We face fear daily. Maybe you’re afraid to ask your boss for that pay raise, or maybe you’re making a big life decision. But a not so obvious way fear may be creeping into your life to sabotage your efforts for a healthier lifestyle is in your movement. Whether you’re wanting to begin a new fitness routine or are a seasoned mover, it’s worth your time to evaluate how fear could be preventing you from reaching your full potential. Confronting that fear can help you reach your goals and bring you to the next level of your training. Let’s look at some common fears that could be preventing you from getting and staying active.
Fear of Failure
“I was afraid of just starting. From the outside looking in, Crossfit looks crazy! I didn’t want to not be able to do everything that everyone else could do.”
Remember when you were a kid, and you felt invincible? You would try almost anything, and if you failed, you would bounce back up without blinking twice. Somewhere along the way, most of us lost a great deal of that resilience and have become scared to move!
What if we fail at something we thought we would be able to do? Failure has a bad reputation. Everyone fails, yet we are all afraid of it.
Does this inner dialogue sound familiar to anyone?
“I should really be able to do a push up…I know I used to do lots of push ups, but now I don’t think I can do any. I don’t want to fail, so I don’t want to try. I’d rather do something else.”
This is a thought process called self-handicapping. I have to admit, this one gets me. When I am placed in a situation where I am surrounded by practitioners who are much more experienced than I am, my first reaction is to go into self-preservation mode, so I can avoid revealing that I may not be able to do something. Since becoming aware of this behavior pattern, I can more easily recognize when I am doing it, confront it, drop the ego, and try! It is amazing how much you can accomplish when you get out of your own way.
Take Action: The key here is letting go of the ego, and developing a playful and positive attitude. Robert Allen reminds us that “There is no failure. Only feedback.” So feedback, then, will always be a part of everyone’s life in some way. You have to choose to accept this feedback as a part of the human condition. You have to start somewhere. Wherever you are, it’s okay. Take charge of your path of improvement. When you do this, you will surprise yourself with how much room for success you create.
Val being incredibly serious in the gym.
Fear of Judgement
“I didn’t want people watching me while I worked out. I didn’t know anyone, I didn’t know how to do any of the movements.”
Let’s be honest. Everyone encounters this fear in ANY new scenario/activity/gathering they jump into.
Whether we are conscious of it or not, we all seek acceptance from our communities. It’s common to fear rejection from your peers if you are doing something outside of the box, and outside of the general population’s scope of what working out should look like. But you know what? Everyone inside the box is here to have fun and relax. This is stress relief. This is self-betterment. This is community-building. This is your time.
Take Action: Jump right in! People are here for the same exact reason you are… to enrich and better their lives! No one is going to judge you based on appearance or skill level, because everyone has been there. A Crossfit workout is truly a great equalizer, and speaking from experience, people are incredibly gracious and welcoming in the Crossfit box.
All the pregnant mommas of DCCF
Fear of Injury
“Crossfit is dangerous and I don’t want to get hurt.”
Sometimes a movement can literally just be scary. The fear of going for that tall box jump or going for that huge lift can be a scary experience. No one wants injury, and when going into unknown territory, well…the outcome is unknown. To quote Daniel Ilabaca: “If you’re afraid to fall, you fall because you’re afraid.” If you approach a task with fear, you are preparing to fall instead of preparing to succeed. Expectations are extremely powerful. Predicting that you are going to drop the weight makes you much more likely to make that come true.
Avoid creating self-fulfilling prophecies by becoming mindful. Meditate regularly, and when you are preparing to try something new, take some deep breaths, imagine yourself succeeding, and stay focused. This mindfulness can greatly help you avoid injury.
Take Action: I’m not gonna lie to you and say that you won’t get injured doing Crossfit. There exists the possibility that it may occur, but the same can be said about any activity. People injure themselves in activities of daily life. However, we, as coaches and athletes alike, can take the necessary precautions to help prevent those occurrences as much as possible. An appropriate warm-up and cool-down goes a long way in injury prevention. That is their #1 purpose. Choosing an appropriate progression level for whatever movement you’re trying, and being mindful to put your body into the correct movement patterns and positions are all great ways to prevent injury, and keep you healthy and moving!
Mobilization and warming up is a key part to injury prevention
-Don’t be scared! Seriously. Crossfit is not a scary thing. New experiences are terrifying, but most of my best memories are from trying new things and putting myself into unfamiliar situations.
-Know that you are capable of doing it! All activity levels find a home at your local Crossfit Box. Our job as coaches is to get you moving in the most effective and fun way for YOU. Which brings me to my next point…
-Compete against yourself. A pretty popular training quote as of late is “Stronger Than Yesterday,” which basically means that you are competing against yourself to improve every day.
If you are ready to start your fitness journey, let us know!
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