“It is not the critic who counts, nor the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” —Theodore Roosevelt
Is fear keeping you from starting a routine of physical activity, losing a few pounds, stopping a habit that can be harming your body? Many people are afraid to fail, are afraid to start something new. They worry constantly about not meeting expectations. Because of this, many people never get started on a path toward reaching their desired goals.
Many of us have been taught that failures are bad and embarrassing, when in fact they are simply opportunities to learn something new. The more failures a person has, the more they will have learned and the greater chance they will have in succeeding on their next attempt. The key, however, is to learn from your mistakes and try not to make the same mistake twice.
We see this many times in wellness: individuals who want to meet a personal health or wellness goal, but fear stops them. They often mask their fear by claiming they are happy the way they are.
How do we get through to these folks? Here are some suggestions employers can utilize to help their employees overcome fears.
- Make physical activity attainable for all fitness levels in a non-threatening way. Encourage employees to ease into physical activity. For instance, many companies host weekly walking clubs or beginner yoga sessions.
- Host educational lunch and learns. Provide your employees with an opportunity to learn about weight loss and healthy eating in real life.
- Make it all about the location; have a hiking club that meets at a local park for a nature walk. This is much less intimidating to someone who may be afraid they can’t keep up.
- Offer a weight loss challenge and use teams for support so people don’t have to go it alone.
- Build a strong wellness culture through clear communication and champs.
- Lead by example. Put your own fears aside and know that failures are opportunities.
Do not let fear paralyze you. Instead, get into the arena and strive valiantly for your goals!
Cynthia Jones, CCWS Vitality Wellness Strategy Manager, Certified Spin instructor who can be found most of the time on the Lake County Bike Trails or in a spin studio. An artist who believes that there is a beauty to getting older but feeling young.