Last night after a long evening at the gym I headed to the Jiu Jitsu school. Class started at seven thirty in the evening and it would be my first taste of a different type of class, a combat Jiu Jitsu class. Instead of the traditional drilling and rolling class based on the ground game, I’d be learning more self-defense with takedowns and striking. Training for a real life scenario if ever needed. When I arrived it was late and the usual crowd was gone for the evening. There were a few guys rolling and it was quiet. It seemed like nobody was going to stay and I didn’t want the instructor to have to stay for just me.
From the moment I walked in to the moment we started class I was overcome with a sense of fear, much like the first time I had gone to see what Jiu Jitsu was about. I was feeling fear because I wasn’t sure what to expect. When I got there I didn’t know any of the guys finishing up their workout. Were they going to stay? What’s the striking part of the class all about? Did I need my gloves? The questions rolled through my mind and the fear kept getting stronger.
As I sat there I consciously felt the fear and told myself to stop acting silly. It wasn’t my first time at the school and I knew I could handle anything that was thrown my way last night. The more I thought about it, the more I realized I was just experiencing a natural thing. Our body is programmed to feel fear. Feeling fear has been one of the most important things to keep the human race alive through our evolution. It was only natural.
I know many men and women who come to my gym filled with fear. You can see it in their eyes. You can sense it coming from their pores and the energy is definitely what many describe as a thin sheet of ice. Several women I’ve met have never returned because their visible fear must have gotten to their mindset. It happens. We all have that fear of the unknown. Men and women alike, when it comes to the gym, are afraid they can’t handle working out. Millions of Americans do not exercise because they’re afraid of what effort it’s going to take and they don’t want to experience failure, again.
Fear will take a strong hold around your neck when you over hype it. When you experience fear and continue to think about it over and over, you make it larger than it actually is. While being afraid of the gym is okay, the truth is there is nothing inside of it that is going to harm you. People are nicer than you know. They won’t laugh at you, they won’t bite you, and you won’t bother them by being a beginner either.
Fear is vital to your survival, yet the way you use fear can be under YOUR control. If you feel that your fears control your life, they will control your life. If you notice the fear, accept it, and begin to consciously handle it, that fear will not prevent you from achieving whatever it is you want to achieve. Stand tall in the face of fear and scream into it with the courage you have within your mind, heart and soul.