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9 Fears to Let Go of Today

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Earlier this week, Michelle Obama shared the advice she’d give her younger self with PEOPLE. Her top piece of wisdom: Stop being so afraid! While the First Lady was referring to self-doubts common in the middle and high school years (we all remember those well), her advice applies to the challenges adult women face too. What fears are holding you back? Let go of one of these and reap the benefits in your fitness level, relationships, work life, confidence, and health.  

1. Putting your mat in the front row. So what if you sometimes fall off-balance during tree pose? Yoga isn’t about perfection. Claim that front row spot proudly.

2. Asking for a raise. The most important thing here: Be prepared. Do your research, anticipate questions (and have answers in mind), take a deep breath—and, oh yeah, ask at this time.

3. Saying I love you. The fear that he won’t say it back is terrifying. But when he does, well, that’s an amazing moment. While a gap in how much you’re into each other isn’t necessarily a deal breaker, its good to know if he’s still in like while you’re in love. And if he doesn't share your sentiment? Hey, at least you know.

4. Getting an STD test. If you’re putting it off because you’re scared you might have one, then waiting to find out could potentially damage your health and fertility. And if you’re pretty sure you don’t, its better to know for certain so you can be honest with potential new partners.

5. Going off-recipe. Cooking is supposed to be fun—not stressful. And making food intuitively is how you build culinary creativity. So break free of recipe restrictions and let yourself experiment (on the days you're not cooking for a crowd). Then, when the time comes, everyone will want to know what exactly it was that you added to that pumpkin bread.

6. Taking a trip by yourself. Traveling alone means you get to do exactly what you want, when you want. Feel like skipping the museum? Nobody will judge you. Want to wander around stores for an entire afternoon? You won’t feel guilty wasting anyone else’s time. Plus, you won’t have to wait for a friend or your guy to be free to take the trip of your dreams. Just be sure to take the proper safety precautions.

7. Going for the big job. You know the one: It feels like a reach, but it’s your dream gig. Don't have that five years of experience branded onto the job posting? Who cares? If you never try, you'll never know that you might have just the right experience they're looking for.

8. Moving in together. Spoiler alert: It’s not all romantic date nights in—and you have to deal with the reality of sharing a bathroom and financial responsibilities—but that feeling of finally coming home to your better half every night, not having to pack a bag, leave a toothbrush, and actually beginning to create a home together? Totally worth the "is the toilet seat down?" fights.

9. Signing up for your first (or biggest) race. Whether its your first 5K or a 26.2, training with a goal in mind puts your workouts in a new context and gives you extra motivation to push yourself. And when you finally cross that finish line, you’ll gain confidence in other areas of your life too. Find a training plan and go crush it! 

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