Fear can be debilitating and it can empower.
We all have things that cause us fear but we choose how we respond to them.
Dealing with fear is a skill. It's something you can get better at and it can be amazingly helpful in improving your quality of life.
A gym is a good place for developing these life skills. We've seen many people come in with very real fears. Some people are scared of barbells, others are afraid of hurting themselves, and some are afraid of failure.
We know that walking into a gym for the first time is a scary proposition and the simple act of coming in the door says your on the right path for using fear for good.
Fear causes a fight or flight biological response. This response is there for our immediate protection. But sometimes we choose flight when we should choose fight.
What most people fail to recognize is that you can choose to go against your biological response. It's a skill. It takes practice but you can do it. At first, it might take a day or two to talk yourself into fight mode but it's possible. Over time you prove to yourself you can do it and that time between flight and fight gets shorter and shorter.
We see this mirrored in the gym. For example, the workout may be a heavy 1 rep max snatch. This calls for the athlete to lift a barbell from the ground to over their head in a single motion that takes place in under a 1/2 second. This is a scary proposition for anyone and we see people not complete a lift up to their potential all the time.
As coaches we let them know that they are strong enough and their technique is sound (as long as that is the truth) and that fear is what is holding them back. And we watch them put themselves back in that realm of fear to fight for a completed lift. Sometimes it takes just one more attempt and for others, it takes days, weeks or months before they conquer that fear.
The important part is that we keep putting ourselves in those fear situations so we can practice facing them head on and gradually get better and faster at conquering them.
Then when life really throws us a curve ball and we have to go through some really scary stuff we have a ton of experience in facing fear and prevailing.
This isn't a call for people to go out and do stupid stuff. This is a call to face your little fears every day and be on the lookout for opportunities to improve your fight response.
The more you practice facing your fears the faster and more automatic your fight response becomes.
In the gym when people struggling with something due to fear, we don't ask them to face the biggest version of their fear. We don't ask them to lift a lot more weight or jump on a much taller box. We increase the weight by 2 lbs or increase the height of the box by 1 inch.
We want you to live a better life, and be more confident. Fear will always be a part of life. It's a good thing. It can keep us safe, but it should not keep us from living a better life.
What fears do you have? How are choosing to respond? Maybe your fear is just entering the doors of our gym. We get it, and when you're ready we'll be here.
Now go live better.