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“The amateur believes he must first overcome his fear; then he can do his work. The professional knows that fear can never be overcome. He knows there is no such thing as a fearless warrior or a dread-free artist.”
Good morning, friends! I hope you had a wonderful weekend and the day has begun with joy and energy. Don’t let me slow you down! Let’s get to it!
I don’t know anybody who likes to talk about fear, not their own fear at least. We wrongly sense that acknowledging fear will somehow expose our weakness. Even if you won’t talk about them think about your fears for a moment. I’m not talking about spiders and snakes (like the old Jim Stafford song); I’m talking about performance fears, action fears, self-image fears. Got any of those fears in your closet? Probably; we all do.
What we all don’t have, though, is a healthy understanding of fears. Fear is an internal bully that tends to win. I compare fear to a young Mike Tyson. Fear runs at us in the ring of uncertainty, punches us extremely hard squarely in the nose, and we are down for the count. Fear wins quickly, usually. To wit, during middle school I had to give a speech to the school and deemed it important to memorize it. I marched on stage, spouted a few sentences and then completely blanked out. It was humiliating and thus was born a Mike Tyson in me. Now, as a professional speaker for 16 years, if I even barely think of speaking without notes fear punches me in the nose and I end that thought pretty quickly. Can you name the Mike Tysons in you? I’ll bet you can if you’re not too afraid.
The power of fear is that it draws you into a fight in the first place. How many times has your progress or success been stymied by fear? Many, I suspect. The challenge is to engage the opportunity, the possibility, the dream, the next step instead of the fear. Take the chance. Make the move. Do the thing. Take the step. Fear says you’ll fail, and you may, but when you keep trying your confidence will grow. And one day after you’ve engaged the action long enough you’ll look to your side and see the Buster Douglas in you pummeling Tyson. Will fear be dead? Not hardly, but as you create more confidence in you the joy of wading into your fears to risk success will become a joyful experience. This is hard work, I know, but if the “want to” is greater than the “can’t do” this work is for you.
What is something you’d like to do that fear has prevented until now? Whatever it is I know you can do it. Just get to it again and again and again. Now, about my next speech… Have a great week!