Tag Archives: fears

Getting Help for Your Food Issues? You Are Courageous.

photo credit: it's oh so quite... (Denmark #5 Ry) via photopin (license)

We often feel alone in our struggles. Sharing with someone else can be scary but so worth it.  It takes courage.    photo credit: it’s oh so quite… (Denmark #5 Ry) via photopin (license)

We think of courage as bold overtures, soldiers storming into battle, a child bravely fighting cancer. Most of us hardly think of getting help for our eating “issues” as courageous.

To admit that you’re struggling in a big way to yourself is hard enough, but to vocalize (or even email it!) it to another feels a little like peeling off your skin and exposing your vulnerable insides to grave dangers. You’re not going to die from exposure, but for a moment it feels like you could. Putting it all out there – even to just one person puts us immediately on guard. We anticipate harsh judgements, embarrassment, ridicule even.

Why do we have so much fear sharing what’s really going on with us? Especially when you consider how much ridiculous shit we share online – with perfect strangers even!

The fear comes from the idea that we’re alone in it. We’re walking out into an abyss and no one else has a clue about it. That there is something wrong with us for having this problem – because everyone else seems ok. We think that we’re the only ones stuffing our faces, struggling to eat “normally” and revolting from our bodies. But the truth is, everyone has insecurities and stuff they are freaking out about inside. Maybe it’s not their food life or their body – it might be their marriage, it might be that they suffer from anxiety, maybe they feel like a total fraud at their job, maybe they have major social anxiety, the list can go on and on. Most of us keep it bottled up inside (unless you’re like me and you share way too much all of the time) – but we’re all hurting in some way and we all need someone to talk to. We all need to feel heard, understood, supported and most of all, not judged.

As hard as it is to suffer with an eating issue, it’s so hard to extend out our hands to get support. It may feel courageous to keep it inside and “handle it” ourselves but there really isn’t courage in that (at least in the long term). That’s based in fear. Fear of being seen as we really are – a complex imperfect human being!

Getting to the point where you finally reach out because you recognize that it’s actually even scarier to not seek help (and remain the same) takes immense courage. It takes guts. It takes a willingness to fall harder on your face than you already have. It is a risk.

But it’s one you have to take if you don’t want to feel this way anymore.

It takes so much courage to finally say, I need help, I’m stuck. I can’t do this on my own, I’m flailing, floundering and feeling fragile.

I talk a lot about what it takes to heal our relationships with food and loving our bodies and feeling our feelings. I talk about the need to take action and put things into practice instead of just wishing things were different but I don’t often acknowledge what it has taken the person who is in the process to even get to that point. That’s a whole journey in itself.

No one can tell you when you’ll get there, when you’ll be ready to get help, when enough is enough, but you. You’ll find that point someday where your quality of life is compromised enough that not getting help seems worse than sharing your struggles. To allay some of your fears, last time someone was brave enough to share with you something they were struggling with, how did you react? Did you make fun of them or tear them apart? Or did you let them know they were heard and understood? I’m guessing you may have seen yourself in them and said “Me too.”

If you have spoken up and are working to get better – with a coach, with a therapist, with a friend, with your journal, then you are courageous. You are fierce. You are strong. You are looking your fears directly in the face and saying “Is this all you’ve got?”, even if there are bumps along the way. You are brave.

If you’re not there yet, that’s ok. We’re all here for you and will be ready to listen when you are. I can’t wait for you to feel the relief that comes with being able to share your story with another person who gets it and who isn’t judging you. It’s like taking a deep breath by the ocean for the first time. It’s a big chunk of the healing just to get there. When you’re ready and want to talk, contact me.

When Opportunity Knocks, do you slam the door in it’s face?

photo credit: tres rosas amarillas via photopin cc

photo credit: tres rosas amarillas via photopin cc

When an opportunity comes up for you, whether it be social, spiritual, career or otherwise, how do you handle it? Do you have a healthy balance of accepting and declining opportunities?  Are you good about weighing the pros and cons before you decide on something? Or do you rely on a gut feeling?

Gut feelings are incredibly important but what if that gut feeling always tells you to say no? Is this you? It’s a pretty common occurrence. For some of us, the urge to say no becomes a problem because it prevents us from exploring potential. Undoubtedly, people who suffer with this problem are choosing “no” out of fear.

Fear of not being good enough.
Fear of meeting new people.
Fear of looking dumb.
Fear of being rejected.
Fear of _____________.

Did you know that most of our fears are only what we tell them to be? Read that again.Our fears are only what we tell them to be. Sure, some fears are legit, but there are many that are mostly the product of negative thoughts that have little basis in reality. What do you tell your fears to be?

I’ve noticed over the years that in the areas of my life that I felt confident in, my instinct was always “Yes! I’d love to!”, but that in areas where I had fear, my instinct was “say no! You can’t do that! You’re not smart enough, poised or outgoing enough (insert whatever negative thought comes up for you).”

But what about me made any of these things true?  Nothing. I have no proof of any of this.  These are all things I told myself (for whatever reason). Our fears are only what we tell them to be and I had been telling them that I’m afraid of opportunities that make me feel vulnerable, opportunities that will encourage growth or those that bring about change. My fears were often about putting myself out there (taking risks) because god forbid I’m successful and great at what I do – then what will I have to fear?

Here’s the thing: opportunity knocks.  Sometimes it knocks loudly. Other times it’s so soft that we don’t even realize there was a knock at the door until we see it walking away. And sometimes opportunity knocks and we slam the door in it’s face rudely.  How likely is it that opportunity will come back when we do that?  Not very likely.  If you want opportunity to keep appearing in your life, you need to be willing to invite it inside sometimes.

To encourage MORE opportunities in your life (and this can be in any area – love, work, health, friendship etc), you should say yes, sometimes, even when you are scared. Say yes and figure out the hows, whats and whys later.  If you absolutely have to back out  (it’s a possibility) but don’t lock the door until you even know what you are saying no to.

With every YES to opportunity, you are telling the universe that you are up for the challenge, that you trust yourself, that you will take good care of this precious chance.  And just like with almost anything else in life, when you prove that you are reliable, willing and deserving, stuff starts to fall into your lap – because you’ve earned it.  You can earn opportunity too.

The tricky stuff is figuring out if that instinctual NO reaction is a gut feeling that should be paid attention to (such as in cases that could lead to bodily harm or legal risks – true danger), if you just don’t have any interest in the opportunity or if it’s a fear based No reaction. Remember our fears are only what we tell them to be.  If a NO is coming up for you when opportunity knocks, why?  If you just don’t want to do something, that’s fine.  If taking the opportunity could land you in jail or would risk your life, a No is completely reasonable.  But if that No is coming up because you are afraid of falling flat on your face, looking foolish, being vulnerable or because of some other reason you are telling yourself, test the waters by saying yes. Deep down you know if you should give something a chance – try to listen to that voice and quiet down the others.

Part of the reason opportunity stops knocking when we ignore it is because we actually cease to even see it. Opportunity will stop looking for you and you’ll stop looking for it, because it is easier to give your fears power, than it is to dive in and see where life takes you. All you’ll see are the opportunities others are given, and wonder why you don’t have the same fortune.  But you do!!

So what, if you fall on your face?
So what, if you look foolish?
So what, if you are vulnerable?

Weigh the pros and cons of taking a risk.  You might find that cons list is made up of things that are in your head and aren’t even real.

What opportunities have come your way that you wish you hadn’t said no to? Why did you say no?

One way I open my life to opportunity are with small things: smiling when I don’t feel like it, saying hi when I don’t feel like it, saying yes to a lunch date or a business meeting when I’m feeling shy or awkward etc.  Those things aren’t specifically opportunity knocking, but consider them on the same plane as giving directions to your house to “opportunity”.  He or she might not show up, but at least they know where you live if they’re in the neighborhood.

Don’t let your fears about who you are or who you think you should be before taking something (or someone) on, prevent you from trying new things or meeting new people.

Growth can be terrifying and uncomfortable.  One thing I’ve learned over the last few years is that while nerve wracking, doing things that scare me (that deep down I know I want to do) actually starts to feel invigorating the more I do it.  I can feel scared and excited at the same time, but the excitement wins every time – because by taking chances, I’m teaching myself that the risk of looking foolish or falling on my face really isn’t as bad as sitting at home and hoping I someday have the life I want to have.

So please listen to your gut, but don’t be afraid to question it if it keeps putting out the same answer when there’s a knock at your door.

Now it’s your turn to share.  What is something you know you need or want to do but are scared about doing?  What are you worried about? Comment below or leave your response on my facebook page.  There is someone out there who also shares your fear and would benefit from hearing you share it!

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