How to Take a Wall of Fear and Turn it Into a Stepping Stone
We are born with a natural fear of loud noises and falling, but every other fear we actually acquire over time. The boogeyman, heights, snakes, spiders… WE LEARN TO BE SCARED OF THESE THINGS.
They are not natural to us and because they are not natural to us it means that we can conquer our fears. Learning to conquer our fears means we can always progress and move forward towards any dream or goal. Imagine you can use something that would hold you back, and turn it into something that propels you forward?
Bottom line is that fear is a natural mechanism in all of us designed as a warning system to something we don’t want to happen. If someone puts a gun to your face, you are scared because a bullet in your head will not be a good thing for your life.
For some that fear might be failing. Whenever we approach something we could fail at, warning signs go off in our brains warning us to STOP! That is not even the problem though, the problem only comes if you actually listen to the warning signs telling you to stop.
Custom Made Fear
Fear is a strong feeling and we tend to build it up to be so much more than what it is, and it all resides in our head. We are scared of so many things that we can’t even name them. When you’re an athlete this is a problem because you need to be fearless in your actions.
- Fearless of any competitor
- Fearless of coming back from injury
- Fearless of failure and success
- Fearless of your next workout
No person should ever be feared because we all put out pants on one leg at a time. Fearing your competition means that you have already lost without giving yourself a chance. You have built something that is not real, but it is very real for your mind. Everybody is human, everybody can get hurt and everybody can lose so what is this fear you speak of?
Turning Our Negative Fears Into Positive Outcomes
To conquer a fear you have to first accept that you are scared of something. It does not require no longer being scared of it to conquer it though from here it requires you to be courageous.
The best example this that I can think of is when it came to racing my older brother. We both ran the 100m dash and though he was faster, I would crumble whenever I had to race him and run way below my potential.
In 2012 when the outdoor season was starting, I knew I had a race against him coming up and I had to just admit that I was scared and the truth really did set me free. I felt a weight lift off of my shoulders because I finally admitted out loud and told other people. I came up with excellent strategies to cope with it and the three times I raced him that year I almost beat him each time and I ran personal record times.
“Courage is not the absence of fear, it is when there is a presence of fear, yet the will to go on.”
Courage is the true answer to our fears. When everything inside of us is telling us that we need to stop going forward, courage shows up and gets us through it all. As an athlete, and a human begin we will never get far in life if we can’t bring out your inner courage when we are scared.
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Your Independence Day
This is going to take you less than 5 minutes to read. It’s not a roadmap, it’s a thought provoker. Think of how to address these concepts to your personal, business, and athletic life.
After this weekend of Independence in the USA. Let’s claim our independence from the things holding us back from greatness. Rarely would be great in one thing without some carry over. So, overall greatness as well as athletic greatness. Sport, athletics, competition are THE greatest metaphor for life as it is so let’s break free. As the young United States broke free from the British, so too shall you from these that hold you down. Luckily, you are the one holding yourself back. Start with these 4 today.
Free yourself from the bed: The snooze button is worthless. It says to get ready to wake up by training you to lay around. It is like giving an overweight person in line for weight loss pill a candy bar to pass the time. Holy hell that makes no sense. If you can’t seem to break free from the spell of the SNOOZE button, you need a plan. Try these:
- Have a plan before you go to sleep. What is the first thing you will do when you wake up? If you know before the alarm goes off what to do then you can pop up and get to it. Try popping out of bed and doing 50 pushups!
- Think of someone important to you that can’t live your life. Be grateful and honor those who can’t by attacking every gift of a day. The grateful start the day quickly.
- Don’t hit the snooze button, EVER. Train yourself out of it. What you want to do HAS to be more important and more rewarding than laying there.
- Okay, you are tired, we get it. Who isn’t tired waking up to an unatural sound? Get to bed earlier. No caffeine after 3 pm. No alcohol right before bed. Hydrate. Get to sleep at a consistent time.
2. The EXCUSE:
Free yourself from excuses, justifications, reasons, and whatevers. They all are lame yet we all do it from time to time. It’s time to change. Find friends that will hold you accountable. Break free from the blame of why you didn’t run fast enough, make enough, do enough. It’s only stressing you out and holding you back. Try to notice when you are making excuses. It’s a pattern that can be broken if you are open to it. My wife and I call each other on excuses. It’s hard and it’s personal and sometimes painful and we are both becoming better every day because of the honesty of it all. You can too!
Free yourself from artificial stimulation. This one is tough. Successful athletes, musicians, and business people are successful many times because they are willing to focus on the minutiae every, single, day. Running 5 miles a day or sitting and writing for 3 hours a day. It can get boring. The results are never boring though. Faster times. More followers. More money. It all adds up. You don’t have to have some crazy stimulus to make it through though. I used to think I needed coffee, or food to get through certain things. Do you eat when you need to be working? Do you use your time to find ways to making something more exciting instead of more productive? Find out when you are doing things primarily for stimulation instead of being productive.
4. NEGATIVE INFLUENCERS:
Free yourself from negativity.
It’s time to break free from people that don’t want you to be free.
The snarky comment everytime you go for a run, eat healthy, don’t go out and party. They aren’t pressuring you because they really want you to do those things, they are pressuring you because they aren’t doing them, and your discipline and success bothers them.
You know this situation with friends and family. You have to communicate your goals to others and if they aren’t willing to be supportive, it’s time for minimal to no interaction. With friends, cut them out or redefine what being a friend means to you. They might not be a true friend. Family is important to us so cutting family out wouldn’t be an option but being in situations where these things rarely come up is doable. Start building a team of positive people in your life. It’s too short to always be apologizing for the greatness you are striving for.
So there are four things you can break free from to get closer to greatness. The best time to start, for everything, is always NOW!