Is Fear Holding You Back? By founder of barre3, Sadie Lincoln



“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”  — Charles R. Swindoll

As you may have read in my previous post I’ve Got your Back, I struggle with low back pain.   I recently went to a spine specialist, Dr. John P. Kafrouni  who helped me in a very unexpected way.  He suggested that fear was holding me back way more than the pain associated with my flare-ups.   I started to cry from frustration as I argued “But when my back goes out I am frozen.  It is like I am in jail.”   I was angry because I went to this guy hoping for a magic pill to make this all go away.  This coming from someone who won’t even take Advil shows how beaten down I was!  I asked him to refer me to the best physical therapist he knows.  I was shocked when he told me no.  He told me that I have done enough research on what is “wrong” with my back and that I clearly understand how to rehabilitate it at barre3.  He had a point.

Instead, he handed me a list of his favorite (and scary) mountain biking trails.  I shook my head and told him I don’t do high-risk activities because I am too afraid I will get injured.  He responded, “Exactly why you should do this!” When you are flying down a hill you don’t have time to worry about your back and being “frozen” or “in jail”.   You have to trust that your body will be there for you and will do just the right thing.  Well, anyone who tells me to exercise to solve a problem is my kind of healer!  He also had me order P90X to do the Plyometrics DVD.   For those of you taking my classes recently, you definitely have heard me channel a bit of Tony Horton.  Now you know why!

Long story short, I took his advice and honestly it worked like a charm.  In the past when I would start to feel low back pain, I would literally freeze and start a negative cycle of fret and worry.   Now when I feel my back start to tighten I shrug it off and do something that empowers me.   This mindset shift is working better than anything I have tried.

Now, I am not suggesting that biking and jumping is the cure for injuries or getting through pain.  It is important to note that Dr. Kafrouni DOES refer people to physical therapists and more invasive treatments.  He studied my MRI, had me do a bunch of exercises and took the time to understand me.  He explained to me that out of his 25,000+ patients the ones who do poorly are the ones who wallow in fear and based on his assessment this was my biggest problem.

What I am suggesting is that we all consider how fear drives our decisions and how those decisions undermine our potential.   Does it ever really help to make decisions based on fear or does it hold us back?  Did you ever not study for a test because if you did poorly you would have an excuse?  This decision was driven by a fear of failure versus a love of learning.   Fear is connected to an imagined outcome and takes us away from being present.

On the other side of fear we can learn so much about ourselves.  I learned earlier this year that my back issues are real.  I have a couple of bulging discs.  But more importantly, I learned that those pesky discs do not define me.   I just got back from a 9-hour flight with my kids in tow.  Is my back sore after all that sitting and stress?  You bet.  Same back problems.  The difference is how I am dealing with them.   Time to hit the trails!

8 Responses to “Is Fear Holding You Back? By founder of barre3, Sadie Lincoln”

  1. Mary Stiles Says:

    Love this! I went to Kathryn Budig’s workshop at Yoga Pearl and her message was essentially the same- fear is what holds us back from realizing all that we want to do and be. I am so happy you have found an outlet for coping with the stress associated with your back “issues”. You are awesome!

  2. Jolie Says:

    Awesome post. I am such a beliver in the mind body connection. This is inspiring!

  3. Sadie Says:

    Thank you Mary and Jolie! It is so exciting to get feedback that others are making similar connections.

  4. Emily Stoik Says:

    Absolutely! Fear is False Evidence Appearing Real! You can’t let it overtake you and you can’t focus on it or you’ll be overlooking what is actually true about you and your life….you really never know how much you can accomplish until you try!
    And I LOVE your workout by the way– my sister introduced me to it! I have always loved Ballet workouts and Barre3 is so effective!! 😀

  5. sadielincoln Says:

    Thank you for sharing Emily and we are so glad you find barre3 effective!

  6. April Says:

    I too am a patient of Doctor K. He is amazing and understanding. I am less fortunate in the matter of to have had several surgeries but am Thankful to keep going and try to live each and every day to the fullest. I am proud of your changed mindset. Congrats to you.

  7. chrislincoln123 Says:

    Each and every day is so important! Thank you for sharing. Strength and support right back at you!

  8. Beachbody Says:


    […]Is Fear Holding You Back? By founder of barre3, Sadie Lincoln « barre3[…]…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s