Yikes to oh yay!
Your fear is a valid emotion. You need it on board to protect you when something out there is threatening your wellbeing. But most of your fears are of the unknown. You feel the fear when you start a new job or relationship. Go someplace unfamiliar, try something new, walk into a room full of strangers — to speak to them as the expert.
That’s where I find myself right at the moment. I’m about to speak to a room full of my peers at The Symposium for Yoga Therapy and Research (SYTAR). It’s coming up fast and as it approaches I can feel myself starting to get little jabs of fear. First, I do want to say that I’m honored to teach at this event. I’m thrilled at the prospect of sharing something I love to others that are equally as interested in it.
The fear jabs began to poke through my thrill and honor when I heard that my session was full. I’m super happy about that and I know that means I will be presenting to a room full of people — seeing me, listening to me, following my instructions, and maybe– just maybe judging me.
Now, I’ve been teaching Yoga Therapy for thirty years. I’m super confident in what I do and how I do it. It’s that I’m now going to be seen by a room full of people who do the same thing I do. So, I’m making up that they’ll be more judgmental than my students and clients.
I really don’t know that to be true but my rational mind is not who’s afraid here. It’s my childhood wounded self who wants to know that she’s liked by everyone. She’s looking out in front of that audience that doesn’t even exist yet and seeing hecklers.
My first response to this immature part of myself is to attempt to make my presentation perfect so no one can find anything to criticize. Followed rapidly by a calmer more mature voice inside that says, “How exciting!”
In a Huffington Post article, Laura Huckabee- Jennings says, Fortunately, as modern humans we have the knowledge and power to change our responses and thinking about what is happening to us, and shift fear to excitement. When you choose to ride a rollercoaster, you may encounter fear, excitement, or both. The chemical release in our bodies is the same. So what changes fear and anxiety into excitement and anticipation? The chemicals themselves only have meaning when we notice the sensation and then give it a name. And then we might associate that feeling with previous experiences-both good and bad. It is this pattern of thought after the initial rush of adrenaline that creates fear, or excitement. This is the point at which you can begin to change your emotional experience of the situation and what you do next.
Here’s how I’m turning my fear into excitement
- Say to myself — I’m excited
- Use my extra energy to mentally and physically prepare and practice my presentation
- Get my support team ready to be there for me if I need them
- Make a plan to do my normal morning routine on the day of the presentation. I’ll drink warm lemon water, read something inspirational, do my movement practice, and drink a smoothie
- Practice the warrior series I’m giving you in this week’s Ageless Movement Practice right before I present
- As the audience files in, I’ll visualize them as joy-filled little children about eight years old
- Hold the bottom of my exhalations to the mantra of let go
- Release all expectations
- Have fun
I wrote this before the event. It’s over now. I did my fear to excitement plan and rocked my presentation!!
This week’s Ageless Movement Practice will help you breathe and move from fear to excitement. It’s the warrior series practice to guide you from whatever you fear to take on your life as an exciting adventure.
As Robert Heller says, Fear is excitement without breath.
Get your warrior on with this simple move
Warrior I — Open Your Heart
From standing, take Warrior One by stepping the right foot back until your heel becomes light. The feet stay inner hip-width apart. Press the outer edge of your heels into the floor, keeping the feet parallel. Bend your front knee over your
ankle. Drop your tail and sacrum toward the floor.
Exhale both arms overhead, bending the elbows as if you’re being held up. Inhale, squeeze your scapula together opening the heart. Exhale, drop your tail, inhale, open your heart and keep going.
Switch sides when ready.
Let me know in the comments below what you need to move from fear to excitement in your life!