So this is a big topic for me.
I have realised as I have got older and become more self aware that I have always been a very fearful person.
I know most of this fear came from my parents and social conditioning but mainly in reflection I think a lot of it came from my mother (which is not her fault as this was fear she learnt from her own mother). My mother past away many years ago now and died at a young age so maybe she may have changed as she aged (I'll never know). Although she was an incredibly loving mother, her fears are now my fears and I am aware that sometimes it's her voice I hear in my head.
The fear as I was growing up was of pretty much everything - playing my cello or piano in public (and I loved playing) public speaking (even asking a question in class was pretty terrifying for me) and I had insane crazy fears around the machines in woodwork and the acid bath in metalwork still fills me with dread to this day (thanks to my teachers for that one!) This mental fear translated to physical fears too. I was never very good at sport, I was seen as a 'swot' and an 'nerdy academic type' at school. Being always last to be picked for the netball team every week did not exactly help my self belief. As a child I couldn't do a handstand, headstand, cartwheel or any of the things other kids did.
All that fear ... all those missed opportunities...
Then it all changed when I found a committed yoga practice. I became more confident not only in what my body could do but more confident at work and in everyday life.
BUT why should this be the case?
Yoga showed me I could push myself physically, go to the scary places and I actually didn't break and in fact it felt amazing! I still remember the first time I ever did a headstand (thanks to Lara Chandler) and how I just decided that day to be no longer afraid of it.
My yoga practice, alongside an increasing interest in spiritual and self development work has enabled me to feel much more empowered to take (calculated) risks in life.
I look back in amazement at the things I have achieved since starting my teacher training in early 2016. Taking that first brave step to train as a yoga teacher (despite my massive fears and limiting beliefs) has opened the door for me to step outside of my comfort zone in so many ways. Each new step I have taken away from fear and forward into hope has been a great experience. Sometimes not everything has quite worked out as I expected but I have learnt from the experiences and moved on.
Following my dharma, following my heart, not my 'conditioned' way of thinking and standing on the edge of a cliff feeling the fear and not letting it stop me has led me to have the most fulfilled three years of my life.
And hopefully soon I'll be brave enough to kick up into a handstand!!