5 Ways To Become FEARLESS (Special Guest Post)
“The hero and the coward both feel exactly the same fear, only the hero confronts his fear and turns it into FIRE.” Cus D’Amato, famous boxing trainer
SPECIAL GUEST POST: Martin Rooney, Founder of Training For Warriors
This weekend in San Francisco I told people I was “nervous” and “anxious.” Those were just words for concealing the fact that I was “scared.”
I was in California to present about motivation. You might be saying, “Martin, you have presented over 50 times a year for the last 10 years. And that topic is easy for you. You still get scared?” My answer, “Absolutely.” In fact, I get nervous before every presentation.
As I have discovered (and you will learn below), that fear is a good thing, not bad.
Yes, I always have some fear before presenting, but this weekend I was more afraid than usual. Why? I would be presenting a speech I had never given to 200 coaches and trainers, many of whom I had never met. So, as you might imagine, the pressure (and fear of failure) was even greater.
The fear wasn’t the attendees fault; it was mine. By pushing my comfort zone, I actually make things more difficult for myself! Since this is my 13th year on the Perform Better tour, I am always looking to outdo the previous year in terms of content, energy and effectiveness. Since it has been over a decade of constantly searching for brand new information, it doesn’t just get harder every year; the increased difficulty makes it scarier too! But, this increased fear this weekend gave me an important lesson:
Fear is not always Destructive. It can also be Instructive.
For the last 6 months, this fear of failure hasn’t paralyzed me, it has energized me. Fear has had me researching, outlining, prepping and planning my speech. But even with it directing me to get my job done, the fear didn’t go away. It actually increased! I knew I had good content, but would I get it covered in time? I thought it would make sense, but would the attendees like it? I believed the topic was relevant, but would it be better than last year? These questions were constantly popping up in my head the last few months in anticipation of this event. And as my internal dialog got louder, I kept hearing from two familiar voices at what I call the “Fear Crossroads.”
The Voices Of Fear force you to choose between “fight” or “flight.”
The night before the speech, fear continued to direct me. It drove me to reserve a few hours to write out my speech and go over the content to be sure I was ready. As I was doing this, I heard from my “Fear Angel” and “Fear Devil.” Like the classic metaphor you may have seen of having a little angel or devil on your two shoulders, fear did the same thing to me. I planned for the beginning of my speech to have a big opener of high energy. But I didn’t know if it would work. I hadn’t tried it before. I knew it would put me out of my comfort zone and that is when the “Fear Devil” crept in and spoke up at the “Fear Crossroads.” It said, “It’s ok, Martin, you don’t have to do the big opener. Just skip it.”
Just as I was about to let myself off the hook and take the safe road, the “Fear Angel” cried out from my other shoulder, “No, Martin. You can do it. You are going to go for it like you always do, and it is going to be a better presentation because you did!”
The conversation between these two voices didn’t stop there. Those two chirped in my head all night; one tempting me to stay comfortable and the other challenging me to lean into the fear. That stress lasted all night and until I was being introduced at 10am.
Even at that moment, I still didn’t know which way I was going to go. Like the moment before jumping out of an airplane, that moment before my first words was maximum fear. “Will it be fight or flight?” the two voices chimed together. “What’s it gonna be?”
I leapt and the fear was gone.
I took the tougher path and went for it. I turned the fear into fire and the crowd watched me burn. As they applauded, the original fear about that speech I had experienced for months was gone for good. I didn’t let this lesson escape me. Here are 5 Truths About Fear and how to overcome it:
5 Truths About Fear
1. You Will Never Escape Fear.
You are going to be afraid sometimes. Not convinced? Do you suffer from any of the following? Are you:
Afraid to switch jobs.
Afraid of having an important conversation.
Afraid of heading back to the gym.
Afraid of making a mistake.
Afraid some people will not like you.
Afraid you won’t make enough money.
Afraid of getting older.
Afraid to succeed.
Afraid to fail.
If so, you are not alone. With those new things, there will be new moments of fear. But, with the right approach (outlined in 2-4 below), those new moments can lead to your best moments.
2. You Choose How To Interpret Fear.
Fear is all in your head. You create the two voices, not anyone else. When you are at your “Fear Crossroad” only you can decide whether the fear is positive or negative. My advice: focus on what fear is telling you to do, not stopping you from doing.
3. You Choose Your Actions When You Experience Fear.
When there is fear, you have only one of two choices with which to respond: Do things to prolong the fear, or do things to extinguish it. Once you see it is that simple, your choice of either positive or negative action should be just as easy too.
4. You Can Make Fear Disappear.
Positive action is the killer of fear. I used to say, “Decision minus action equals nothing.” I now know that is not completely true. Decision minus action can actually prolong and multiply your fear! The real fear shouldn’t be of taking action, but of what your life will be like if you don’t!
5. Your Life Is Your Choice.
If you believe fear is is holding you back from having the life you want, you are wrong. Since you now understand it is your choice how you interpret, act and either prolong or extinguish fear, your life is up to you. Fear is not the problem: you are.
A Great Place To Face Your Fears
When you face your fears, you are empowered. A great place to develop some courage is at our dojo in Savage - - Training For Warriors - South Metro. Not only will we help you forge ahead in the face of fear, we will help you transform your mind, body, and spirit! If you're ready to face your fears, apply now for a spot in our February 28 Day Challenge. Your fear shouldn’t be if you will gain the right things when you start, but what you might miss if you don’t.
As I discovered once again this past weekend (and I hope you learned from this blog), fear isn’t actually bad at all. If you use it the right way to instruct, drive and take you to the next level, fear is actually the best thing you could be feeling right now.
You just have to turn that fear into fire!
Yours in Strength,