Ready to face your fear and take that leap of faith?

Imagine the scene. You are on a mountain, but you crave for a life on the one next to it – in between the neighbouring mountains is a crevice. Looking around at the surroundings you are currently in you realise that you are actually quite comfortable, you have a settled routine, your immediate environment is familiar to you. But it no longer excites you. You’ve heard good things about the other mountain, but will it be for you? Will you be happy there?

What will it take for you to jump across?

Maybe you’re waiting for something bad to happen where you are – something to help you realise you’ve nothing to lose by taking that leap. Well, let me tell you, this outcome is unlikely to occur. It’s all down to you and how you embrace the power of fear setting.

Making that decision to go for it will be scary – you wouldn’t be human if you didn’t feel some sort of discomfort making a big decision. Especially if that decision directs you to a place of the unknown.

Taking my usual exercise routine to the next level

Last weekend I found myself treading water in 16-degree water at the start line of the Chester Deva Triathlon. It was a surprise, even for me. I’d signed up at Christmas in a show of support to my sister in law, Kate, who wanted to take her triathlon experience from sprint level to Olympic.

I love getting out in the fresh air and exercising, you’ll often find me open water swimming – there’s nothing like it for feeling free. I also like to run and I sometimes even pop on a pair of lycra shorts and head off on my bike. From time to time I’ve even been know to put these three events together - and complete a triathlon, but always with meticulous planning around training, equipment and post race diet!

I had every intention of training, but for one reason or another that didn’t materialise. Some days I simply didn’t have the time, I nursed a cold for a few days and other days the weather just wasn’t fit. Needless to say, my training plan didn’t get past the starting blocks – it remained a plan, rather than become a reality.

Two weeks before the event I shared the news with Kate, and our fellow ‘training’ partner, Louise that I wouldn’t be joining them.

But I did do it. So, what changed my mind?

The afternoon before the big day Kate came to visit me. It was clear that she was excited about her triathlon, albeit a little apprehensive. Being prepared was the antidote to calming her nerves so we checked through her kit together. After gaining full marks for her kit inspection we walked into town to check out the location where the event was to take place. The atmosphere was amazing, and I began to wonder why I had made the decision not to take part in this local event with a community of people I’m so proud to be a part of?

Using a technique that Tim Ferrris in his TED Talk calls ‘fear setting’ and I use regularly with my clients I took a step back to consider what was really holding me back and preventing me from giving it a go?

I knew in my heart of hearts I was fit and strong enough to complete it, so what was it I was really afraid of? Was it showing myself up in front of others by not having the ‘right’ kit, letting myself down by not getting a great time, not exactly knowing what I was throwing myself into or was it a feeling of overwhelm?

Once I’d worked out what was stopping me, I took time to think about what I needed to do to overcome these obstacles?

This is what I came up with. I could borrow my husband’s wetsuit (yeah, it was a little big and I may not look quite the part, but really did that matter – would anyone even notice?), I could reduce my commitments for the following week and perhaps get a takeaway for tea. If I had trained I’d be able to get quite a good time, but surely what mattered was that I was there, not how quickly I did it?

And then I thought about the most powerful part of this exercise – what was I giving up by not giving it a go? The chance to be part of something in my local community, the opportunity to support and encourage my sister in law and my great friend, the chance to get that real feeling of being alive which comes when we push ourselves mentally and physically out of our comfort zone and into our stretch zone.

It was at that point that I knew I just had to do it.

It is better to do something I’d regret, than to regret something I didn’t do.

I finished! Slower, yes, but not by that much, which I put down to the power of mindset. The lack of training meant I had no expectations of myself and I enjoyed it much more than other races I’ve done before.

So, next time you are considering whether to take the leap or not, ask yourself these three questions. It works every time!

1. What is holding you back?

2. What can you do to remove these obstacles?

3. What are you giving up by not taking the leap?

P.S I just want to say that if you do plan to do a triathlon you will need to prepare physically – you can’t just rely on your mindset- you’ll end up with a few to many muscle strains! I run 15-20 km most weeks and a confident open water swimmer. I am advocating not to doubt the power of what you can achieve when you put your mind to it!

If you’re thinking of taking the leap into something new and would like some support to make that happen please get in touch.

Thoughts by Kathryn, Up+thrive Words by Amanda, Redwood Copy

If you’ve taken a leap of faith, let us know how it was for you in the comments below.

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If you or your organisation is looking for support we’d love to hear from you. Contact Kathryn to discuss your training/coaching needs, and Amanda to tell the world about it.