5 Ways to Beat Fear of New Challenges

I was thinking today about a new challenge coming up in my life. I am beginning a PhD program and for all my excitement I began to feel a bit scared. First it started with small, subtle, and simple doubts. Then it grew into a bigger voice telling me I would never be able to finish this program & I was crazy for thinking I could. I did what I usually do when doubts creep in – I kicked them out. I realized not everyone (including me) can do this all the time and sometimes we need reminders that we are stronger than our doubts. Here are 5 things you can do to let go of fear and move forward in your life today.

1) Make a list of all the ways you can accomplish this goal and the strengths you bring to the table already. Then find ways to learn the ones you still need.

2) Find quality support people – look outside your family and close friends if needed or to a professional if necessary.

3) Tackle it one step at a time. We often make challenges “larger than life” and therefore never tackle them at all. Break it down into bite sized pieces.

4) Understand life gives us what we can handle and no more. Even when it seems so overwhelming remind yourself if you follow number 3 – YOU CAN DO IT.


5) Have faith, understanding, and compassion for yourself and in yourself as you attempt challenges in your life.

Believe you can and you will – Believe you won’t and guess what … you won’t. Tackle any life challenge with confidence by following the above simple guidelines, maybe add some of your own, and don’t shy away from your big goals anymore! One foot in front of the other finishes the race 

Hiring a Personal Trainer

Interested in reaching your fitness goals? You look to your health care professional when you are sick so why shouldn’t you look for a personal trainer when you want a certain fitness level? They are the professionals in accomplishing fitness goals. They know the tricks, the methods, and the protocols to get you where you want to be – physically. So don’t pass them by thinking they are a luxury.

Take control of your life, ask for help, and reach your fitness goals! Here are some things to look for when you are hiring a personal trainer. 6 Things to look for when finding a personal trainer:

  1. Background – look for someone with a recognized certification, experience, and education. Does their area of specialty and interest match your goals.
  2. Education – Certifications, workshops, and continuing education are all ways a personal trainer can stay up-to-date on industry changes. It is not necessary that your trainer has a related degree, but it can help. Look for an exercise science background and fitness testing background.
  3. Experience – prior training experience is a plus, and a must with someone who does not have a related degree.  Be leery of a trainer who claims their personal workout is the best.  A good trainer should be able to create individualized programs for you.
  4. Check the Internet for certifications – there are many.  The National Board of Fitness Examiners (NBFE) can – www.nbfe.org-point you towards certifications they accept – these certifications have to pass acceptance through the non-profit organization (NBFE) and a third party accreditation.
  5. Your trainer should not push supplements, fad diet plans, our work outside their areas of expertise. (e.g. A trainer with no nutritional background should not be analyzing your diet and making complicated recommendations – especially if you are taking any medications, herbs, or other types of supplements that could be affected by the changes.) Most trainers have basic nutrition in their backgrounds and are comfortable telling you when you need to get help from another professional.
  6. Look for someone who is willing to work with your health care professionals, and someone willing to listen to you. A good trainer will see the value of a team environment to help you reach your goals.

Staying Motivated To Exercise

Staying motivated to exercise can be a challenge. Last week my kids started school and this week they all start soccer. Just thinking about the running makes me tired, and its only going to become more intense in the next few weeks. So I have to be ready to keep exercising or I’ll never reach my goals. Here are some ideas to keep you motivated, too.

Schedule your exercise just like you would any other appointment. This will help you begin to see your workouts as another part of your day instead of something extra you have to do.

Find a workout buddy – I don’t always get to workout with my two favorite workout friends but just chatting about it re-energizes me to keep going.

Write down your fitness goals. This can help create more concrete ideas surrounding what you want and what you are willing to do to get it. Once you’ve written it down cut out pictures that help you visualize your goals. Paste your goal sheets everywhere you’ll see them each day – the car, office, your closet, bathroom, on the fridge – you get the picture.

Commit to yourself. You are worth the time and effort. Delegate household chores where you can and drop to-do items that are not necessary. Sometimes we just do things because we always have or think we need to. It may be that it is an old need and is no longer serving you now. Take an honest look at your schedule and clean it up to create time for the things you really want in your life now.