“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit at home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”

– Dale Carnegie

Going out, taking action, and making the first step is HUGE. How do you expect to trust in your abilities if you are sitting on the couch being scared of exercise? Being active in the moment (even if that is “failing”) brings you one step closer than when you were doing nothing…surprisingly you soon get to the point where you say, “hey, I’m actually capable of more than I realized”.

Fear arises from situations that could yield failure, suffering, success, isolation, foolishness, disapproval, etc. Fear of exercise makes sense, for years and years it’s promoted survival! Nowadays you may not be concerned with running from lions, but while the stimuli has changed it still serves the same purpose. Instead of fighting for our lives it’s now a spot on the podium or a job at an office. Fear is a natural response, it should be welcomed, appreciated, accepted…and it’s OK to feel…what we’re concerned about is how it’s originating.

DOUBT.

Most times people have fear of exercise and doubt when venturing into something new, uncomfortable, or with previously undesirable effects – it’s to protect us from getting hurt…but these are often exaggerated and acquired by expectations based on our experiences.

So how do we dissipate fear? How do we approach the next step with vitality, reassurance, excitement, and purpose?

We banish doubt. 

“Fear dissipates when doubt is banished” 

It’s easy to go with what’s comfortable, accept defeat, or live in fear of exercise where we don’t need to take action, but that fosters a life of inaction, stagnation and lack of purpose. To banish doubt you must TAKE ACTION – be willing to forego security and stability to step into the unknown and take a risk.

Everything you do produces a result – no matter the place, time or position – it’s what you do with those results that counts! Eradicate fear by knowing you have it what is takes. Results (no matter the outcome) yield experience and knowledge that enable growth. As soon as you acquire the 100% trust in your ability and an unshakable belief, the idea of possessing even the smallest ounce of doubt is long gone. You’re ready and soon won’t be able to think otherwise.

Taking action can be reflection, it can be going out and creating something tangible, or preparing for the future. Various methods exist to build the courage and confidence in yourself to tap into your potential. Realizing you CAN do what you are capable of given your particular skills, at a certain time and under certain conditions is empowering and enables us the strength rise to the challenge (and even seek them!).

Stop doubting and start living! 

1. Get out there! Experience! Internalize the good! Performing and gaining experience prepares you to be better it. No matter the outcome..switch your mentality to not see it as failure but GROWTH that prepares you for the future. Practice that speech for you presentation, nail your 3-pointers…it’s easier to focus on the reasons we will fail than all the reasons we are ready so log all these steps you’re take toward being better and think back to them!

2. Expose yourself to others overcoming similar challenges. This will transform the expectations you see in yourself. Finding these positive outcomes in those with shared commonalities and experiences enables us with the understanding we can achieve the same thing! #inspired. Surround yourself with people who are striving to bump up the weight at gym, overcoming an injury or ending world hunger too – follow those people doing great things that you want to achieve as well!

3. Simply DREAM IT! Think about the times you rocked out, draw a picture of the future, visualize the game winning shot.

4. Pep talks! Keep reading these newsletters 🙂 we are influenced by what others say about us and believe for us. Encourage others to explore and challenge themselves as well.

5. Our physiological and emotional state can easily put us out-of-whack. A broken pencil is now a life-ending tragedy. Lack of sleep, nutritious food and physical activity has the power to completely alter our perception and ability to process a situation. Increased fatigue and decreased cognition is not what we want…stay up on sleep, pack your plate with colors, and stay moving. Put yourself in the position to be the best you.

Feel confident, ready and fueled with a purpose to go out and conquer the week! Have unshakable belief! Bandura stated, “People see the extraordinary feats of others but not the unwavering commitment and countless hours of perseverant effort that produced them”. Focus on the possibilities…not the limitations!

What are you doing to prepare, take action and propel with readiness to produce the desirable outcomes? Are you practicing, taking risks, or believing?

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Written by Amanda Presgraves. Amanda is a senior Kinesiology major, Division I student-athlete and entrepreneur at James Madison University. As an advocate of health and personal growth, she’s on a constant pursuit to optimize life and inspire others through her commitment to healthy living. If you can’t find Amanda bouncing between the classroom, pool, kitchen, or volunteering, you can find her online as she continues to lead and motivate others towards a happier and improved life at COR through her article contributions, newsletters and community motivation. @amandapgraves, amanda.presgraves@gmail.comlinkedin.