Have you ever heard the phrase, “do one thing every day that scares you?” I am sure if you live on this planet than someone has said it to you or you have read it on the back of an inspirational t-shirt or mug at some point in your life. As most people will know, I love cheesy inspirational quotes but for some reason this one has never spoken to me. Perhaps it’s because I have always been a little put off by the frightening. I have never liked scary movies. I occasionally like suspense, but only when I am with other people and if it’s too suspenseful I need to read something really funny before bed. After watching the movie Seven, I couldn’t take out the trash for a week. (The garbage bins were located in this really creepy alley that resembled somewhere a person might get murdered.)
I am also pretty turned off by thrill seeking scares. I can actually say without any reservation whatsoever that I will never go bungee jumping. The idea of jumping out of an airplane (while quite exciting and daring and awesome) makes my stomach turn. When I was a kid I would practically start crying with fear while waiting in line for roller coasters. (Luckily I’ve dropped that habit)
All of this will help explain why I’ve never been fond of the idea of self-inflicted fear on a daily basis. However in honor of Halloween this year I have decided to let myself experience a little scare and I invite you all to join me. You are more than welcome to watch a horror film or try out a new sport but I am thinking of a different kind of fear.
Fear of loss. It is extremely scary to think of losing something, especially something that we think we need. It can drum up an even bigger fear than participating in the X games. I am not talking about losing something like a loved one or a pet or a favorite t-shirt, I am referring to the loss of self-defeating thoughts that weigh us down.
“But Sarah”, you may be saying, “If it’s self-defeating or bad for me, I am probably not afraid to lose it, I want it gone.”
Think of your negative self-talk: Do you hate your triceps or your back? Do you grab your stomach and wish it smaller? Do you loathe your thighs? Are you afraid to leave the house without make-up or spanx?
We think it wouldn’t be scary to lose these behaviors/thoughts. But it is, if it weren’t they might be gone already.
What would it feel like to not hate that part of your body? Is it scary to think of what it might be like if you loved it. I am not saying that the body part will change. You don’t get to say, “if it were different I would love it and that’s not scary to me.” I am asking you if it’s scary to think about loving it, as it is, right now. What’s scary? What’s stopping you? Is it scary because if you love yourself as you are, then you become more vulnerable? Is it scary because you wouldn’t have anything to bitch with your friends about anymore? Is it scary to think of how powerful you might be?
This Halloween week, I urge you all to frighten yourself. Find the negative thought you are most afraid of losing and spend a few minutes every day telling yourself the opposite. I love my thighs. I am wonderful just as I am. I am loved. My stomach is perfect.
Notice what reading those sentences did to you. Did it scare you? Say it. My stomach is perfect. My stomach is perfect. My stomach is perfect. Come on, scare yourself. I promise it won’t give you nightmares.
Be Good to your Body, it’s where you Live