This is my motto:
Fear is a sign you are challenging your beliefs about something. It will be there until you step through it.
None of us are born with fear. We are born fully trusting. In fact, most fear is a learned behavior. Therefore, to be highly successful, we must face it and call it what it is - garbage.
We are created with "fight or flight" signals. Our environment teaches us what to fear. For instance, if you were born as a lion, you wouldn't fear lions, right?
Consider these life events:
1) As a child, when you fell, did your mom and dad run to you, or encourage you to laugh it off and get up?
2) Were you raised around bodies of water and taught to swim at an early age? Or, were you raised by someone afraid of the water?
3) At what age did you stop walking across the top of the monkey bars and start worrying about falling?
4) Were you taught to drive in a metropolis or on the lazy, back roads of the country?
5) Who told you that it was hard to build a business from the ground up? How often have you heard someone say, "I'm afraid to do (x-y-z)!".
The Science of Fear
Not all fear is bad. In fact, it is the body's reaction to stressful situations. By design, our brains are created with a way to warn us about dangerous situations. And, as the video below explains, much of this is done without conscious awareness.
Deep in your brain, in the hypothalamus, your body is getting signals about how to react to stressful situations.
The challenge today is most of us don't live under the constant threat of being eaten by lions. Not discounting that the world we live in is a stressful place, we spend most of our lives unconsciously reacting to learned stimuli. When it comes to reacting in fear or boldly taking on the challenge, our brains don't know the difference. The sensations we feel when faced with picking up the phone to call a prospective client, hosting a Facebook live video, or publishing a book, are the same as walking down a dark, secluded road in the city. Chemical responses that trigger the host in the above video to be afraid of snakes, are working in you to make you afraid of the phone. That chemical is adrenaline.
The Adrenaline Junkie Boldly Goes Where Few Go
Adrenaline is a vital hormone which increases heart rate, blood circulation and carbohydrate metabolism so our bodies can access extra energy for flight.
An adrenaline junkie is a person addicted to the thrill of the adrenaline rush: the exciting, pleasurable effect produced when the adrenal glands dump a large dose of adrenaline into the bloodstream. The adrenaline rush usually occurs when the body senses danger, the "Fight or Flight" moment.
An adrenaline junkie can also be a person who creates and loves drama or crisis. They may not be bungee jumping, but they can be the person who makes life a wreck for everyone around them. Are you one of those people who waits until the last minute to complete a project? You're looking for the adrenaline rush.
Extreme sports practitioners learn to master the power of adrenaline to give them a boost off the edge of the cliff. It is the OOMMPPFF to jump out of an airplane, hang glide or wrestle alligators.
Top level business experts harness that same adrenaline rush to push the boundaries of what seems possible, plausible and profitable. These are the people you hear say over and again, "the only reason I'm more successful than you, is that I am willing to fail more than you."
What Holds You Back?
I tell my coaching clients all the time,
Your interpretation (outside of true dangerous situations) determines your next step.
Consume the challenge as your necessary fuel for success. Nervous energy in your body becomes a signal to move forward. The new you revels in the opportunity to move through fear and take new ground.
A valuable tool, when faced with anxiety or fear about taking an important step, is to ask yourself this question, "Why am I afraid?"
Truly, what is the worst thing that can happen?
And then, discover the answer to the next question, "What if I wasn't afraid?".
What is the best thing that can happen?
NO! is Your Fuel
In the process of preparing for the event, I reached out to Jon Gordon's organization and asked if he would be willing to speak to our group. Now, understand that Mr. Gordon is a top-level keynote speaker, Wall Street Journal best-selling author and has sold over a million books.
He said YES.
But what IF he had said no? Would I have lost anything? No. Because I already didn't have him as a guest to speak to our group.
Learn to use NO as a catalyst to ask again. Never allow fear to be a weapon to stop you. In fact, Jon told us, "don't allow someone who doesn't have the power to say no, tell you no." He actually said YES, because I ASKED!
Jon's best selling book, The Energy Bus was turned down over 30 times. He told us he sent hundreds of emails requesting an opportunity to speak. Most of the people and organizations he approached never even responded. Yet...he kept asking. Today, he is a highly sought after speaker and accomplished author.
Live your purpose and your call. Never allow someone else to tell you it is impossible.
The Spirituality of Fear
"Fear Not" is in the Bible 366 times. Even a non-math guru like me understands that equals one verse for every day of the year, plus one for leap year. Yet "fear not" is not the only reference to fear. The word FEAR is in the Bible more than 500 times!
I think one of the greatest examples for us in our context today is the story of King Herod and John the Baptist.
Mark 6:20 tells us that Herod feared John, because he knew John was a "righteous and holy man". In Matthew 14, we see that Herod wanted to kill John, but was afraid of the people, because "they considered him a prophet."
The full story is that Herod was curious about John's words. They touched him at his core, but because John condemned his relationship with Herodias, there were problems at home. Herodias wanted John killed. Clever and evil, Herodias plotted how to trap Herod on his birthday. She used Herod's weakness for their daughter's beauty. After a dance where he promised the daughter anything she wanted, the daughter (at her mother's prompting) asked for the head of John the Baptist on a platter.
Trapped by his vow in front of his guests (again - fear), he ordered John the Baptist killed.
Fear of man's opinion of us drives us to the bitter end of ourselves. Surely I'm not the only one who has done things I regret because of the fear of looking foolish, uncool, uninformed or out of the loop? I bet you can recount at least one time when you let fear of man drive you.
Fear and Love = Rocket Fuel
1 John 4:18 - There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
We operate in fear because of the prospect of punishment. Modern marketers call it FOMO - fear of missing out.
We push buttons, create copy, develop advertising and press our audience to "BUY NOW" or miss out on this best deal.
WE buy because we are afraid if we don't we'll miss out on the one tool that will help our business, or the conference that will change everything for us.
Making a decision based on fear is never the right decision.
Operating out of love will move us to the other side of the spectrum when it comes to a life of satisfaction - the Living At My Best Life. When we serve our clients, connections and family in love, we end each day with a feeling of satisfaction, rather than feelings of regret.
Rather than making a decision based on fear, ask yourself, "How will this decision expand love in my business, my life, my future?". What fear-based choices can you convert into fuel?
Allow LOVE to eat up the FEAR and turn into it rocket fuel for your next move. Who knows what records you'll break!
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