To embark on a weight loss and fitness journey we have to be courageous, because the first step is truly showing up and letting our authentic selves be seen. We all have a fear of not being good enough – if we let our true selves be seen, we risk being judged by others as not worthy enough, and thus being excluded. That’s a vulnerable and scary position right?! For many, that fear of vulnerability and being truly seen means they won’t embark on journeys of change, and they live their lives small and stagnant as a result.
How To Overcome That Fear
So, how do we overcome our fear of vulnerability and find the courage to set and go after goals that mean something to us and live our boldest and best lives? By deliberately seeking out and connecting with likeminded people – those who are on the same journey as us, who are walking in our shoes.
These likeminded folk understand our feelings and so can show us empathy and inclusion rather than judgment and exclusion. It’s important we seek out these allies, so as to build communities of support (which foster connection and belonging), where we have a safe space to be ourselves (share our hopes, dreams, fears and concerns), and where we can work through the challenges and triumphs of our journeys towards our goals.
Also read: The Power of Community – Go Online to Get Supported
How To Build a Supportive Community
These communities don’t just happen – they need to be deliberately cultivated and nurtured, they require that all members be courageous, vulnerable and authentic. In empathetic, authentic communities, members see themselves reflected in each other and in so seeing, are reassured that they are not alone. When people see and feel ‘me too’, it gives them the confidence to continue to be courageous and authentic, and so a cycle of support is established and sustained.
The Power of The 12WBT Community
This is exactly the way our 12WBT community works. We encourage all members to get involved in the 12WBT Member Zone. By connecting to each other in this space, members become part of the community, encouraging and supporting each other. When one person is fearful, another will reach out and reassure them they can do the work and reap the rewards. Lynne says to Sue “I hear your fear, I’ve been where you are and I’m proof that if you just keep following your Exercise Plan as best you can, you will reach your running goal”. Sue feels reassured – she’s not alone, she’s supported, her faith in herself is renewed and she moves forward to reach her goal.
It’s not to say that just by being part of a community, your weight loss and fitness journey will always be completely smooth sailing and effortless – real life is full of ups and downs and to suggest otherwise would be inauthentic. What being connected into a community does give you is the space to be supported with empathy and encouragement, so you can keep doing the work to reach your goals. That’s the power of community!