Fear: What’s holding you back?

Every time you conquer a fear, says Tanja Shaw, you become stronger.

Fear.  It makes us anxious; it causes stress.   It’s uncomfortable, and so often it holds us back.  It can stop us from doing the things we want to do, and ultimately living the life we want to live.

It’s an emotion that I am familiar with, and perhaps you are too. Fear of the unknown, fear or failure, and even fear of success.  My path as a business owner is punctuated with fear.  Fear of opening my own business. (How do I get clients?  What if I fail?)  Fear of hiring my first fitness coach. (What if all my clients leave?  What if I cannot support a new trainer?  What if everyone hates me?)  Fear of opening my own studio. (What if I can’t pay rent?)

Often, the fear is imaginary.  It’s the “what ifs” and the unknowns that are scary.  We battle these imaginary saber-tooth tigers when trying to sleep at night, or trying to move forward to reach something we want.  Fear is often there you move out of your comfort zone – and that’s where the magic happens.

A few weeks ago, I attended a conference in Orlando with other fitness business leaders in North America. Two years ago, at a similar seminar, we wrote down on a board the things that were stopping us from doing the things we wanted to do. We were then taught how to break through the board with our bare hands.  Yikes! (“Will it hurt?  What if I can’t do it?  What if…).

But I did it.  I broke through.

This year we walked bare foot over broken glass.

The thought of walking over broken glass didn’t excite me.  In fact, I really didn’t want to do it.  Would it hurt?  Would I get cut?

I did it, and I will share how, and why.

It’s not everyday that we need to break boards or walk over broken glass.  In real life, we have other obstacles to overcome.  I have worked with hundreds of clients to overcome obstacles on the journey to living a healthier, happier life.  For some, it’s fear of the unknown, or for not being able to do it.  Some are worried about what other people will think.  Some are frightened of success.

Each time fear is conquered; there are three things in common:

• There’s a purpose.  There’s a why.  For breaking boards and walking over glass, my why was simply to prove that I could.  It was to practice overcoming fear.  In business, my driving purpose is to empower and support others to change their lives in powerful and positive ways through fitness and sound nutrition.  When the ‘why’ is strong enough, it’s a much easier to crush fear.  Your ‘why’ to becoming healthier is individual.  Perhaps you want to have more energy, or no longer want your weight or body image to stop you from living the life you want to live.  Maybe you want to be your best for their family.

• There’s a system.  We didn’t break boards or walk over glass without instruction.  We were carefully taught how to do it so that we would be successful.  In business, I have coaches to help me plan out how to achieve the next step.  When it comes to reaching your health and fitness, goals, be sure to have a plan.  For example, you may start by exercising three mornings a week, and eating protein at breakfast.

• There’s support.  When going to break a board with my bare hand, or walk over a bed of glass, I was not alone.  I had my community of friends and coaches to help me every step of the way.  In my business, I am so fortunate to have the support of a network of other fitness business leaders, coaches, the support of my clients and team at Ascend Fitness, and the support of my family.   When it comes to success in fitness, enlist support.  Surround yourself by friends, family, colleagues and coaches who will support you.

Each time I conquer fear, I am stronger, more confident and a better person.  To me, business is not just about business.  Ascend Fitness is a catalyst for my own personal growth, and for carrying out my purpose in life.  I am so fortunate with to work with so many men and women who have conquered their own fears on their way to living a better life.

Tanja Shaw is the owner of Ascend Fitness Inc., a private training studio.  Tanja and her team of expert fitness professionals work to inspire and educate Chilliwack residents to make positive and power changes in their lives through physical fitness and sound nutrition.  For more fitness tips go to www.ascendfitnesscoaching.com.