Confidence Booster Series: Conquering Fear
“The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.” – Molière
This week’s focus is to confront some of the fear based stories we tell ourselves. I find fear to be an interesting thing. It’s definitely something we all can relate to. It often comes with strong physical side effects. You know the twisting and turning in your stomach at the mere thought of having to do something you dread.
I believe having a healthy amount of fear is necessary to survive. The problem arises when we allow fear to hold us back from experiencing our deepest desires or from being true to who we are.
I recently had the experience of immersing myself in a full on adventure, where the sole purpose was to come face to face with some of my greatest fears in the hopes I’d find the courage and agility to conquer them. I signed up for Tough Mudder in Whistler on a whim after my dear friend Angela convinced me to join her team.
For anyone not familiar with Tough Mudder, I definitely suggest looking it up on the internet as you will very quickly get an idea of the kind of intense physical challenge this 20 km obstacle course provides. It’s known as one of the toughest challenges in the world as it’s designed to test all around strength, stamina, mental grit and teamwork. Tough Mudder is hosted in various locations globally. They are huge advocates for teamwork and their mantra is that ‘it’s not a race’, it’s all about helping others around you and conquering fears. Tough Mudder is also a big supporter of the Wounded Warrior Project, whose mission is to honour and empower wounded warriors. Through their events and fundraising, Tough Mudder has raised over 6 million dollars for WWP.
I had been on the Tough Mudder website and was aware of what I was signing up for. Yet during the weeks and days leading up to the event, my fear began to grow into a giant monster. I found myself seriously questioning my sanity for signing up for this grueling day. My only comfort was in knowing that it isn’t mandatory to do all of the obstacles, so the ones I was really afraid of I could skip and still complete the course.
We had 16 amazing women on our team, only one of whom I knew going into it. We all immediately became bonded through our similar fear and excitement for the journey we were about to embark on. The drive to Olympic village was full of nervous energy and giggles. The MC gave an amazing speech at the start line that pumped us all up and set the stage for what became one of the most memorable and proud days of my life.
Our incredible team captain is a Tough Mudder veteran and most of us were first timers, so she very quickly took the lead to ensure we would stick together as a team and help one another through each obstacle. It was one of the craziest things I have ever intentionally put myself through, but it was also one of the most rewarding feelings I’ve ever experienced. Each obstacle and fear I faced gave me an immediate boost and seeing all of my teammate’s do the same was such an unreal feeling.
Witnessing the thousands of people out there on the course facing their fears created such amazing collective energy, it was so empowering. Everyone was helping and encouraging each other along the way. Our team finished muddy, uninjured, spent and completely elated.
On a personal level, I was so proud of myself for completing each of the obstacles, particularly the ones I thought I may skip. They were excruciatingly scary for me, and I felt shaky as I looked my fear in the face and jumped anyway. I knew there was no shame in skipping obstacles, being out there giving it your all is what it’s really about. It just felt like such an ideal opportunity for me to practice conquering fears. I knew in my heart that if I could overcome my fears on a physical level on a course like that, it would help me to apply this same mindset in my everyday life.
Moving forward, I know I’m still going to have fears in life and that taking chances and overcoming obstacles will not all of a sudden become easy just because I completed a challenging course, but it certainly provided me with a great foundation and reference point to take that initial leap of faith. I realized through facing my fears that they weren’t nearly as big or hard as the mammoth of a story I had told myself they would be. The reward on the other side of conquering my fears was the proof I needed that fear is only as big and real as we make it out to be.
So on that note, this week be honest with yourself and look at what some of your fears are and what support you may need to overcome them. Remind yourself that fear is a story we tell ourselves and when we turn to face it, we gain back our power to rewrite the story however we choose. Have fun and jump in with both feet.
Believe in Yourself – ❤ Emily
If you are interested in connecting to who you are on a deeper level, or if you would like to create a self-care and self-love practice — come on over and join our growing community within my E-Course, ‘Fall In Love With Your Life, One Week at a Time’. It is a chance to create your own life practice in a way that is meaningful to you.❤