I’m not one of those trainers or coaches that takes pride in scaring my clients or students. I don’t try to see if someone can throw up or make them pass out (which isn’t hard to do, trust me). But with all that said, I have seen fear in people’s eyes when I ask them to do an exercise.
For someone who has had major knee surgery, asking them to do a deep squat can be a fear inducing activity. And I can’t argue because this is a valid fear.
Let’s talk more about fear. Everyone has fear, to some small degree. We as humans fear things like death, losing someone you love, failure, and the list goes on. Mostly fear has to do with what we anticipate, or what the future holds. Fear can also be concerned with something in our past, because we want to avoid getting hurt again.
The interesting thing about fear is that without it, a person can’t have courage. One cannot exist without the other, they are partners in crime. Without fear, why would we have the need to have courage? Courage happens when we have the opportunities to face our fears, and from this place we can call on the strength to try again and again.
So in that situation, I ask my clients or students to be present. To not think about what could happen, or how their knee used to hurt. Instead as I guide them slowly through the exercise with precise adjustments and cues, I encourage them to FEEL what’s going on, and have them adjust accordingly.
It takes an open heart and mind to face your fears. When we approach ourselves with compassion, and a willingness to not have certainty in anything, we open ourselves to possibility. Being connected with the present gets us closer to the truth, or where we are in any moment. Having fear is healthy and normal, and gives us the ability to call on the indestructible potential of our own courageous spirit.
So the next time your fearful of starting a fitness program, ask yourself, “What am I scared of?” Don’t worry if it’s not perfect, or that you’ll look silly. When you realize that nobody is perfect, and that at some point everyone looks silly, that is the moment you can have courage. Face your fears, arm yourself with courage, and the world will be in awe of you.