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The Second Step is Often Less Terrifying than the First

Hey there, fear. I see you trying to stop me from taking steps forward.

Have you ever felt like your feet were stuck in invisible mud? Like your heart was trying to move, but your body couldn't physically complete the task?

And if you wait until you no longer feel fear, will it be too late? Will your fear keep you so stuck that you miss the window?

But I have come to realize that it does not serve the second step to give all of the attention to the first step. There is more.

  • First step: you did something that you were afraid to do.

  • Second step: you keep moving forward into the fear.

It is the moment of standing at the base of an escalator, waiting for the right moment to step on. In my experience, if this step doesn't feel like the right one to approach it might be best to wait for the next one. On an escalator there is always another opportunity. Then you can step forward with confidence, as you rise slowly and gracefully.

(To be clear, I am speaking specifically about fear of trying something new, or reoccurring fear. Not fear for my safety, or feeling like I might be in a dangerous position. That is completely different.)

And we can translate that to our physical yoga practice by trying new postures, new transitions, new flows, new classes. We can lean into fear on our mat by receiving feedback with gratitude, by deepening our understanding of postures and staying vulnerable. When we can summon courage on our mat we create pathways to access that same courage off of our mat.

Perhaps while standing at the base of an escalator. Or maybe standing in the dark wings as we await our turn to go on stage.

Here is something that I am thinking about: Maybe that feeling never stops showing up. Maybe for the rest of my life I am terrified to try new things. MAYBE the growth comes in the moments after the realization of fear.

I see you, fear. I know you. And you will not stop me from stepping forward.

I will step forward, I will step into fear

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