Bronnie Ware spent almost a decade caring for people at the end of their lives. Year after year, she noticed patterns in her patient’s conversations, which led to her writing the best-selling memoir, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying. The book covered the experiences of working with the dying, and the thoughts that many face as they pass away.
I bet you’re wondering what the most common regret was, right? Here it is: “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”
Let that sink in for a second. We all experience this feeling—it’s something that each of us are forced to constantly address in our lives: live out what you feel called to, or follow a direction that others expect from you.
Doing your own thing is hard, but not impossible.
Starting and running your own health and fitness business can feel this way. It’s challenging, exciting, creative, and sometimes risky. It requires you to be vulnerable and willing to put yourself out there. That’s just part of the game.
We’d be lying if we said we haven’t felt it too, especially with social media flooding everyone with false perceptions of what it’s like to hustle as a coach. Every day we are reminded about that fitness influencer, life coach, or yogi master, who’s career is constantly on the upward trajectory, meanwhile, yours is sitting completely horizontal.
If you’ve found yourself judging and jealous (like we all feel at times), you’re probably struggling to put yourself out there. Maybe you feel like a facade, constantly worrying about being “the expert”, even though you’ve got legitimate experience and great ideas. If you’re stuck in a cycle of insecurity that’s keeping you from getting out there and doing what you love, we’re here to help.
How to identify fear and kick it to the side.
We’re all afraid of being judged—it’s humanity. We experience fear before we do something risky, outside of the norm, or even something we care deeply about. Our fear can show us that what we’re doing is important to us, and we don’t want it to fail. The problem occurs when we believe our fears and let them run the show.
With fear and judgment in the driver’s seat, we’re guaranteed to ride right down a boring and unfulfilling path. This fear is sneaky and becomes hard to identify at times. Here are the most common ways he shows his face so you can avoid him next time:
The Towel Tosser
You may have started out highly focused, determined to make your mark and prove yourself. If you’re like us in the beginning, you ran your ideas by people, maybe posted a few thoughts on social media, and didn’t see the traction you were looking for. Sorry to tell you, but not every post is going to be viral.
These moments can take the wind out of the sails and stop you from moving forward. The opinions and affirmations of others can become so important to us that they take the place of our business’ mission. This towel-tosser will try to convince you that your dreams aren’t worthwhile unless other people say so.
The Passive Victim
When you don’t believe you have the power to do anything constructive, one tends to play the blame game. It’s much easier to convince yourself that it’s out of our control and find excuses to fill the gap. Unfortunately, this mindset perpetuates itself.
It usually sounds something like this, “It’s a shame I can’t create this business because so-and-so really needs me to do (insert lame excuse for not pursuing your goals).”
Whenever someone else dictates your direction, it should be a red flag that the Passive Victim is holding the reins.
The Non-Committal Reframer
The Reframer is the most complex character. Sometimes when we experience small wins, we tend to overflow with adrenaline and let it infect our impression of where we are. Almost like we’ve reframed the way we see ourselves based on this one positive experience.
This fear latches on to the current positives but is afraid of the hard work and dedication it will take to reach the end goal. While it feels like keeping your options open, it’s possible that you’re avoiding the commitment it takes to do something that could really be fulfilling in the long run.
The Perpetual Prepper
The Prepper is always gathering information and materials. Just when it looks like he’s going to start making progress, he finds another avenue to walk down, moving him further from the goal. This is the ultimate example of all bark, no bite.
Like the Passive Victim, their excuse lacks the validation for not moving forward. Maybe you’ve been stuck for many years and have just awoken to realize that you haven’t been living-—you’ve just been preparing the whole.
The biggest lie you’re telling yourself.
Fear’s biggest lie isn’t that you’re not good enough—you are, you don’t know enough–you do, or you won’t be supported—you will. Fear deceives us most by convincing us that it should be our number one priority. That we should put all our other feelings and thoughts on the back burner and make it the top dog. It begs us for every ounce of our attention.
We can overcome our fears. Not by eliminating them, ignoring them, or hiding them, but by putting them in their proper place. Recognize the fear as a part of you—something that can energize you, warn you, or help you understand how important your goals really are. But don’t make it the captain of your life. It’s not a good leader.
Take the brave step.
You could walk the path that is free from judgment and criticism. You could take the day job where you’re one of many, keeping your head down, and staying out of the spotlight. Or, you could listen to yourself and the drive that’s pushing you to find something more.
What’s one thing you’re doing right now that feels like it’s expected from you? Where is fear taking over the wheel in your life? What’s the first step you can take toward regaining power over your direction. It takes bravery, but I promise you won’t regret it.
We’ve been there before, and want to talk about it with you. We’ve been through the process and want to help other fitness and health junkies like us get their message to the world. Join us and the rest of the crew as we walk through how to put yourself out there and create the health and fitness business you’ve been waiting for in our weekly SPRNG Training.