I’ve read a few ridiculous posts on self development in my time, a few of them were even my own. But probably the most asinine was by a guy (and I genuinely forget who it was now) writing about fear.
He explained that we should all just let fear go, that there was no need for it in our lives.
If that wasn’t incredible enough in its own right he followed up with the coup de grace:
“I know that sounds like it’s easier said then done, but it isn’t. It really is that easy”
I didn’t leave a comment because I was laughing too hard to type. And anyway, what can you say to a person that has just dismissed thousands of years of human evolution and hard wiring with one trite sentence?
The fact is we all have fears. Fear is an important and necessary part of our life. We need it to stop ourselves acting recklessly as well as helping us perform optimally.
It’s what keeps you from wondering into the wrong end of town at night. It’s also what stops you following four men in balaclavas carrying holdalls into a Miami bank in July, and telling the 350lb drunk in the bar that he’s making a fool of himself brandishing that loaded gun.
On the other hand we all tend to have at least some fears that are largely, if not entirely irrational, and don’t serve any useful purpose.
As a Life Coach and using certain NLP and hypnotherapy techniques I’ve helped numerous clients overcome fears such as flying (on several occasions including on an actual flight to Denver), needles, doctors (often called white coat syndrome) and public speaking.
Note: My book Don’t Panic whilst looking largely at social anxiety also covers a number of the techniques I use for helping people overcome fears.
But I still have fears myself. I still get apprehensive before getting up to talk to a group of people and I still get a tad nervous before doing interviews, especially TV and radio.
The thing is however, even though I get nervous I still do it. Otherwise I’d feel like I was letting myself down and missing out on opportunities.
And that is the key to not necessarily beating fear, because I think that’s impossible, but managing it and not allowing it to beat you.
Fear is the serial killer of dreams.
Fear stops more people fulfilling their hopes and dreams than lack of ability, money, education and luck combined.
I’m going to tell you a fear I still have that is holding me back from doing something I really want to do.
It’s one I have admitted to very few people because hey, I’m a Life Coach, and I help people eradicate fears, I don’t confess to having them.
“Physician heal thyself” do I hear you say?
Well yeh quite, and it does piss me off that some of the techniques I use with clients will not work on myself.
But that’s the name of the game, so I’m looking for another way to skin this particular cat.
And that other way is to admit my fear in in to the public and thus diminish it (maybe), but more importantly, make me look a complete hypocrite if I still the don’t push through.
I’m adopting the approach I spoke about in my post A Ridiculously Easy Way To Hit Your Goals
Because I have to be honest and say if I don’t do this, I’ll be really disappointed in myself in the years to come.
What’s The Goal?
The cartoon was a bit of a give away because for as long as I can remember I have wanted to do a parachute jump.
However, the thought of the lead up to it makes me feel physically nauseous.
In fact, reading this post back as I just did, created a certain sense of unease and I’m not joking when I say my palms are sweating.
I’m 50 next year and I’ve been promising myself that I’ll do it before then. But that’s the only person I’ve been promising, and my Achilles heal is not always sticking to promises I make to myself.
I’m great at sticking to promises I make other people and that is why I’m pondering making this commitment public.
So here’s the deal.
If 10 people agree in the comments to do something that is scarey to them, but also something that they know they really want to do, then I’ll commit to doing the jump before I hit 50.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be anything dare-devilish, it can be doing some public speaking, hitting the phones for some dreaded cold calling or even telling your boss you want a well deserved rise.
As long as it drags you waaaay out of your comfort zone, that’s good enough for me.
So come on then, are you up for some sheer unadulterated terror, or are you a bigger wuss than me?