Can fear of change be a barrier to improving fitness levels?

Absolutely! Fear becomes an obstacle in every person’s life at some point. The key is to understand what fear really is, what may be causing fear in your life and how to manage it. In Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now”, he reminds the reader that as long as you are present (live in the moment), fear cannot exist. Fear only exists in the unknown. You are only capable of dealing with the here and now – what is present in this very moment. It is truly impossible to deal with something that hasn’t happened yet. Life becomes simplified when we remember this simple rule. When I begin to feel fear, I remind myself to stay present. What am I faced with at this very moment?

Fear of change is our mind’s way of projecting a situation that has not yet happened….the unknown.

It's human nature to resist change. Fear of change can be a big deterrent to improving your fitness levels. Many people know they are out of shape or have unhealthy habits, yet after years of conditioning they have become comfortable with where they are at. Some people complain about their situation, yet they are often content in their comfort zone even if their situation is miserable since it is so familiar to them. This concept also applies to other areas of life where we know we need to change.

Many times people begin to make progress towards their fitness goals, but they get scared of the unknown and are guilty of self sabotage. That is one reason why it is beneficial to have a trainer, mentor, or friend to help you whenever you make lifestyle changes that cause you to leave your comfort zone. With enough practice, repetition, and support, the new healthy habits you adopt can become second nature.

Really many things can be a barrier to having you improve your fitness goals.  Fear is one of our greatest downfalls.  People fear the unknown.  Sometimes conquering fear is a very hard thing to do but very rewarding when you do.  One thing you want to look at is why you fear it.  You must first understand the problem before you can find a solution.  Most things in life have a positive outcome.  Your health is no different.  Really no one should fear fitness at all.  Working out and making your body healthy has nothing but positive benefits.  Improving your heart, losing weight and body fat, increasing your mood, improving your muscle for a better metabolism are just a few things that are positive about fitness.  Fear only comes because people are afraid that they will fail at their attempts.  If you surround yourself with positive people like friends, family and fitness professionals that will help motivate you, guide you and keep you accountable you will never fear anything.

Yes, fear of change can keep you from improving your fitness levels especially if you are embarking on a fitness program for the first time. Improving fitness is a lifestyle change, and these are never easy. Moving out of our comfort zone and away from the status quo can be difficult and even more so when you believe that the change will bring discomfort and pain. In order to overcome this fear, you must change your mindset and focus on the positive impacts that change will bring. You can use positive affirmations as mental reinforcements and repeat them daily. Think about the positive results of your change as being greater than the potential discomfort you might feel. The more you see change as an opportunity to grow and thrive, the more likely you will be open to it. It may also help to start slowly and set periodic, attainable goals. This will allow you to ease into the lifestyle change. Remember, the important part about lifestyle changes is that they will only work if they become a permanent fixture. It can be easy to become overwhelmed if you move too quickly and drastically. Progressing methodically might make it easier to permanently integrate components of a fitness program into your life. Remember, these changes do not happen overnight, but they can start overnight.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.