wrote down everything I was afraid of in that moment.?
It was overwhelming getting it all down but it was powerful. There’s something about writing down your fears because if any of them are irrational, you can quickly see them for what they are and put things into perspective.
When I got home that night, I wanted to understand fear better and why it got such a hold on me earlier that day. I came across this video from Tim Ferris. While I don’t personally hold everything he talks about in the video, he introduced a really valuable strategy that opened my eyes completely- fear setting.
The Strategy: Fear Setting
Visualize the worst case scenarios in detail that you fear, preventing you from taking action, so that you can take action to overcome that paralysis. -Tim Ferris
Ask yourself, what if I __________? Fill in the blank with that fear that was gripping you.
Write down all of the worst things you can imagine happening if you take that step.
What could I do to prevent each of these bullets from happening or at the very least decrease the likelihood?
If the worst case scenario happened, what could you do to repair the damage even a little bit, or who could you ask for help?
I rewatched this part of the video more times than I can count because I thought it was so genius. It helped me organize my thoughts so well. When you’re going through moments of fear, your mind is far from calm and steady. So having it broken down like this made so much sense.
The next question Tim Ferris proposed was,
What might be the benefits of an attempt or partial success? -Tim Ferris
I loved this question because it encourages hope and optimism but in a reasonable way. It gets to the root of the fear which is the risk factor. It’s an objective way to see why it’s worth taking the step to begin with.
We don’t usually consider the cost of staying the same. Ask yourself, If I avoid this action or decision and similar ones like it, what might my life look like six months, a year, three years down the line?
Sometimes we can no longer continue in the same place.
This part of the exercise is so so key. What is the impact? Is the risk minimal or permanent and life changing?
This fear setting exercise is going to stay with me as I journey through life. If I found about about fear setting back in April, I believe I would have came up with the same decision to take the step of faith.
What are some of your deepest fears? Can fear setting help you get unstuck and back on the path to living your best life?
Thank you so much for reading.?Let’s keep in touch!
How long have you been practicing yoga? If you’ve been practicing for some time, I’m sure there have been times where you feel uninspired in your yoga practice, feel like you’ve hit a wall in your progress, or I hate to say it, just bored of yoga altogether.
My first yoga class was in 2012 and my yoga journey hasn’t been linear. There were times where I only made it to my mat once a week or less because of work and life. I remember a stretch where I was pretty bored of yoga and took time off and actually considered no longer teaching.
But I also have been really inspired and eager to learn and further my journey. I would say that is where I am today. In this post, I’ll share with you 5 tips to progressing in your yoga practice. Read on! They may bring back the love you felt when you first got into yoga!
1. Try out a new studio, instructor, or style of yoga
Think back to your first yoga class. Most likely, a friend brought you to his or her yoga studio. That’s how I got started! A friend brought me to try a free week and I got a membership right after. It’s great to find a home studio and a community to grow into. After a while though, when you’ve been going to the same instructors, classes, and studio, it can be a lot of the same thing. Same is good, but sometimes you need to infuse something new in your practice. Try out a new studio, instructor, or style of yoga.
Back in March, I tried?my first Ashtanga class?and I loved it. A little over two weeks ago, I started practicing Ashtanga regularly through Kino MacGregor’s online yoga platform, OmStars. Also earlier this year, I started practicing at other studio on a regular basis. I currently take classes at YogaWorks, CorePower Yoga, and Equinox?and there’s a lot of variety there.
Don’t be afraid to change things up! The best feeling is being a beginner at something and seeing your progress.
?2. Be consistent
Long-term consistency trumps short-term intensity. -Bruce Lee
I’ve been seeing that the key to progress in anything is consistency. I’ve been noticing this in my new meditation practice (18 days in a row today!) and daily ashtanga practice as well. The great thing about yoga is it is relatively low impact, so you can get on your mat everyday and your body will feel good. Maybe doing yoga everyday seems like a stretch. What if you added one minute of stretching before you go to sleep or one minute right when you wake up? We spend countless of minutes just scrolling among other things, so I know we can carve out time for this.
A little on a consistent basis is better than doing a double one day a week.
The past couple of weeks, I’ve been able to be consistent with it and my body feels so much more open and my hamstrings have become more flexible.
3.?Develop a home practice
I love taking instructor-led yoga classes. Going into that room without any distractions, listening to the instructor’s voice and tuning into my breath is my favorite thing. When I can, I try to take a class. But lately, most of my yoga has been out of the studio setting. I mostly practice at home or at the gym on my own. There’s a lot of yoga subscription services online and YouTube has great free content. As an instructor, I have a limited amount of time to take the class through integration to savasana, so we can only work on so much in those 60 minutes. But when you practice at home, you can stay and break down that pose for as long as you’d like. You can really customize what you want to work on and find all the videos and tutorials. You get to be a student of your body. Home practice also teaches you discipline and focus since you have to be more intentional about that time.
4. Challenge yourself
Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow. -Ralph Waldo Emerson
This quote says it all. I think we don’t challenge ourselves enough at times. I know I don’t, that’s why I like taking certain instructor’s classes because they really push me past what I think I can do. We’re all at different levels in our yoga practice. But if we only stick with the poses that we’ve mastered and have locked in, our practice won’t grow. I think I have a mental block of falling from inversions so I’m still working on that with headstand and forearm stand. It’s been said that the poses you avoid are the ones you need the most.
Commit to moving beyond the poses you always go to, with safety and alignment in mind of course!
5. Have patience
Lastly and most importantly, have patience with yourself, your body, your journey. Progress takes time. Know and accept exactly where you are. Understand your strengths and areas of improvement. This will keep you from the comparison trap. When you know exactly who you are and the incredible value you have to offer, you will feel fearless, on and off your mat.
Hope this was helpful! I’d love to hear any stories you may have of times you’ve felt uninspired or bored of yoga. What got you out of it? Leave me a note in the comments below.
Thank you Charlotte for these beautiful photos!
Let’s keep in touch!