September 8, 2013

From Chicken Sh*t to Badass in 5 Easy Steps.

Five ways to become a fearless badass.

We’ve all experienced it.

Feelings of butterflies in your stomach, goosebumps on your flesh, and a racing heartbeat,  The feeling that you are going to pass out. These feelings are all physical manifestations of fear.

When we fail to overcome our fears we may also develop emotional reactions such as anxiety and a feeling of powerlessness, which can lead to depression. We have the power to change that!

When we can’t understand or move past our fear, we limit our choices and experiences…ultimately, we live a smaller life.

Here are some tips to take you from chicken sh*t to badass! You can do this.

1. What makes you scared? Fear is a natural response meant to keep you safe from danger. It’s up to you to define that fear and decide how much danger really exists.

Are your fears realistic?  Are your fears even your own? Or are your fears derived from old messages you have heard from others in your life?

Fear-mongering is a tactic used by others to keep you from moving forward in your life.

You can overcome that fear. If you have never been on skis before and you’re at the top of a black diamond run, you should listen to that fear and find the bunny hills. Start slow, practice, and build your confidence, and before you know you can be a black diamond, badass skier! We all have to start somewhere

2. Feel the fear and do it anyway! That’s my motto and I live it daily! Remember all those ‘firsts’ in your life that had you secretly petrified? Think of things like your first date, the first day of high school, or your first job interview? Remember how scared you were? You did them anyway though, right?

Doing things that scare you can make you powerful when you succeed. Believe you will triumph and you will…in the most unexpected ways!

3. Pranayama—Just breathe and breathe some more. People say it works and I found that it totally does—go figure! You had the power within you all the time. One of the things that I have learned from yoga, and am most thankful for, is the ability to control my reaction to a situation by focusing on my breath.

When I’m becoming angry, overwhelmed, or even scared, I take long, deep, and slow breaths. This settles my “fight or flight” response and allows me to fully take in the situation and find the appropriate response.

It still amazes me that something we do constantly, often without thinking about it, is so powerful. I know that I am not saying anything new and I am not perfect when it comes to not holding my breath in difficult situations. Now I am certainly more conscious of it and take the time to step back and breathe.

 4. Visualize. Take a moment to create your own reality around a difficult situation. Sometimes I like to live in my own reality. It can be a lot of fun pretending I am the king of the world. I can always create my own ending.

Your fear may be triggered by an upcoming event, like a dentist appointment or a public speaking engagement. It is time to tackle head-on.

When you feel the fear and anxiety coming, acknowledge those feelings and vividly imagine the best outcome. See the people in the audience smiling and nodding in agreement with every word you say. Imagine the dentist saying, “Okay, we are all done,” and thinking “Wow, that was no big deal at all.”

You can say to yourself “Actually I handled the event like a badass”—yep, a bonafide badass.

5. “Aware” technique. Just do it. This is a clinically proven way to work through your fears and anxieties.

A—Acknowledge the anxiety. Don’t try to fight it. Ask yourself why am I anxious.

WWatch the anxious feelings. Just like when you are meditating. Acknowledge the feelings but don’t judge it or feed them.

AAwareness: be conscious of the action. Carry on as if it is not happening. Panic will soon “get bored” and move on.

RRepeat the above steps until you start to relax again.

EExpect it will pass. It will more quickly the more times you practice this.

The key to a more skillfully led life lies in your hands and your hands alone. Step up to the plate (or onto your mat), become the master of your destiny and your fears.  Go ahead and live the life of badass!

How will you become fearless?

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