All of us have fears. Fear helps to protect us and is our brains way of saying, "Maybe this is not safe and you could hurt yourself."  Fear often stops us from doing what we shouldn't do ... Like walking down a dark alley at night by ourselves or getting too close to a fire. In these instance fear is good! But what about when fear holds us back? 

I like to run on trails. One of the drawbacks of running on trails however is a much higher likelihood of running into snakes and some times even poisonous snakes. I'm not a fan of snakes. period. Fear could prevent me from running on trails all together but that would be a shame. I'd miss out on something I love. Instead I use that fear to be smart - to watch were I am going, to be alert and if I encounter a snake to decide if I proceed forward safely or turn around ... that is after I shriek and jump 3 feet up into the air! ;-) 

I see this in the studio, too,  and i've experience this myself. Fear creeps in at the prospect of a new movement. Maybe there is an element of balance or strength that we aren't sure we have. Our fear instinct sends out a warning and we begin to physically feel we should not proceed. It could be sweaty palms or an elevated heart rate or any other anxious symptom you have. Here is the thing with fear though ... it's not always right! Yes it's a warning signal and it makes sense to ponder the warning but fear does not know how hard you have worked to be ready for that movement. You may not know either. But I do :) 

I would say it's okay to have fear but don't let it hold you back. It's okay to vocalize your fear but then trust your instructor has your back. Probably even more so than you - I don't want you to get hurt! For that reason, there are some movements I will only teach in private lessons where i can stand close by and assist as needed. I can't do that with four bodies spread out across the room. It doesn't mean these are unsafe exercises but it does mean they require some trust and practice as well as guidance. 

This morning I taught two back to back private lessons and in both sessions I asked my students to try something new that made them a little fearful. i demonstrated first, we broke down the movement into smaller parts, and then I assisted. In both cases their body language showed that touch of fear and one of the women even told me she was nervous. I knew she was ready. Both women succeeded beautifully! And you can only imaging that amazing feeling that comes when you conquer your fear and exceed your own expectations! 

So I encourage you to listen to your fears but also to question if they are valid. Express your fear to your instructor but then trust she's got you. Take a chance - grow - and surprise yourself!  And when it comes to snakes - I encourage you to turn around and choose another trail! ;-)