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Fear is a reaction, courage is a decision.

I see fear pop up every day in classes, whether I’m teaching yoga, running, or anything in between.


The signs can be subtle, a change in facial expression, clenched toes and fingers, shoulders up around ears, looking around to see if others have come out of a pose or slowed down their pace, giving them the out to do the same.


They’re reacting to the discomfort they feel at that moment. Afraid of what might happen if they stay. And since many of us aren’t big fans of discomfort, we minimize our time in the reaction zone by staying in the comfort zone, where we all know nothing grows. It’s an endless loop.


What I often tell my students is to make the decision right now to stay in the discomfort when it comes, because it will come. Have the courage to make the choice now. Because once we’re in that place where things don’t feel good, all you’ll want is for it to end. You’ll come out of the pose. You’ll jump off the tread. You’ll fly.


The same is true, off the mat, or treadmill, as well.


Fear is the number one killer of dreams. It’s definitely killed a few of mine. The number of times I’ve taken things only so far as my comfort zone will allow is crazy. If only I’d had the courage from the beginning, making the decision to stay the course and see things through to the end.


Of course, the irony is that having the courage to stay in discomfort is the only way we grow. The only way we build our resiliency for the next class. The next project. The next anything.


So, when you find yourself about to do something hard, something guaranteed to make you uncomfortable either physically or mentally, or both, make the decision to see it through. Don’t wait.  Because fear will pop up and try to derail you. It always does.



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