Public speaking. The dark. Asking someone on a date. Fighting a giant, scary man on TV in front of a million people. All of these carry the same amount of fear as the other – it’s all relative.
I have found in my experiences that facing fear head on is much easier than running from it. Coupled with a few other factors, that mindset is what lead me to the UFC. I HATED fighting and wanted to conquer my fear. I went right at it.
Present day, outside of the cage, I am in a scary place as well, transitioning from professional fighting to professional speaking. The arena is different, but the process is the same. I am fighting fear on a daily basis in this new arena and have found solace in the following examples. I’m confident they can help with your own fears.
We all know Jaime Foxx, a world-class entertainer. On a recent episode of The Tim Ferriss Show, Jamie offered his two cents on fear…”What’s on the other side of fear?” he asks. “Nothing.” There you have it, nothing is on the other side of fear. There is no big, scary thing waiting in the wings. You get up on stage, you turn out the lights, you ask someone on that date, you fight that scary guy…and…nada. It’s over. (See more of his take on fear here).
If myself and Jamie Foxx aren’t enough to have you face your fears, one of my favorite quotes of all time should help as well. Stoic philosopher, Seneca, offers his perspective on the issue, “There are more things that frighten us than injure us, and we suffer more in imagination than in reality.” Take that in for a minute. Keep your imagination in check.
As you move forward with the week and whatever fears you carry, remember what Jamie Foxx and Seneca have to say – and then act on it!
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