You should be afraid. Fear is hardwired into you to keep you alive. The question is: how can you transform your fears?
First, recognize your fears.
This is the first step. Recognize and admit your fears. Until you take this first vital step, you will be living in denial and merely posing as a confident man.
Fear is natural, but it’s not neutral. To feel afraid is part of your natural, genetic makeup — to warn you when there is danger, and to alert your body to, among other things, make adrenaline. So take a moment before reading further. Close your eyes. Ask yourself “What am I afraid of right now?”
Because the problem far too often is that we don’t act. Freezing is one of three natural responses when we experience fear. You know the old addage: “Fight, Flight or Freeze:” the Three F’s.
Here is the challenge: keep your brain engaged, if at all possible. Allow your fear to surface, but keep your brain agile. Then, you can act, even if that action is simply to keep your eyes open in the midst of something frightening.
After the initial fear, children will often shout, “Again!” Whether it’s push me on the swing again, or throw me up in the air again, or whatever they were first afraid of, they will want to do it again after they lived through something scary — and have discovered that it didn’t kill them. Think of your first time on a roller-coaster.
Because remember: confidence comes with repetition. The more often you face your fears and take action in the midst of them, the more confident you will become to act in ways that help you face these and other fears now and in the future.
Courage, by definition, is not the absence of fear, but rather the ability to move ahead in spite of the fear. And when you do that — when you take action in the face of fear — others around you might just catch on.
Please listen to this brief talk (about 6 minutes) by Damon Davis about how to transform your fear into the courage, and consider how your courage might catch on with those around you. After you listen, come right back for today’s takeaway.
Life is scary. And yet, even in the face of your fears, you can act in ways that are courageous and contagious.
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