Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway…

Tomorrow, along with 10 other very brave women, I shall be taking all my clothes off to be photographed for a charity calendar. Like many (most?) other Western women, I have “issues” with my body – it’s not how I would like it to be, there are bits I sometimes loathe and if I could lose 3 stone between now and tomorrow morning I would be delighted.

When I was younger there were times when it really got me down and I used to beat myself up about it – obviously, I was lazy and greedy and generally a bad person because I didn’t look like I was “supposed” to. There were years when I wouldn’t wear trousers because skirts provided better camouflage, and years when I dressed in oversized, baggy clothes for the same reason.

I’m pretty comfortable in my body now – I’ve learned how to dress to suit my shape (thank you Gok Wan, you are my hero) and I’ve long realised that there is no “right” or “wrong” human shape, we are all beautiful in our own way. I’ve learnt to focus on the bits I do like, not the bits I don’t like, and I’ve learnt that it’s what’s inside that counts.

And yet, despite all that, I still go shopping sometimes and come back in a bad mood because every time I looked in the mirror all I saw was a sack of potatoes. I don’t always have a realistic view of what my body actually looks like – I see myself (apparently) as much bigger than I really am and, try as I might, I can’t seem to shake that view of myself as a rather large baby elephant.

So it may seem strange that I’m going to pose for this naked calendar – and the closer it gets, the stranger it appears to me. But the reason I leapt at the chance is that I hope it might, once and for all, cure me of my hang ups. I’ve become much more likely, over the past year, to grab the chance to do things that frighten me and taking my clothes off in front of a group of strangers is really quite scary. The thing that’s keeping me going is that, every other time I’ve done something that scared me, it’s been absolutely BRILLIANT and taught me so much about myself.

I just found this quote on Susan Jeffers‘ (the author of Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway) webpage:

Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced

So tomorrow I’m facing my fears in the hope that it will make a change to my life. How often do you face your fears?

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7 responses to “Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway…

  1. Well done on facing the fear – I’m really looking forward to photographing the shoot tomorrow. It’ll be great 🙂

  2. Fantastic article Cathy. Very well put and everyone will have their vulnerability on display even if they are not brave enough to acknowledge it in the way you have. Its always very inspirational to see people facing their personal challenges and saying ‘do you know what, this is it. This is who I am.’ We’ll have a fabulous day and we’ll raise lots of dosh that further supports inspirational women who are recovering from breast cancer. xxx

  3. Enjoy the experience with your usual flair for life – with luck you’ll be fairly sedentary and relatively unmoved – unlike the couple of hundred naked rollercoaster riders who’ve just set the British record 😀

  4. A lovely, authentic post, Cathy. You will be inspiration to others’ there who perhaps are fearful of admitting their insecurities- pass copies of this post round before you get your kit off! Will be cheering you all on.

  5. When I trained with Geoff Thompson on his Masterclass course, he made a big point about facing fear; it never goes away, it manifests as different stressors and it is our job to push it away from us all of the time, extending our own comfort zone. Geoff went on to say that when considering a course of action, see which choice produces the most anxiety or fear – that is the choice that holds the most growth potential.

    You won’t look back after doing this photo shoot & I can’t wait to see the finished calendar!

  6. I think it’s a brilliant thing you’re doing, and I am sure you will look wonderful. Actually, I would love to persuade a couple of family members with low self-confidence to do something of the kind, just to prove to them that they are beautiful and attractive without having to change themselves. It’s amazing how many women talk about all the things they would do if they were thinner – personally, I can’t think of anything being fat stops me doing, except perhaps getting into smaller versions of my clothes!

  7. Thank you all for your lovely, supportive comments 🙂

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