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Ask Janice
When is the last time you took a risk? Not like bunging jumping or big wave surfing, but something that meant you had to come out of your comfort zone and make a personal commitment to changing something in yourself that you knew would make you happier?

Now is the time to take that journey? Fear is holding you back, is almost always is. It’s the primary reason we keep doing what we do that is in our comfort zone. It is scary to try and do something different.  What if we can’t or what if we can and then what? On and on its goes….

Fear of something bad happening in the future is one of the things that make us human.

This fear, some might say, is necessary … it stops us from doing something stupid. But I’ve found most of these fears to be unnecessary, to be baseless, to be holding us back from achieving something. But here’s the thing: having the fear is natural. Letting it stop you from going after your dreams is a tragedy.

But here’s the secret most people don’t know. It’s a secret that most successful people know. You don’t actually have to “conquer” fear. You have to master it. Mark Twain once said, “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear.” Successful people aren’t people who conquered fear; they’re people who faced fear. They’re people who were afraid and did it anyway.”

I am sharing this with you because I see it as the “thing” that gets in our way and that really bugs me.  It’s such a shame that we keep ourselves from experiencing life to it’s fullest (whatever that means for you), and it doesn’t have to be that way.  What has worked for me is first realizing in that moment what is happening and I do mean in that moment. Then as soon as you take the time to recognize it (fear takes the shape of anxiety, worry, nervousness and tension), you have a choice to walk right into it. I see it literally as smoke and mirrors. The “walk” into the smoke is in your mind first then in your body. Try this exercise any time you are feeling anxious about anything. It’s amazing how well it works.

Changing habits is scary!

It means stepping up to the plate and changing the way you have done things in the past. It’s not a diet it’s a lifestyle change. It’s a commitment to yourself and how you want to be in this world. That takes courage. The good news is it can be done! I have seen it with my own eyes, many times.

In fact I am going to share with you a current story right here in our own community. Steve and Sharon, almost one year ago joined Fit Manzanita (the local fitness club in Manzanita) and started their journey. They walked through the smoke and mirrors and succeeded. Here are the reasons they gave: Reason for embarking on fitness quest: felt need to align values /beliefs about the importance of healthy life with how we actually lived day-to-day.  “Being an example to my patients was part of it.  It helps to be able to say to them that I do it – so you can too.”  For Sharon, it was a matter of displaying a fit self when speaking to groups about managing the health of their citizen population, as she did recently to a group of Canadian Health Ministers, or managing the health of a corporations’ employee group. Also important was desire to have more energy and hopefully reduce health risk factors long term.”

Here is something Sharon wanted to share: “Many people, especially women it seems, believe after 45 they can’t do anything about the extra pounds, for example.  They really believe it is just a part of the aging process.  That is just not the case.  You can do it.  Just start and then do as much as you can each day.  Little by little you get stronger…and it becomes easier and something you actually look forward to.  Ok – I didn’t’ believe it either.  The first day I tried the elliptical, I could honestly only do 5 minutes.  I renamed it a “torture device.”  Now I can do 4 miles in 55 minutes and feel great afterwards.  All that happened in 5 short months.  In addition, it helps to draft a partner to help.  They do their workouts at the same time and encourage each other when one wants to skip a session or gets discouraged.”

As of today, Steven has lost 60 pounds and has dramatically increased his muscles. Sharon has lost 22 pounds and is determined to lose another 10 or so.  Do you think they were a bit scared of this journey? You bet they were. Are they anymore? I am guessing not and I expect they are looking for their next adventure in life.

You can be whatever you want to be!