it’s not you, it’s your fear
It’s that time of year again! Call them resolutions, intentions, or goals—they’re on our minds, often consuming them. You want to embrace the possibilities that a new year has to offer, but wonder: Is this realistic? Do I have the time and energy? Am I capable of changing? What if I fail? Is it worth the risk?
These questions can spiral into rumination, paralyzing you with doubt. Rather than obsess and over-analyze, I recommend this quick yet effective exercise to help you let go of the fear and worry. The more comfortable you can become with your goal, the more likely you are to reach it. I have successfully used this exercise for many situations, including when I wanted to decrease my anxiety medication. Fair warning: I almost always cry while doing this exercise, it’s that powerful.
- Find a quiet place to sit down with a notepad and pen.
- Identify your goal and write it down (make sure it is specific). For example, if your goal is to lose weight, include how many pounds and within what timeframe.
- Look back at the goal you wrote down. Do you feel it is realistic? Be honest with yourself but unafraid to push yourself. That’s how we grow!
- On a separate page, ask yourself the following questions and write down your thoughts: What is holding you back from reaching your goal? What blocks might come up? Get it all out of your system.
- Tear up that second piece of paper with all of your fears. Tear it up into as small of pieces as possible. As you tear the paper, imagine those thoughts being erased from your mind.
- Re-read your goal. Now that your fears have been identified and torn up, how are you feeling?
- Go through this exercise as many times as necessary. I find it is beneficial to do so anytime fears arise. Write them down, tear them up, and throw them away.
- Light sage or palo santo if you’ve got it on hand. Clear the air, clear your mind, clear the fears, and replace them with positive thoughts and affirmations.
The more comfortable you can become with your goal, the more likely you are to reach it.
To deepen this exercise, consider incorporating a few essential oils to help you process what comes up. Cypress is one of my favorites! It is grounding, supportive, and helps to release the thought that you need to be perfect. Ginger promotes mental clarity and helps you feel empowered. Lastly, lemon uplifts your spirits while calming your mind and body. If you have a diffuser, add 4 drops of lemon, 3 drops of cypress, and 1-2 drops of ginger.
A certified aromatherapist as well as a holistic health and lifestyle coach, Sammi Boerner is driven by her past struggles with weight, anxiety/panic disorder, and insomnia. She is currently working on an Integrative Nutrition Health Coaching certification.