Overcome Fear and Live Confidently
Theresa Polley
February 28, 2019
September 6, 2023
Year of Self Care

I have to say (and I think all of our Retreat Leaders would agree with me) that one of the most rewarding parts of leading a retreat is watching the transformation that happens to the women who've joined for the weekend.

Most arrive on Friday exhausted, stressed and with an unspoken heaviness. But by Sunday morning, not only do guests look refreshed – 10 years younger if you ask me – but even better, they have a beaming smile on their faces. They're exuding love, and their energy is lighter. I call it the Yoga Retreat makeover!

I've noticed that this change is most evident in the women who show up as their authentic selves and actively engage with one another, especially those they've met for the first time. I've struggled with being my authentic self many times because of fear. But, I've found my confidence is the strongest when I deliberately venture out of my comfort zone. When I get uncomfortable, survive and even flourish, I feel more confident. And I know you can overcome your fears, too.

Overcome Fear and Live Confidently

1. Accept Yourself 

Fully accept yourself for who you are. Not who someone in your life tells you, you SHOULD be. Not even who you think you should be. You are beautifully and uniquely you, just as you are right now. If you struggle with connecting with the real you. Try the following exercises:

  • Find a journal; it can be used or new as long as there are blank pages.
  • Write down 20 things that are great about YOU. Add to this list as often as you can.
  • Keep a journal of thoughts you have about yourself. Identify the self-sabotaging ones, and when you notice them, write or re-write something you like about yourself. 
  • Make a list of things you love and dislike –  in your life and in the world at large. Add to this list and move items around as you need.

After my divorce, I struggled with my identity. I had lived my life according to what my ex-husband wanted. I had pushed my true self down deep and stifled my wants and desires. When I did these exercises, it helped me to discern the "me" I'd always been, but had lost touch with. When I embraced the "new me," it was powerful. It was the first step to overcoming so many of my fears - being a single mom, financial concerns and being alone - and it is exactly how I got to where I am today.

Once you discover "You," be you. Without apology. Every day. All the time.

2. Find Gratitude for Your Journey

Look back at your journey. The good, the bad and the ugly. Take a moment to acknowledge you are where you are today because of your choices over the years. Maybe some decisions led you down a path of darkness. Acknowledge what you've learned and what you'd do or are doing differently. Identify times you felt compelled to go one way, but you chose to go another for financial, romantic or any other reason. Find gratitude for the choices that you've made, even if they led to a paniful lessons.

3. Trust Your Intuition

Intuition isn't some pseudoscience; it's actual science. It is the brain on autopilot, using past experiences and cumulative knowledge to make a decision. Often it's ignored in favor of "thinking through" a problem. Once you discover your intuition, commit to trusting it. Your mind and body have already done the "thinking through" for you.

I've had moments of intuition so intense it was a physical reaction. And I hate to say there were times I completely ignored that intuitive feeling and rationalized it away. I'm here to tell you, those times didn't go so well.

Now when my intuition speaks, I listen. I become still and quiet, close my eyes and let go of all physical distractions. Then I can discern what my intuition is versus my overactive imagination.

4. Identify Your Fears

Make a list of your fears. The ones that scare the crap out of you, the ones that may seem silly and irrational. There's no way to overcome fear if you're not precisely aware of what you're afraid of. There's usually a reason for fear; maybe you can even identify the source by journaling or with the help of a trusted counselor.

5. Get out of your Comfort Zone

Start small. Put yourself in (safe) situations where you feel slightly uncomfortable and work your way up. Don't judge your immediate reaction; give yourself time and space to sit with the discomfort. If you feel like running away or leaving, see if you can stay a little bit longer. Learning to thrive outside of your comfort zone is like strengthening your biceps – the more you train, the stronger you become.

6. Take Baby Steps

Nothing is accomplished in a day or a week, or even a year! Give yourself time to overcome the fears that have been holding you back. Start by setting a long-term goal and then breaking that down into achievable steps to getting there.

You Can Overcome Fear and Live Confidently

Overcoming fear is certainly not easy. By intentionally putting yourself in a challenging and uncomfortable situation, I think you'll find that you're not just surviving, but thriving. It builds your confidence and allows your fears to become a little bit less until they disappear. Thriving outside of your comfort zone is the key to so much. 

Are you ready to take the first step? Step into the unknown by joining us for a retreat, maybe even solo, and see what happens. We can't wait to see your transformation.

This blog is intended to provide helpful suggestions for self care and overall well-being. I am not a mental health professional. If you’re struggling I encourage you to seek the help of a professional. Find a Mental Health Professional | National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: Dial 988

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Theresa Polley

Theresa believes ALL women have the right to live life on their own terms. In 2004, she created Retreat in the Pines to give women a safe space to be their authentic selves without apology while finding the healing and renewal they deserve.

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