The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. -Franklin D. Roosevelt
Fear has been part of our existence since the inception of the human race. Fear of predators, death, disease, lack of shelter and food are just some of the roots behind our "primal fears". We have certainly eliminated many of the ancient fears that we used to worry about.
Something that hasn't perished, however, is fear itself. The abundance of terrifying events and stressors has not necessarily increased, it's just the ability to spread such information across the world in seconds. Think back to history class when we discuss times of famine, disease and widespread deaths that occurred in developed European countries not long ago. The news of that spreading across the world would have scared everyone.
Fear still exists today and arguably exists more than ever. We are constantly reminded to be fearful of breaking even simple laws like speed limits, stopping at stop signs and making sure to use our turn signals. There are other serious fears such as sickness, our financial stability, maintaining our possessions and keeping up with our materialistic culture. It causes great fear and stress for millions of people.
Fear is something that we feel, but fail to properly handle and express. Simply fearing the person behind you is going to rear-end your car on the freeway, fear that you will be late to work and fear that you won't fit in with your new social group can make a big impact on the way you act in the world. These are just common examples of things cause fear and stress that we can control.
How do you control fear?
- Do you suffer from anxiety, nervousness, lack of self-esteem and self confidence in any situation?
- Do you often feel emotions of anger, rage, frustration, depression and loneliness?
- Do you feel tense in your upper back and shoulders, jaws or temple region on the sides of your head?
- Do you feel like you take light, shallow breaths?
Any of these may be symptoms or causes of fear.
Fear is not just in your mind.
When experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, they can affect the way you act and operate physically, too. When experiencing a lack of motivation, self-esteem or simply feeling fearful, this can affect your ability to learn or adapt your exercise routine. Once you're aware of the fear you're experiencing both mentally and physically, you are ready to learn how to limit it. Sometimes you just have to dig in.
Fear from analysis-paralysis
Are you someone who is always looking for the next 5 tips for weight loss and the best fat-burning workout in existence?
Well, the millions of people wanting to sell you all of these secrets don't want me to tell you this... It can be simple!
It just takes action, determination and an elimination of fear.
Can you lose fat by sitting and reading my articles about how to do it? Unless you're walking and reading (don't trip), I highly doubt it.
Let's eliminate the need for this analysis paralysis once and for all. I'm confident that if you take these following tips seriously, you will get results.
Consistency is not just important to your fitness goals.
It is important for achieving anything great in life.
You can't burn yourself in a quick fashion and expect great success or results. We tend to fear that we don't have enough time or that our time in the gym is a waste. If you are getting exercise for 20 minutes one day a week and sitting in an office chair for the other 5 days a week, yes you are hindering your results. Stick to a consistent schedule and try to get some form of at least "mild" exercise everyday. This could be a simple 20 minute walk around your neighborhood and back.
Don't pay attention to the clock or scale
Numbers are just numbers. We are in a time where time and weight has never been so over analyzed. Don't take it just from me, my pals Abel James and Jimmy Moore both agree that we should trash the scale at a minimum.
How will I know how much weight I'm losing Evan!? Don't worry about the numbers, pay attention to the way you feel, function and look. Let the weight loss be a side effect of following a basic healthy lifestyle checklist and 5 essentials for getting results in the gym.
Read, do, document
This is my secret to success. Wait a second, should I be revealing all of these secrets to you this early in our relationship? Have you taken the time to contact me and say hello and tell me about your health, lifestyle, struggles and questions?
I'll go more into the specific process, ways to keep track of results and ways to improve your process of researching, acting and experimenting safely in my book on all of the other essentials to optimal health.
Ask yourself one simple question
How many of the things you fear have come true? Maybe your current life path is what has prevented your fears from coming true. This is not always a bad thing. But, what if your fears were actually hidden sources of power that are waiting for you to act on them. Let's go through the whole thought process behind the paralysis of fear and the typical response to it.
FEAR ENTERS THE MIND
SELF-DOUBT ON CONQUERING THE FEAR DEVELOPS
SELF-DISTRACTION FROM CONQUERING THE FEAR OCCURS
Here's a real life example of someone I've been coaching
Fearful Person: I can't lose weight, lift dumbbells or properly use machines in the gym
Me: Why not?
FP: Because I've never done it before and I would look stupid.
Me: Who cares what you look like. Everyone has to start somewhere. It can be simple. Here, let's go over some of the exercises you can do from home before you even sign up for a gym membership.
FP: Really, that's all it takes to lose fat in my stomach?
Me: I don't like to make losing belly fat your main goal, think of it as a side effect of improving your health and mobility. I told you it was simple.
FP: Wow, I can't wait to see what happens in the next few months.
Me: I'm on board, let's do it.
This is just one popular conversation that I have when helping people make the transition from the couch to the middle of the gym floor. It's a matter of taking simple steps each day towards your end goal. However, I don't set end goals, but I use checkpoints to make sure I am on track with progress. Progress is key, not achieving your "end goal" and then slowing down or quitting just because you achieved it.
You don't need that bagel, you can get rid of your soda and potato chip habit. You can take 5 minutes to cook yourself some pasture-raised organic eggs or other quality source of protein in the morning. Don't let fear, the illusion of not enough time or the many confusing topics of fitness and nutrition keep you from changing your life and improving your health. Anything is possible.
Let me know in the comments below or contact me on how fear has impacted your life, career, fitness progress and other lifestyle habits. It can relate to diet immensely; that is the second most popular conversation topic with people I help.