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The Surprising Benefit of Facing Your Fears

 When it comes to MMA fighting, a lot of people might not realise what it takes to be a contender in the sport.  Not only do you need to be strong and physically fit but there is a real mental strength that comes with the discipline too. With boxing and MMA disciplines gaining a lot of attention recently (Ronda Rousey anyone?) we wanted to know more about the mental and physical training each athlete undertakes in the lead up to their competitions. Enter Lizza Gebilagin, the courageous CLEO magazine editor who took her courage to the cage in the online series Fight Like A Girl. This Spring Lizza will be taking us through her journey to compete in her first ever MMA match, and what it took to get her into the ring.

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Lizza writes…

Here’s a little trick I’ve learnt to getting the most out of life: if something scares you, do it. I came to this realisation after my uncle passed away a few years ago. His death made me realise how little I was living; I was burying myself in work, because I was so afraid of failure.

So I made a promise to my uncle. Every day for an entire year I would do one thing that scared me. I started off small by answering my phone (an incoming call used to fill me with dread!), trying out acting classes and telling a guy I liked him through an article in CLEO magazine. (Extreme, I know. Eventually, I built up the courage to be honest about my feelings in person. It’s all about baby steps.)

Even though that year of daily fear-facing is over, it’s now a habit of mine. It’s why I signed up for a mixed martial arts fight with absolutely no fighting experience. I’d always wanted to be courageous enough to step into a boxing ring or, in this example, an octagon. And I wanted to inspire other women to tackle their fears and take on their seemingly crazy goals as well. Because if I can survive a fight in the octagon, you can do anything.

Seriously. And you know what you’ll discover when you do face your fear? You’ll learn that everything is way scarier in your head than it turns out to be in reality. Then even the small things that once used to cause anxiety, won’t even matter anymore. So what’s your big dream? Let us know by using the hashtag #empoweringyou.

Lizza Gebilagin is the deputy editor of CLEO magazine. Watch her face her fears in the Fight Like A Girl documentary series.

POSTED BY: Lizza Gebilagin