Starting takes guts.
Whether it's rolling out a yoga mat for the first time, creating your first piece of art, traveling somewhere new or learning a new skill; there is something magical and terrifying about trying something for the first time.
Often, even as you begin to contemplate a change, the voices inside start up, whispering things like: “What if you're terrible? What if you don't fit in? What if you fail and waste your time and $?”
While seemingly reasonable, those arguments are just fear. . .Fear of the unknown (and why is it that we default to assuming the worst? Isn't it just as possible that you'll be amazing and have a wonderful time?). . . Fear of failing. . . Fear of looking stupid and being laughed at . . . Fear of proving what you secretly believe to be true - that you're not enough.
Fear is an interesting companion. It lights up the same centers in the brain as excitement. It points out that something is important and you'd better pay attention.
If it didn't matter to you; if it didn't light up some part of you; you wouldn't fear it.
So rather than running from the fear; let it accompany you on your journey (just don't let it take the driver's seat).
The truth is, you can be afraid - terrified even - and still show up.
You might be terrible at first. You may fall. You may fail.
Then you won’t.
Then you might just be magnificent.
In that order.
Life is filled with opportunities and if you are too worried about failing or making a mess, either in your head or physically, you will be limited in your possibilities and in the evolution of your spirit.
Learning isn't meant to be a neat easy process. Would you really dedicate yourself to pursuing a hobby that you mastered in your first attempt? No way!
Falling, failing, making a giant mess is a crucial part of learning and if you allow it to be, it can also be a lot of fun.
In my pursuit of pulling off an Instagram worthy handstand, I've attempted hundreds of times (most often with a wall behind me for support - there's no shame in supporting yourself while practicing new things). I've managed the smooth effortless kick up and perfect balance a handful of times. I've wobbled, toppled and spectacularly failed numerous more times. Some days it's easy. Some days it feels impossible. But I keep trying. . . and slowly but surely I get better.
Yet ultimately, the journey towards handstand is less about mastering a yoga trick and more about learning that I am capable of things beyond the limitations I've accepted for myself. It's about the experiences and laughs I've had along the way, shared with amazing people I would never had known had I allowed my fear to keep me safe and small.
Ready to make 2018 the year you dare to try, to make messes, to risk looking ridiculous for the sake of lighting up your spirit?
Was that a yes? Awesome!
Where to begin?
Ask yourself . . . What is it that your spirit is asking for? More creativity? More movement? Greater peace of mind? Community? What lights you up?
What's that thing that you keep meaning to try?
Start there. Find something that brings in more of what you want in your life.
Feel the fear. Get your breath big and give it a try. Then try again.
Start small if you must but start.
Find someone to support and occasionally laugh with you and be willing to be uncool, uncoordinated and even ridiculous. You're only a beginner once . . . why not enjoy it?