Sadly many of us only know how to live life in fear, without knowing how to escape it.
We’re even schooled and educated to believe that fear is excellent motivator and a catalyst to our “success”.
“Use you fear for motivation” and “Fear is a good thing because it keeps you alive”.
Fear, shame, and guilt in some circles is even promoted as good and to be our trusted battle cries to get us off our butts and move forward towards our goals.
Being fearless is a total game changer and is even more important than having a pair when facing our fears.
Don’t get me wrong. Our fears are big mother f***er, knuckle dragging, fork tongued, devil horned shadows morphing out of the darkness that supernaturally dredge up feelings of insecurity, intimidation and judgement.
It’s just that our fears are only emotional shadows.
My take on it is our fears are a kind of unsettling twitching feeling we get from our evolved ego self-survival muscle we’ve been developing over the span of our life and all our experiences.
Directors of horror movies know this and they draw on these same anxieties and emotions when producing and directing their films.
Ever felt like going swimming after watching the movie Jaws?
Duunnn dunnn... duuuunnnn duun... duuunnnnnnnn dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dunnnnnnnnnnn dunnnn.
Truth be known, it’s not even the fear that scares us. It’s the intimidation of fear that messed with us up every single time. Think about it, what stopped you last time?
Being fearless is not about eliminating our fears. Being fearless is to know how and leverage our fears and remaining courageous in spite of our fears intimidation.
Quick Robin to the Bat Cave!
Just like good boy scouts we need to “be prepared” before we move forward.
What is fear?
Firstly let’s begin by identifying and acknowledging what fear is, because when we know what it is we have a better chance of defeating it.
Fear is an evolved and natural human emotion.
In fact fear helped our tribal ancestors evolve and survive while sowing the seeds for the evolution of sex and power. This then sowed the seeds of fear and greed, from which our social fabric of society has been woven.
On reflection, when we unpack greed I suspect we’ll discover greed is simply dressed up fear i.e. the fear of lack.
Fear was and still is used to test you and me. It’s a kind of rite of passage to elevate you or another and find out if we can be trusted and looked up to or not. To find out where we best fit into the fabric of society.
Fear has a purpose. It kept our ancestors alive, heightened their chance of reproduction, enhanced their social gaming, evolved and coded itself into our emotional and societal DNA of today.
So while motivational gurus might tell us that fear is not real, the reality is the consequences of or actions and choices seeded from our fear are very real.
It’s the intimidation of these negative consequences we need to stare down, not the fear itself. In fact we will discover how we can turn fear on its head and use it to our advantage.
So don’t sweat fear. See it for what it is i.e. to test you, potentially elevate the intimidator and find out if you can be trusted/ looked up to or not; as well as being high a chance they are insecure themselves and are simply deflecting their own insecurities onto you.
To win at this game and “become the man” we its essential know our “core values” and then work on maturing them.
Step One- Core Values.
Our core values are our quality of life experiences. Our success are the tickets and evidence to confidently experience this quality of life worry free.
- Simply ask yourself “What’s important about <insert fear, shame, guilt> to you?
- Then ask yourself “What’s important about <your last answer> to you?
- To help you here is my journey to identifying my core values
- “What’s important about <being accepted> to you?” <to feel valued>
- “What’s important about <feeling valued> to you?” <to be more me>
- “What’s important about <being more me> to you?” <I’m more fun>
- “What’s important about <being more fun> to you?” <I help others more>
- “What’s important about <helping others more> to you?” <It makes me happy>
- “What’s important about <being happy> to you?” <that’s what life is about>
So to summarise; for me to grow in confidence and feel less intimidated by my fears, my decisions and actions must be founded on the principle of making me happy, helping others, having more fun, being more me, feeling valued for me to accept myself.
Knowing what you stand for and why is not only empowering, it’s sexy!
Ask any woman what they find most attractive about a man and there answer will probably be self-confidence.
Even more; you’re now “the man” who confidently knows who he is and what he stands for. You’re “the one” who knows where he’s going and you know just how you’re going to get there. Boom!
Step 2. Do the Work
Do the f****ing work!
Stop living in your fantasy land and believing in fairies that go around sprinkling their magical fairy dust on your feelings so they either go away or you feel better about them.
Maybe you’ve drunk all the cool aid, bought hook line and sinker into the motivational mumbo jumbo and “the secret” that all you have to do is think positively.
Sorry princess but today you start your detox.
I’m here to tell you they’ve been selling you buckets of B.S. and pandering to your lazy arse, short cutting, ego driven, pain avoiding, wishful thinking nature only to sell more courses and keep you wondering why you’re still feeling like there must be more.
You already know, simply taking a magic pill once a day while you sit in front of the television, eating a bag of chips, a bucket of ice cream and drinking five cans of soda is not going to make you slim; no matter how positively you think.
My guess is it’s not even fear of success holding you back. It’s just you’re preferring the current comfort of apathy.
Standing up to our fears takes work. It’s inconvenient at times and sometimes down right pisses us off, but what’s the alternative?
Three important questions we need to ask ourselves
- How long do you want to remain imprisoned by your fears?
- What will it take for you to start to give a s**t and choose to fight back?
- When to you want to choose your life instead of it being chosen for you?
I’m just saying until you choose to say no more to you fears, you’ll be wasting your time buying self-improvement books, tapes, courses and vison boards.
Like Emiliano Zapata, the Mexican revolutionist said “I’d rather die on my feet than live on my knees”.
Step 3- Stop It.
Stop over thinking it.
Back in the days of my adolescence, I attended an all boy’s boarding school.
Fear was my greatest motivator and continued to be so, long after finishing high school.
I was so intimidated by my fears and the need to feel accepted by others and myself, that I became an incredibly good swimmer.
School records tumbled and stood for twenty years after I’d graduated high school. I even went on to win regional, State and National Championships.
However with the clarity of hindsight, I now appreciate it wasn’t just the fear I used as my motivation. I also used my pool success as a shield and proof to myself that I was good enough, and if I was ever challenged.
We all need a spark to start a fire and yes living in denial and believing the lie “you’re not good enough” works as long as you still have the fight in you and are fighting it. However you and I both know maintaining this lie indefinitely is not healthy to our long term psychological and emotional needs.
There are two important lessons I learnt from this experience.
Firstly, don’t over think it.
Secondly, do the work. Without results you have no proof. Without proof you have no offence or defence. Without an offence or defence it’s game over.
Step 4- What If?
These two words will either paralyse you with fear or release you from within.
But maybe you’re not ready. Maybe like me, you have days when you still use your fears to prove yourself.
Maybe you don’t even know how to let go of them? If you’re still walking around lost in a fog of confusion. Then try asking yourself the following “What if?” questions.
- What if.....You’re already enough?
- What if.....Your weakness is really your strength?
- What if….. You already have all the answers you’ll ever need?
I believe that until we are willing to make peace with ourselves, accept who and where we currently are on the journey and experience we call life, we run the very high risk of traveling in circles and to a different destination we intended.
You know who you are. You know your strengths. You know what inspires you and what completes you. So do it.
- What if….. You said no more and stood up to your fears?
- What it….. Your genius is your genuineness?
- What if….. You’re about to make the world a better place?
Step 5- War Games
Practice your game.
Most of us live our life in fear, most of us don’t know how to constructively escape our fears however some of us do and have evolved to become fearless.
The first goal in any theatre of war is to destabilise your opponent.
Bullies often use the tactics of intimidation and fear to destabilise others, no surprises here. It’s only when we fight back that they feel truly threatened and in doing so they drop their guard and open themselves to our counter attack.
We too need to step into our fear emotionally, cognitively and lastly physically.
Begin by visualising a fearful experience. Be present in the moment, rehearse the experience, picture yourself counterattacking and being victorious.
Do this over and over until your reaction becomes a reflex and you know within yourself your intimidation, guilt, shame and fears no longer have any power over you.
As with most things in life “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t….you’re right” said Henry Ford.
I’ve visualised and practiced my two most feared situations in light of the previous four steps and from experience my fears no longer cause me any anxiety.
Life is not pretty. It’s full of opinions, egos, fear and guilt.
I already know how flawed I am however I also know wrapping myself in self-imposed chains of guilt and shame serves no one, least of all myself.
We all have the ability change our destiny instantly however to experience significant results we need to step off the side line and into the game of life.
Today I’m encouraging you to stand up to your fears, don’t give up and see yourself through to becoming the champion that you know you are deep down within.
In the words of Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky “Every champion was once a contender who refused to give up”.
Fight everyday any feelings you have of insecurity. Rally against any feelings of inadequacy, shame, guilt and fear.
Turn your fears around, call them out for what they are, disarm them and free yourself from their intimidating grip over you by simply letting them go.
Move forward self-confidently, courageously and fearlessly.
Welcome to the big league kid.
This post was written by Peter Horsfield, as such they are his personal views. Peter helps you to focus on what’s most important, the right strategies at the right time. To learn more about How to become Financially Independent visit Peter Horsfield Smart Advice
About Peter Horsfield
Peter Horsfield is an Authorised Representative and Investsure Holdings Pty Ltd ABN 16 050 286 630 as trustee for Horsfield Family Trust ABN 55 609 068 513 is a Corporate Authorised Representative of Infocus Securities Australia Pty Ltd ABN 47 097 797 049 AFSL and Australian Credit Licence No. 236523.