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3 Simple Steps to Overcome Fear

3 Simple Steps to Overcome Fear

Why do you get scared? Why are you afraid to pursue goals, dreams, ambitions, or personal challenges?

Fear can get in the way of some pretty remarkable achievements. It can keep you from getting married because you’re afraid of commitment, it can keep you from starting your own business because you’re afraid you won’t be able to support yourself or your family. Fear can even keep you from losing weight – what if the effort you put into it doesn’t produce the results you expect?

Fear can keep you from knocking off things on your Limitless list and living a life full of amazing experiences.

Why are you scared?

It’s important to recognize fear for what it really is. It’s simply the association of an event with a negative outcome. So for example if you have always thought about bungee jumping but have yet to do it, it is most likely due to the fixation on some sort of negative expectation of the event. Maybe possibly getting hurt for example.

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If you have always wanted to start your own business you may be overly focused on not being able to make enough money to support yourself, or the hard work that it actually takes.

The same can be true if you have been struggling with your health and wellness. Often the fear of getting started, the hard work it takes, or the fear of not being able to keep the weight off can get in the way.

Turning your back on fear

Trying to avoid fear or to convince yourself to have “no fear” is a mistake. Fear is not going anywhere anytime soon. It will always be there. But don’t spend too much time dwelling on it. Quickly recognize it, exchange pleasantries, and move on.

Plan: Here is a quote I try to live by “Counting on luck is counting on random chance; your odds are better when you plan and work.”

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How fantastic is that? The best plan of attack when dealing with fear is to plan for it. What is the next big challenge you’ve been thinking about undertaking? Ask yourself why you are afraid and plan for it. When I left my job a few months ago to pursue coaching full-time my personal finances were a big concern.

Instead of concentrating on how much money you need to earn look instead at where you can cut what you’re currently spending.

  • Any memberships you don’t use?
  • Cut cable?
  • Sell some old stuff?
  • Get rid of the car?
  • Lower your insurance premiums?
  • Buying coffee everyday? Busted :)
  • Buy generic products instead of name brands
  • Brown bag a healthy lunch as opposed to going out all the time

Maybe your big challenge has nothing to do with money as a root fear. Start thinking about what is causing that fear in you. Address it and plan for it. Need some help figuring out a plan? Post in comments in I’ll help you out.

Focus on the positive outcomes: I touched on it earlier but it is important to repeat it. The negative expectations associated with any event are the heart of what keeps you from accomplishing that which you want most. Although it’s important to recognize those possible negative outcomes so that you can plan, once that step has been taken, it’s important to place your focus on the possible positive outcomes that you want to experience.

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By concentrating on the good, you are much more likely to stay encouraged and motivated. A great way you can stay focused on the positive is to keep track. Keep an achievement journal each month. If weight loss is your goal, track your progress each week my taking body measurements, hopping on the scale, or getting a body fat test done.

Another great way to focus on the positive is to keep track of your behaviors. Are you acting in a manner that is getting you closer to your goals? Buying healthy groceries and avoiding the junk? Prepping healthy meals the night before so they are ready to roll the next day? Waking up a bit earlier to get in a 30-minute run?

Results are not always measurable right away but the behaviors that lead to those results are.

Review the log at the end of the month and see how you did? Where did you struggle and what might you be able to do this upcoming month to improve upon those things?

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Practice, Practice, Practice: Most of us are not naturally remarkable at things right away. If you are one of those people… I hate you. Learning new skills takes practice. Like shooting a basketball, playing the guitar, or weight training – They are each difficult in their own way and it takes time to learn how to do them properly.

So practice being courageous by taking on smaller fears. Make a list of all the things that scare the heebie-jeebies out of you. Review the list and pick the one of them that freaks you out the least. Now go for it! Build upon that success and take on something that scares you a little bit more.

What you’re doing here is training your courage muscle. Just like weight training to build lean muscle or going on a run to prepare for a marathon, you’re training yourself to get stronger. How neat is that?

Now act

We’re all scared of something. Some of those fears are big, some are small, and some may even seem silly. Regardless they are real and probably not going anywhere anytime soon. So ask, what is something you can do right now that will get you one step closer to tackling your fear?

Take that step. Time is ticking…

Featured photo credit:  Mysterious woman pulls the blinds apart via Shutterstock

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Justin Miller

Healthy Lifestyle Architect

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Last Updated on August 15, 2018

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

Video Summary

Why is it important to train up our core strength?

There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

One Exercise, multiple benefits

There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

What will happen when you start doing planks every day

    1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

    Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

    • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
    • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
    • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
    • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

    2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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      Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

      Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

      3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

        Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

        4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

          Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

          A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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          A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

          On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

          5. You’ll improve overall balance

            Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

            6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

              Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

              7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                How to hold a plank position

                1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                  How to improve your plank time gradually

                  1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                  2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                  3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                  Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                  Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                  You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                  • Prolapse
                  • After prolapse surgery
                  • Pelvic pain conditions
                  • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                  • Previous childbirth
                  • Overweight

                  Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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