A FEARFUL SITUATION
Earlier this year, I had a “controversial” tweet go viral. It sparked outrage amongst all sorts of blue-haired SJWs, feminists, and liberals.
At first, I was letting it go. “Let them flip out. I don’t give a damn.” I was at work and couldn’t respond with any condescending remarks or double down like I wanted. Then, I got reported to Twitter (stupid, I know). I received a mass of ad hominem attacks and a few threats. I even had a woman, who was studying to become a surgeon, hope that she would get the opportunity to perform surgery on me one day, so she could make a “mistake”.
There were only a handful trying to understand what I meant. But besides all of the negativity, I got just as much love from the tweet. It was polarizing to say the least.
I then noticed people were beginning to find my LinkedIn profile. I had like 57 views in 24 hours or something ridiculous like that. And it hit me…
“What if these people were trying to get me to lose my job over this?”
At the moment, that was the last thing I needed. I began to think about what would happen if I did. What would I do? What would I tell my family? How would I make ends meet after my savings ran out?
Fear set in.
People began harassing me on Instagram, so I set everything I could to private, except for Twitter. I began to come up with a plan for the worst, which is usually what people do when they’re in a state of fear.
For the next 48 hours, I was stressed out.
I deleted any and all of my potentially “controversial” tweets, which was the last thing I wanted to do. I just didn’t want to give the company any reason to let me go.
Eventually, my stress started to subside and I got to thinking that I had blown all of this out of proportion. After all, nothing had happened and the tweet really wasn’t that big of a deal. My head had cleared and I was beginning to think straight again. I thought, “Wow. How incredibly stupid is all of this?” It somewhat pissed me off that I had let it get to me like that.
To add on to all of the drama, the week at work wound up being a stressful one. I began to look around with a different perspective. I honestly couldn’t stand my work environment. I loved the work I did and the people I worked with, but the situation was far from ideal. I began to think why I even stayed there. I thought to myself, “Hell, if I lost my job, that may actually be one of the best things that happens to me.” I would be forced into action.
I realized that the only things truly keeping me there were my ego and the paycheck. Safety. Comfort. And being able to call myself an engineer (had to dig deep for that one).
It dawned on me that I had prioritized a life that I could not see myself living until my death. My passions (one of them being my business) were taking a backseat to the expectations that had been thrust onto me my entire life. I had submitted to those expectations. As much as I preach about masculinity, it was far from the masculine thing to do. I wasn’t being honest with myself, which is a prerequisite to having dominion over oneself. And if I wasn’t being honest with myself, then I wasn’t being honest or genuine with others. I thought, “What kind of man am I to be living like this? Who could trust my conviction? How could I ever do anything admirable and respectable?”
It was one of the hardest hitting reality checks I’ve ever had.
So it turns out, the situation wound up being a blessing in disguise. It was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I decided right then that it was time to make a decision. It was time to step out of that comfortable bubble I had sunk so far into. It was time to hold myself accountable as a leader and lead by example.
I decided to take on personal training full-time. I realized that if I didn’t do it then, I never would. At this time, I was prepared financially and only needed to arrange a few things in order to make the move, which was a major blessing. I made that move a week later, turning in my two-weeks notice.
It was one of the most liberating moments of my life. I was taking the ultimate chance on myself and it felt better than good.
I’ll be damned if I live in fear. I’ll be damned if I continue to encourage others to take a chance on themselves, while I fail to take a chance on myself. So this was me, putting my money where my mouth is. It was time to admit that the job and that part of my life had run its course. It had served its purpose. I was able to get my website, newsletter, and client base established because of this job. What I failed to admit was that, at that point, the job had begun to hinder the progress it had initially helped me make. But now, I had everything I needed to be successful elsewhere.
I would now have more time to devote to my business and career as a coach. I would be able to create more content, products, and services that would help people.
Also, it allowed the added benefit of being able to honestly admit to myself that I faced one of my greatest fears.
This was far from an easy thing to do. It helped me understand why most people stay where they are, even when the situation is not ideal. The conditioning runs deep. It even ran deep in me. It was an incredible challenge to overcome that massive wall of fear. These are a few of the realizations I had while going through this entire process. I hope this helps you overcome your greatest fears when the moment comes.
If we do not conquer it, it will conquer us.
It’s the number one thing holding many of us back from living the lives we aspire to live. And we should aspire to live extraordinary lives. The prominent misconception is the belief that extraordinary lives do not require extraordinary measures and efforts. They absolutely do.
Many of us believe that we can have this smooth transition into a drastically different life. This is rarely the case. It’s closer to being a pipe dream than a possibility.
Drastic changes require drastic decisions. Drastic decisions always present a thick layer of fear, as they should.
These situations separate and expose the truly committed from the merely interested, the winners from the losers, and the “doers” from the “talkers”.
Fear guarantees that the ones who don’t deserve it, don’t get it.
It’s a test of conviction, willpower, self-belief, perseverance, and desire, among other characteristics. Fear provides you with the opportunity to define yourself or be defined. In the grand scheme of things, fear is doing us a favor by keeping balance in the world.
So why shouldn’t you deserve your aspirations? What fears are holding you back? And, how are you planning to face those fears? Do you understand your fears and why they are your fears? If you don’t, then there’s a good chance that you will not be able to overcome them. To defeat any opponent, you must be willing to study them, learn how they work, and plan accordingly.
LIVING IN FEAR IS NOT LIVING AT ALL
Life was meant to be an adventure full of growth, understanding, fulfillment, and risk.
You were not born to live in a cage. Fear creates a psychological one, which may as well keep you in a physical one.
Many have become so conditioned by fear:
- Fear of uncertainty
- Fear of not being good enough
- Fear of rejection
- Fear of failure
- Fear of judgement
- Fear of loneliness
- Fear of something going wrong
Realize that there is no adventure without any of those. They bring adversity and there is no growth without adversity. There are parts of you that are hidden behind these fears, waiting to be discovered.
How can you become the person you were meant to become if you don’t allow yourself to grow into that person?
- Every moment you give into fear is a moment that you give up on yourself.
- Every single comfort zone is surrounded by a wall of fear. All of life’s treasures are on the other side. Fear is simply a test to see how badly you want those treasures.
“Living with fear stops us from taking risks, and if you don’t go out on the branch, you’re never going to get the best fruit.” —Sarah Parish
If you continue to stay in that comfort zone, your life will become stale, boring, dull, lame, and mundane. If you let it, it will lead you down a long road to regret.
FEAR IS AN ILLUSION
The vast majority of your fears have absolutely no substance. They are illusions. They are make believe; a figment of your imagination.
“Of all the liars in the world, sometimes the worst are our own fears.” –Rudyard Kipling
Your subconscious mind cannot tell the difference between reality and imagination.
The stress and discomfort you feel when your fears take ahold of you is caused by your brain literally releasing cortisol, epinephrine, and other stress-related chemicals, just because you’re imagining what could go wrong.
It makes those fears seem so real, because the feelings themselves ARE real. Your brain has evolved to protect you this way. It’s doing exactly what it was meant to do. Sometimes, it just does too good of a job.
“We are more often frightened than hurt; and we suffer more from imagination than from reality.” –Seneca
You have to realize that there is no evidence of potential danger. You’re just making it up. When you do this, you have to show your brain just how ridiculous it’s being by taking action. The subconscious often needs proof that conflicts a false belief it is holding in order to overturn it. You are more than capable of getting that proof by acting in spite of that false belief…
“Do the thing you fear to do and keep on doing it… that is the quickest and surest way ever yet discovered to conquer fear.” —Dale Carnegie
Here is the one thing you need to realize:
- There are no shortcuts, detours, tricks, hacks, secrets, or anything other than actually doing what you are afraid to do that will make the fear go away.
It is a one way street. The sooner you realize this, the sooner you can make a damn decision to either let that fear conquer you or to conquer that fear.
“Do the thing we fear, and death of fear is certain.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson
Could you imagine if:
- Magellan was too scared of the fact that tons of ships had wrecked trying to go around the peninsula of South America?
- The Wright brothers were too afraid of looking dumb in front of everybody they knew?
- The founding fathers of America were too frightened to stand up to King George III?
These people faced their fears head on and were heavily rewarded for it. Your children’s children and future generations will continue to hear about them.
Allow this to be a perspective that shows you just how often you blow things out of proportion. Could you attest to the same adversity? Likely not.
Take a look back at a moment in your life when you were unnecessarily afraid of a certain situation. When it passed, you realized how ridiculous it was that you had let it intimidate you the way it did. Realize that 99% of the things you are currently afraid of are the exact same way.
Until you decide to see for yourself, you’ll never realize it.
“Curiosity will conquer fear even more than bravery will.” –James Stephens
Fear is bullshit. It’s a trick that can fool you out of a life worth living.
- It will keep you at that dead-end job.
- It will keep you in that unfulfilling relationship.
- It will keep you from some of your greatest experiences.
- It will keep you from a better you and a better life.
The person you were meant to become is beyond what you’re used to. You aren’t familiar with that life yet. The only way to get familiar with it is to feel the resistance and continue moving forward, despite its efforts to keep you where you are.
When you realize that you deserve it, you’ll take a chance on yourself. That is something you will hardly regret.