‘From Fear To Functioning’ written by Edwina Pettiford published in Great Health Guide (May 2017). Have you gained some extra weight after having your first child and are unhappy with how you look? Do you worry about what other people think of you? Here are some tips to overcome the negative thoughts and regain your confidence.
Read other Mindset articles on Great Health Guide, a hub of expert-inspired resources empowering busy women to embody health beyond image … purpose beyond measure.
MINDSET: From Fear To Functioning
written by Edwina Pettiford
The different states of minds are fear, functioning and freedom and I have experienced life in all three states at one time or another. These really are states of mind from which we perceive the world and the things that happen around us. In this article, I will discuss living in the state of fear and provide some useful tips on how to move from Fear into the Functioning State.
After having my first child, I had become overweight and unhappy with how I looked and started to withdraw from the outside world. Venturing out to socialise had become difficult as I was embarrassed about how I looked. This made me feel trapped and desperate and I was obsessing about what other people thought of me. Most of the time I would create this ludicrous story in my head about what other people were saying about me. When in reality the people I was obsessing over probably weren’t even thinking about me at all.
Nearly every decision I made was difficult. Not because I didn’t know what I wanted but because I was worried about what other people would think or say. I remember thinking so many times, ‘Oh I can’t do that, what will people think’. So I continued, unhappy with where life was taking me all because I was fearful. I remember very clearly the day that I knew I had to change. The exact moment sticks in my mind and I remember thinking to myself, ‘I’m not going to look and feel like this anymore.’
To start with, I had no idea what I needed to do or how I was going to make a change but I knew I had to do something different. The outcome that I wanted was clear – I didn’t want to be fearful or worried anymore but I didn’t know how I was going to get there.
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Instead of becoming overwhelmed and disappointed about not knowing what to do I told myself that I had to change one thing. Nothing was going to change if I didn’t change something. The next day I put on my joggers, put my baby in the pram and walked around the block. Looking back, this one thing was so simple and easy. But this one action turned out to be what started the change in my life.
I didn’t know yet what else I was going to do to make myself feel better but I had realised that if I wanted to change from being fearful to functioning I would need to keep taking different actions. Every day, I put on my joggers and walked. As the days went by, I found this walking time cleared my head and gave me time to think. Getting out of the house and into the sunshine even started to improve my mood. People waved, I waved back. People said, ‘Hi’ as we walked past and I said, ‘Hi’ back. I was starting to become sociable again without being stressed and anxious.
If you’re feel like you’re trapped and alone and living in a state of fear and worry, I would encourage you to change just one simple thing. If you’re not exercising put your shoes on and step outside. You may already be walking or exercising and that is fantastic, so in that case change something else. Maybe you don’t get out and socialise as much as you’d like to. In that situation, you could call a friend and meet up for coffee or reach out to a women’s group and get involved.
To overcome your fears, start by taking a new and different action. Just by taking the first small step outside of your comfort zone, this can lead to big changes.