Follow your heart... but take your brain with you.
When was the last time you faced your fears head on? They tell us the best way to live is to do something that scares us every day. But is this really something people live by? Or are we programmed to only do what we know we can do?
It may be an alien concept to some of you, but I have spent the last few months working on handstands in my practice. I hadn’t got very far. Why? Because of the fear. The fear that I would fall on my head and snap my neck. A fair justification for not throwing myself vertical I think. And yet, last week, during a training session, I was challenged to have a go at a free standing handstand… just for fun. Now I’m not sure about you, but my idea of fun is not cracking my head open on a gym floor.
I had a choice. Face the fear or run from the fear. I asked myself, “What am I really scared of?” In my childhood, handstands were a daily occurrence, not viewed as any sort of achievement. So why as adults do we allow the fear to take over? It is almost as if our knowledge of the world and our painful experiences have tainted our view of our own ability. At what age did we start doubting ourselves and our capabilities?
I made a decision that day, to face my fears head on and to stop doubting myself. I am strong. I can achieve anything I set my mind to. I threw myself into a handstand, and yes, of course I fell. But here’s the great thing. I didn’t bang my head, I didn’t snap my neck. In fact, what did happen was even more powerful. My body made decisions before I could even process them. I tucked my head and kept myself safe from collision. If there is a lesson to be learned here it’s that, no matter what we consider the worst case scenario to be, it turns out we always protect ourselves from danger anyway. The body’s natural instinct is to keep us safe. We have the same instinct towards the ones we love. Face your fear knowing there will be someone to protect you if you fall.
Do what your heart tells you. It contains our dreams and our passions. Let it lead the way. Question the worst case scenario of facing your fear if you must, but be aware that when put in perspective, it is never as bad as we think it will be, we have our head and our instincts to take us back to safety when needed. If you are open and not afraid, you will draw in positivity. People to face fears with, making your heart stronger and your head focused.
And why should we put ourselves through fear? Think about what you would do if you weren’t scared. If there was no fear. If you had the same innocence as when you were a child. Would you be working in a job you hate for fear of not reaching your goals? Would you be in the relationship that makes you unhappy for fear of being alone? Would you stay in the same comfortable place for fear of turning yourself upside down and facing the unknown? Think about what you can accomplish when you’re not holding yourself back.
I turned myself upside down this week. Several times. I came crashing down each time and the great thing is I didn’t get hurt. Perhaps we need to put ourselves into scenarios where we might fall in order to see how far we can come. It is true that in life we regret the things we don’t do the most.
If you’re struggling to face your fears, think about trying my top tips:
Write down your fears. You might want to write down your successes as well. What is it that you’re really scared of? And why? Make sure anything you are proud of and any progress you have made in facing your fear goes down in your journal too. Now take time to sit down and read back what you have written. Is it justified? Reflect on it. If a friend was telling you the same things, how would you respond?
Become a mentor for others. What could you show people from what you have learned on your journey? Have you been through experiences that might help them at the beginning of their fear? Is there anyone you know who could help mentor you? Someone who is perhaps further in their journey than you currently are? By helping one another you become the ‘head’ within the problem. The one who protects others from getting hurt.
Think your problem through to a conclusion. If your fear was at the top of the ladder, what would your steps be to facing it? Remember, one step at a time. As long as you keep moving forward. It’s all progress. Give yourself little rewards for every step forward you make.
Have self-belief Visualise your success. Try to see what you could accomplish and have confidence in your ability. Let your heart rule! Now is the time for you to allow yourself to dream and live out your passions. You deserve it.
Just breathe The number one rule yogis. Relax your body, and allow yourself to breathe. In with strength, out with fear.
Remember, fear is only temporary. Regret lasts forever.
Happy Yogi Face has created an amazing new collection. The journey bracelets, symbolic of how far you have come, or how far you hope to come. Tell me your journey and I will create a bracelet representative of the progress you have made.
Stay strong yogis and always remember your Happy Yogi Face :)