It’s common for fear to provoke you to do things you shouldn’t or to convince you to avoid things you should embrace. It’s uncommon to commit to overcoming them. You can learn to be calm in the face of irrational fear by accepting it for what it is, just a signal from your nervous system. Take it one step further and think of it as a friend reminding you to step up your game and tap into the 20X potential that lives inside you. Then, interdict the story or negative thought that triggered it. Redirect it to your positive mantra. And, most importantly, be kind to yourself moving forward. But know that to overcome fear, you must develop courage. You do that by challenging yourself to do the uncommon…do things that scare you, that you’ve never done, go where you’ve never gone, and meet people you’ve never met. This will really challenge you initially but each time you repeat these exercises, you’ll reinforce your courage loop while the weeds start to cover your fear loop for lack of use.
Doubt is eliminated through action alone. Sometimes, that means kinetic action (physical stuff), but other times you will need non-kinetic action: thinking, visualizing, and breathwork. Both types of action minimize your risk by maximizing your preparation. And don’t forget to accumulate evidence that points to truth, instead of using falsehoods and idiotic assumptions to forge your path. Develop the expectation for success not failure. That way, failure becomes just one of the things that happens along the way, like stopping for gas or meeting an old friend for coffee.
It is important not to become a lone wolf but rather engage and create a positive and supportive community. Life is not a foot race, and the journey IS the main thing. Also, you shouldn’t go at it alone. In fact, even if you can make it on your own, you won’t be as fulfilled, nor will you make even a fraction of the positive impact on others that you have the potential to. So don’t focus only on the destination and don’t strive alone. When I was on that rockface, I was safe one moment, then falling to certain death an instant later. I lost my third point of contact and both hands had lost their grip on the ledge. A cold wind of knowingness that this was it, the last moments of my life, blasted through my body. The fear was real, not of death itself, but that I wouldn’t be there for my wife and family. Suddenly and miraculously, I felt my right hand pressing back onto the rock. God, is that you? I wondered. No, it was my friend Wynn. He’d had the foresight to stage himself to help me if I had any issues and was ready to act. He held onto a tree, reached over the precipice, and pushed hard against the back of my hand, allowing me to reclaim my hold. That was all that was needed to regain my balance. Two or three scoots to the right, I grabbed his hand, and he hauled me to safety. I looked at him and said quietly, “Thanks,” and we continued our journey. That was that. Wynn’s small action changed the trajectory of my life and taught me a powerful lesson about facing fear realistically. I learned the difference between real and irrational fear instantaneously, but I also discovered that I needed a teammate. In the SEALs, we call our training partner a swim buddy. The swim buddy is responsible for your life and your success. Who’s your swim buddy… your Wynn? We can’t be and do the uncommon alone. At some point along your path, you’ll slip or trip. In fact, you will fall a lot and need to learn to expect it, embrace the suck and learn quickly from the falls. Every time it happens, when you get back up, you will seek support from a swim buddy with more skill and confidence, someone who’s been to the place you want to go. Learn to learn from their failures as well as successes. When you feel consumed by terror and start falling again, your mentor will press your hand back on the rock. The fear will subside as your courage wolf gets fed over time.