I still get a pang of fear before I sit down to do ANYTHING I deeply care about. Anything that I think has serious consequences, or any time where I really want to do my best.
And for someone like me that's done years of courage coaching and pushing my comfort zone, I actually wish the fear would show up SOONER!
You see, the fear doesn't really hit me until I finally force myself to sit down and do the work. And as soon as it does, I recognize it for what it is and my good habits of "following the fear" take over and I push past the negative feelings and get to work.
But up until that point, the fear tricks me...
It makes me believe it's not really there.
It's stays so subtle and under-the-surface that it actually takes me some time to realize I'm not doing something because of my secret DREAD of it.
The fear is smart - it knows that if it shows itself fully in the light, I will immediately eradicate it. If I spot the fear I can kill the fear. So it keeps out of sight until the very last second.
And in the meantime I'm not doing 100% of the things I want to be doing. Maybe I'm making some excuses like "it's not the right time yet" or "I have more important things I need to do first" or "I don't have enough time to take things as far as I want so I'll save it for another day"
I've found that at the heart of every excuse is some kind of fear. Those fears could be valid of course - there could be well-known risks involved - but if you're in this community you already know that REACTING from a place of fear is never as ideal or skillful as ACTING from self-aware peace of mind.
When the fear is affecting my actions but trying not to reveal itself I lose a bit of self-awareness. And I certainly lose peace of mind!
In fact, that's how I eventually discover that it was fear stopping me all along! Eventually I'm forced to realize that my mood and productivity have both deteriorated into an unhelpful place.
At that point I need to rely on some form of either discipline, or immediate consequence to put my ass in the chair and get the real work started.
That's when I see my actions for what they really are - a delay tactic to avoid the self-doubt, imposter syndrome, and loneliness that sometimes go along with investing one's self so deeply into something you care about.
But I remind myself - #1 stay curious! I can't read minds or tell the future. All things must be done firsthand if we ever hope to truly know what to expect.
If there is a feeling of fear or dread, it must be faced in order to learn if it's actually real, or if we just made it up in our heads or learned an unhelpful lesson somewhere along the way. Just as we can think random thoughts we can feel emotions for no good reason. Taking every bad feeling seriously is an over-reaction and waste of time.
#2 Most of the important things in life are difficult. Relationships, figuring out and then managing your career, getting good with money, even getting something as basic as a driver's license takes many people more than one try.
Of course I don't like to feel bad and doubt myself - but as they used to say in the wrestling gym, "pain is the feeling of weakness leaving the body". I know I'm getting stronger as a person no matter how the end result turns out. So it's always worth embracing the challenge.
I have more ways of encouraging myself, and I share them with you often, but this feels like a good place to stop today. I hope this post has been helpful and please share any comments, questions, or feedback below.
Cheers until next time! And in the meantime, Be Ballsy!