Just do it.
You hear it all the time. Just be fearless. Really? Easier said than done. One of the great things about yoga is that you are led into situations where you have to face your fears head on. For instance, you can’t do a handstand in the middle of the room unless you transcend the fear of falling on your head. You also can’t learn how to fall gracefully unless you allow yourself to go to the edge and practice persistence. One of the reasons I started teaching many years ago was because I realized that yoga helped me overcome my fears. I began doing things I never thought I was capable of both on a physical and personal level.
Fear keeps people stuck in some pretty awful places – from bad marriages to uninspiring jobs. It paralyzes growth and keeps us from experiencing the beauty and freedom of the unknown. Back when I was going through teacher training, I read The Wisdom of Insecurity by Alan Watts. For the first time in my life, I realized that security is a myth. There is a sense of comfort that comes with “the known”, a sense of peace that we equate with the way things are right now. If things are okay, we want to make sure that this “okayness” stays put in order to secure happiness in the future. Rocking the boat is scary and not knowing what is going to happen can make us feel unstable. However, in life, the only thing that is guaranteed is change. It’s guaranteed that we will get older and one day we will no longer be here.
So, what are we waiting for? Why do we hold on so tightly to the fears that say, “don’t try that because you’ll hurt yourself” or “why should I leave? I’m really not that miserable?” If we are not careful, pretty soon we will be sitting deep in quicksand and won’t be doing anything at all- out of fear of failure or fear of the unknown. One life is all we have. So take advantage of it and trust that if you follow your bliss, everyone wins no matter what it looks like.
Three Ways to Practice Being Fearless
1)Go Upside Down – try some inversions using the wall or play with handstands on the grass.
2)Write a diagram of what your life would look like without fear in it vs. the path you would take if fear ruled your decisions.
3)Do something that scares you at least once a month. Think scary but rewarding.