What To Do When Fears Are Sidelining Your Dreams

My least favorite part of any yoga class is probably yours too. You know which one I’m talking about. The instructor guides you into a pose and then says, “If _____ pose is in your practice, feel free to move into that now.” Then all the strong/cool/crazy-awesome yogis commence their hand-standing and crow-ing while everyone else stays in the “easy” pose. I have to issue a disclaimer — that is a very un-yogi way of viewing that situation. In fact, practicing yoga is helping rewrite the competitive codes in my brain, but I am a work in progress. 

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One day I was in my regular hot yoga class and that dreaded moment came. On a whim and ignoring all the mean voices in my head, I moved from bridge to wheel pose for the first time. Miraculously, I did it without falling, breaking my neck, or another disastrous outcome I was afraid would happen if I tried. To my surprise, I felt free and strong like I was a kid hanging upside-down from the monkey bars by their knees (which, for the record, is an amazing feeling). 

I have long dreamed about writing and sharing publicly but there was always a “good” reason not to. People might not like what I say, it might be embarrassing, I’m too busy, I’m boring, people will judge me, etc. Even today, right now, I hear those voices. “Don’t post that picture, your form is poor and it doesn’t look like that other person’s perfect wheel, you need to edit this a fifteenth time because your words are inadequate”... and on and on.

But you know what? Life is too short not to do the things in your heart you know you were made to do. The small choices we make everyday ultimately add up to the big dreams we have for our lives. 

Take for example this post. I am afraid that when I share imperfect words and flawed images, I will be ridiculed and judged. It is an irrational fear — my identity is not rooted in what others think of me! Nevertheless, the fear is real. Today I am drawing a line in the sand and suggest you do the same.

Identify one thing you would do if fear was not the loudest voice in your head, then DO THAT THING. Try the yoga pose, make the phone call, start the business, move, say yes, say no (I see you, fellow people-pleasers!), buy the plane ticket, break up with that person, apply for the job, quit the job, take a surfing lesson, say I’m sorry, say I forgive you.

I am willing to bet that when I push publish on this post, I will feel free like the upside-down kid on the monkey bars. Come what may, potential criticism and all, I will be glad that I shared these thoughts with you. And if you regret doing your thing I will personally buy you a margarita next time you are in San Diego.

If not now, when, friend?