It’s no secret that change can be scary. While we know it’s necessary to move forward, the journey can be challenging. “Some of us are more resistant to change while others embrace it,” says Peloton Instructor Rebecca Kennedy. “There are plenty of changes we go through that we don’t actively seek out but the ones we choose to take on are equally, if not more, important because it implies you are seeking growth.” Rebecca recalls a time while growing up where she was afraid of accomplishing something new at gymnastics practice. “I was mentally paralyzed to tumble backwards,” says Rebecca. But with some help from her mom and the courage to step outside her comfort zone, Rebecca finally conquered this fear but not without learning some valuable lessons along the way–lessons that she still refers back to during challenges she faces today. If you’re working on committing yourself to something courageous, use this helpful guide below that Rebecca uses whenever she’s about to make a change.
1.) Figure out where your fear is rooted
The most important step in conquering a fear is taking the time to address exactly what it is making you afraid–if you can’t identify it, how can you conquer it? “Determine whether your fears are based in logic, logistics, or emotion,” says Rebecca. “Write a list and detail each item out.” This list will help you figure out where your fears fall considering these three sections. “If the fear is that you may fail and you’ll be judged and embarrassed by your peers, know that this type of fear is rooted in emotion and is not a reason not to try something,” says Rebecca. “If the fear is that you may not have the ability to make new friends when you move, know that this fear is rooted in logistics and is something you can get ahead of,” she says. And sometimes you’re faced with logical fears–something like buying a home or starting a business. “Come as prepared as you can to the decision table and know every factor but give yourself the opportunity to succeed if that dream is worth it to you.”
2.) Visualize It
“Visualization is a critical part of the process,” says Rebecca. “It’s another way to instill confidence and align your thoughts with actions before they physically happen–become more detailed with how the process looks and feels from start to finish.” The best part? Your visualization practice can be done anywhere you are so you can practice as much as you can. “It acts as a sort of meditation but you should do it when you’re in a comfortable safe place without any expectations to then facing your fear immediately after,” says Rebecca. “The practice of this is important–the more you can add it in, the more likely you are able to work through the fear and eliminate the reasons behind it.”
3.) Consider the Cost
“One question I always ask myself is, ‘is the thing you want to do, regardless of fear, worth that much to you that no fear could stand in your way?,’” says Rebecca. “If not, then your fears are worth more than your dreams.” She encourages you to really weigh out how you feel about a situation and the real risks involved. “In other words, you’d rather not go for your dreams in order to save face–only in the case you don’t succeed–not realizing there’s still the other positive side of the option of trying and succeeding,” says Rebecca. “So ask yourself, is it worth trying and succeeding and potentially failing or not trying at all?”
Rebecca reminds us that making a change is always your choice. “The life I have right now, is the one I created–a culmination of every decision I’ve made thus far,” she says. “If you’re looking to make a change but are afraid to, I implore you to go for it–don’t wait for the right time or a sign–trust yourself enough that you’ll be ok.” And if you fail? Know that you at least went for it and gained more courage and confidence for the next challenge ahead says Rebecca. “Develop your character–even the best warriors get hit and knocked down, but they never give up.”