Exposing Fear as a Strategy to Reach Your Goals
Welcome to Q2! 🎊
Yes…I’m a little wedded to the practice of monitoring and celebrating time. Mainly, I do this because once any moment or season passes, it can never be experienced again. So, you better believe I’m going to make a big deal of it.
Don’t talk to me about birthdays…I tend to be the ‘go overboard’ type…but in a good way. 😊
This quarter, my primary focus is on my health. You may recall my recent talk with my husband. My life is expanding, my business is evolving, and my current level of fitness is not up to the task.
Here’s my struggle…every time I think of devising a new program or plan to improve my health, I experience an almost gripping sense of fear.
Yes—FEAR. I’m not immune to it, y’all.
As I was experiencing it, I kept saying, “No…you will not take me out!” However, the thing about fear is that it tends to glob onto the areas of our lives that are in the shade or complete darkness. Those ambiguous aspects of our lives that we don’t have time to deal with, for whatever reason. So, I decided to do what I know to do…I took out my searchlight to investigate.
I spend some time just digging into myself with questions: “What is going on with you? Why are you so afraid? What is it that you are thinking about your ability in this area?”
And I poured it all out in my journal. By the end, I had identified three limitations.
To understand these, you’d have to first know a bit about my BC (before children) life. Back then, I rose early, went for a run, and was in my classroom by 7:30 AM (or earlier) daily. When I got married, I moved from Brooklyn to Queens. On the weekends, I would do long runs around Flushing Meadows or Forest Parks. My cousin and I did countless races with NYRR (New York Road Runners). We ran the NYC Marathon together, twice.
Discipline was (and still is) something that I actually enjoy.
However, a few years ago, I began experiencing heart palpitations as I ran. I slowed my pace. Spaced out my runs. Nothing worked. Cardiologists and other health professionals couldn’t explain it but insisted meds would remedy it.
I opted to change my lifestyle. But the heart issues persisted, with no pattern nor warning.
Then I was hit with a bunch of food-related allergies that I am still figuring out. Greens, quinoa, legumes…all the good stuff now seems to be no good for me! Can I just say it? Getting older sucks!
But I refuse to give up…
I realize now that the present fear I am facing is tied to all of that…since I really don’t know what challenged my body in the past, I don’t want to “overdo” it. Also, let’s face it. I am not 25 years old anymore. (Although, I feel like I am sometimes!😆) The response rate of my body to exercise is slower. Finally, my life is different now…with a husband, three children, and a dog in tow…I don’t have the same schedule flexibility. I barely have a quiet moment to just be still.
Once I reflected and exposed the three-pronged root of the fear, I could confront it head-on. I started by making a list of things I could control. Frequency and duration of workouts, meal planning, and my thought life!
Enough of allowing that stinking-thinking to sneak into my consciousness. Like in any other area of life, progress requires consistent follow-through and follow-up.
I reset my thoughts. I follow-through by speaking encouraging truth to myself. I follow-up by checking in on my results. If I was supposed to run/walk three miles and didn’t, then I ask myself, “Why?” I examine my excuses to judge them.
Today, there seems to be opposition to that word: Judge. When a thing is not judged, decided to be ‘not good’ for me, then I easily drift back into behaviors that will not yield the results that I am looking to accomplish. So, I judge!
Have you ever been there with 'the drift'???
The primary influencer of thought patterns is the belief underneath. When I reset my thinking, I also tend to the garden of my beliefs and weed out any lies that attempt to stifle my life bloom.
I connected with a friend who is gifted in health and fitness. I asked her for help in designing an exercise program that would work with my life and hold me accountable to it. This step closed the circle for me.
Without community, it is easy to drift and convince yourself that the goal is beyond your reach. I know this tendency and decided to safeguard against it by connecting with a friend. Now, I am bringing all of you in on it, as well. 😉
I can’t hide anymore. Or shrink back into the shell of who I was once. I intend to have at least fifty more years of vibrant life. That will be made possible only by the proper care of my health…body, mind, and spirit.
I share my goal story with you today because I recognize that it’s relatively easy to set a bunch of goals but when it is time to put the rubber to the road, something interferes. Most of the time, that something is Fear.
Try the steps outlined here: Reflect, Reset, Reach Out. Beware: Surrender is required. At each stage, you are called on to give up or exchange one way of thinking and believing for another. It is not easy nor can it be done on a whim. It requires commitment.
I know you can do it. And, so can I! With Q2 awaiting to be seized, let us pursue our goals with fortitude.
Until next time…