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Friday, September 30, 2011

Is Fear Holding You Back?

Today I want to talk about fear and how it wiggles into our lives and encourages us to give up. For me, fear often shows up as stress. I'm stressed about this and stressed about that, but really I am afraid of those things. Did you know that often, the FEAR of something is more powerful and paralyzing than the ACTUALITY of the thing itself.  Fear is your subconscious wanting you to give up, the devil on your shoulder that says you're not good enough to succeed. You don't deserve more than this. Fear is the bully on the schoolyard of your mind. And if we let it, it can keep us from our true potential.

Do you avoid starting a diet, because you think you might fail? Why bother? Or don't try something new because you think you may look dumb trying? Do you not set new goals for yourself, because you already know you can't meet them?

Do you set your expectations of yourself (and those around you) low, so you won't be disappointed? Three years ago my News Years Resolution was to "Wear more jewelry" because I knew I could do that. The years' before resolutions of "Lose 20 lbs", well I knew I couldn't do that so why try again. But that year I proudly wore necklaces, bracelets and even a toe ring a few times and was proud I had stuck with it. Fear won that year, and I didn't even know it.

Do you not open a bill or listen to a voicemail, because you think it might be bad news? If you just don't hear or see it, it can't hurt you right? Do you avoid a person because you're are afraid of conflict? Or avoid letting people get too close, afraid they won't like the real you? Or call out other people's faults, before they have a chance to see yours?

Then fear, like Charlie Sheen on a bad day, is winning in your life.

I am struggling with fear right now, this very moment. Fear I've spread myself to thin, and let the people around me down. Fear I can't finish this race on Sunday and fear I can't manage my kids and household with my Husband on a long business trip. Fear that I don't look as good as that After photo.

So today I am recognizing that fear and calling it out by name. You don't own me. You're not going to control me. I CAN do these things, and I WILL do them well. I AM that women, no matter what the mirror or the scales say today. Move over fear, I'm about to pass you by...

You gotta love Stuart Smalley with his simple message about self acceptance. See, he listened to his own message and is a Senator now. A little humor always helps me in a tough situation and I hope if fear has a grip on you, that this helps you call it out too.


  1. Great post Amber. Remember, you're good enough, you're smart enough and people like you...to quote a certain someone. I struggle with those same sort of fears. I know I have too much on my plate, don't know how to get rid of some of it, don't want to let anyone down. I didn't recognize it as fear, but was just labeling it as stress. But I think the stress is a result of the fear that I am going to fail, or in some cases I am failing (not exactly setting any weight loss records!), and that I won't be able to live up to the high standards I've set for myself. Maybe recognizing it is the first step!

  2. I really needed this today. Thanks for your post!!

  3. Yes I think I am in the "don't try something new because you think you may look dumb trying" group. I have to say the older I get the less I care if I look dumb trying though, so that's something. Good post... it gets you thinking!

  4. I agree with Beth, I am at the age that I don't care if I look dumb:) Zumba Zumba!!!
    Fear of failure stalls a lot of lives:( Very good advice to persevere!

  5. I think that Fear has kept me back in a lot of things in my life. I hope that I am changing enough now that it no longer has the hold on me that it used to, but the only thing we can do is to keep doing the things that scare us! AcK! Thanks for the post!

  6. Fear = False Evidence Appearing Real

    Fear is when we are living in past or future.
    One needs to be present in the moment and fear will be replaced with gratitude.

    You will do fine on Sunday! Enjoy the experience and be thankful for two healthy legs to accomplish the run!

    I will join you (I hope) for the October challenge. I lost 6 pounds in 14 days and I have 3 more to go. Being on maintenance it is more challenging to lose 1 pound but it is nice to maintain the weight (up/down 2 pounds) overall. I think I will get more creative with FT meals. I have had the Asian Salad for a couple of nights and that is a good simple receipe. I plan to see how those raspberries pork chops turn out and the califlour crust pizza.

    Good luck!


  7. Great post Amber. Fear does control us sometimes, but if you do it anyways and get past it - you feel so great afterwards.
    I have a picture of me facing my fear that I'm gonna post later today. Check it out later.
    Have a great weekend :-)

  8. Great post. Within the last month when I started posting regularly on my blog & putting the links on facebook, my husband said, "aren't you afraid of failure...putting that link out there like that? What if you fail? What will people think?" Overall I'm not worried about failure. I may lose a few battles along the way, but I will win the war. Thanks for the post...I'm sure I'll need to refer back to it.

  9. I think that I have finally arrived at the "I dont care who knows that Im trying to lose weight". I used to never tell anyone that I was going to WW because I feared that if I failed & didnt lose or quit, that I would look like a loser. This time, I know in my heart that the race will be finished and I BELIEVE that I can do it! I think that has made the difference for me.
    Thanks for always sharing great wisdom with us. Good luck in the race! YOu will do great! You are a RUNNING BFC ROCKSTAR and NOTHING can stop you!!!!

  10. So glad this resonated with others as well! Age really opened my eyes to so much of this, but sometimes stress still gets the best of me.

    Going to bed early for the big race!!

  11. Such a great post Amber I really needed to hear it. I started the FT today and believe me the fear of failure set in. I am gonna take it one day at a time. Thanks so much for being so open.

  12. I have had the Belly Fat Cure book for over a year and have been following your blog off and on for about that long too. Fear is exactly what has held me back from diving right in. I fear that for some reason I will be the only one who has never had success with this diet. I fear giving up certain foods and beverages even though I know that they make me feel like crap. I just had my 39th birthday over the weekend, spent time with my family up in the mountains where I love to be. I am never in pictures because I am always the one taking them and I don't want to be. But it was my birthday so I was in a few. When I downloaded them on my computer I wanted to cry. I have been ignoring myself for so long I barely recognized myself in these pictures. I need to do this not just for me but for my three young daughters. I need to be a positive role model for them and let them see that I can do hard things and not let fear hold me back anymore. I just need some support. I am happy to read that you are doing the fast track again. I will follow right along with you. Not gonna lie though, I am a little scared.

  13. Oh my goodness did this post hit the nail on the HEAD! WOW! Even more ironically I just sent my friend a Stuart Smalley clip when we got into talking about fear and our lack of self esteem. I have been following you on Twitter and here on your blog for a few years now and I have seen your transformation and I love that you are real, share that you STILL struggle, and that you have kept going and haven't given up! I am sad to say that FEAR is a big reason for my not being where I want to be in my life. That and recent medical issues that have sabotaged the BFC and exercise for me on numerous occasions. It is fear of failing that has kept me from commiting 100%, when convenience wins out when it comes to the way I eat. UGGH! I am TOTALLY feeling what "Just Us" posted here before me as well! Photos, FORGET IT! I have deleted ALL photos taken by my family in recent years!
    Thank you for still remaining connected to all of us and being so inspirational in your success and set backs on the BFC. It means more than you know!
    Anyone want to email me about this feel free: