Tips to deal with those annoying little fears

A friend once told me we approach our yoga mat similarly to how we approach life. 

There are certain poses in yoga I will try without having any clue on how to do it. I just go for it without thinking whether or not I can actually do it; or worse, how stupid I’ll look in my attempt. The things in life I move toward with equal gumption are love, new experiences, traveling, speaking up for what’s right, meeting different people and learning something new.

On the other hand there are poses in yoga that scare the living crap out of me, such as tripod headstand. There’s something about balancing on my head that freaks me out - yes, I know it's mainly core and arms, but to me it feels like all my weight is smashing my head into the ground. The irrational thought is I will fall and my neck will snap. I’m pretty sure that’s not a thing, as I’ve never heard of it happening.

As with yoga there are situations in life that bring on the same feeling of fear, like heights and flying on an airplane. The panic ensues the moment I purchase the ticket, then there’s a good solid fright fest 24-48 hours prior to the flight. I’ll spare you the details of my ridiculous behavior once I’m actually ass in seat; be thankful you’ve never sat next to me on an airplane and if you have, my sincerest apologies. Friends and professionals suggest I pop a Xanax, but I don’t do well with taking pills; another fear. In fact I have a bunch of fears, but I choose to face them rather than run from them.

I love to travel, I’ve done indoor rock climbing; I froze when I got to the top and caused a bit of a scene, but I did do it. I actually had fun until I reached the top and made the mistake of looking down. I have also done tripod headstand, with lots of encouragement and support of course. Sometimes facing these reasonable fears is easier than I think. Other times they get the best of me; that’s usually when I can’t let go of them. When I am able to release my fear, I am more successful in my attempts - not perfect but much better.

When faced with one of my fears I repeat these five things to myself.

  1. I’m scared.

  2. The only thing stopping me right now is my fear. (it helps to get mad at your fear)

  3. Stop thinking so much and trust that you will be OK.

  4. I can’t control the outcome - it is in the hands of God or the Universe.

  5. Just enjoy what you are doing.

If you have fear, anxiety or depression you may also be interested in a previous blog post The Now Method. If you suffer from a more severe condition you may need to seek professional help.