This is a big post and one that resonates with me a lot. It has to do with the biggest dream killer of all – FEAR. Now, I have been on a quest dissecting fear and how humans react to it for a few years now. This subject took a lot of my attention. Today, I am going to make my findings simple.
Every human being experiences fear. Fear is primal and it is built into us so we can survive and not get into life threatening situations. Feelings of fear are there to protect you. We often think that professional musicians, athletes, dare devils, CEOs or celebrities don’t experience fear and that’s why they are able to do the things they do. That’s incorrect – everyone experiences fear. Here is the kicker – there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. You are supposed to feel it.
Read this again. Fear is natural. Expect to feel it. It shows up as a motherly word of caution. When you do anything outside of what’s comfortable to you right now – you will meet fear.
However, on the other side of fear in the same wrestling ring is doubt. This is where the business end comes in. Fear shows up to the party, but doubt lives in you. Doubt is where your sword is hidden. You have to decide whether you have the goods to perform so well that you have little “doubt” that you’ll do well at a task. It can be anything – playing a live show with a band, giving a speech, taking someone on a date.
When I perform live in front of many people, I have a fearful tingling in my stomach, but my doubt is very small in that I can perform well in front of an audience. This is because I have done the work to prepare. I showed up, worked, prepared and stayed the course that I outlined. I know that I won’t let myself down. I have done this successfully before and I’ll make sure that I will do it well, again. With this mental prep, I face any fear of standing in front of hundreds or thousands of people.
As a side note, I think it it important to know that people feel different levels of fear. For me, standing in front of people was never a nerve wracking issue and it isn’t for most rock musicians. But, I might experience deeper fear in areas that are easy to overcome for others. With that said, I never just get up there and play. I go through a small process.
Returning to our blog, please know that if you don’t keep your commitments to yourself, you saw doubt that lives deep inside you and you’re letting down the most important ally you might ever have. Having strong doubts makes fear impossible to face. You have to slay the doubt that you won’t come up short on yourself, and this can only be done by keeping your word and staying comitted to the things you feel are important to you.
Doubt gets squashed by self-dependence and by self-reassurance. In short, you must know and believe that you won’t let yourself down, and even if things don’t work out as planned, you can figure out a way to hang in there.
Now, between Fear and Doubt lies Resilience. Resilience is like an elastic band that will allow you to spring back into shape, to recover quickly. Resilience is the power to stay looking at the scary task while your fear is telling you to run away. It is the belief that you’ll get control back and survive the task. This is a huge part for people. It’s a big issue for humanity in general.
Fear is a bully with no friends. Your resilience comes with a new pal of no doubt.
See, we have to think of individual parts when we go face to face with something that scares us. Remember, fear is to be expected. It shows up, it is just a warning buzzer that everyone gets. It has no control. It is supposed to be there. Your doubt, on the other side of the table has to extinguished and you have feel self assured, self reliant and know that no matter what – you won’t let yourself down and won’t give up on yourself. Can you honestly feel that about yourself? If you show up for yourself, doubt will have no hold on you. I say you have to be armed with no doubt, sword in hand.
Resilience is the middle man. It’s the rubber band that pulls you back to face the initial fear while you are armed with no doubt that you will handle the task. Read the last sentence, again. Resilience is the glue. If you don’t have the glue of resilience in-between fear and doubt – you won’t cross the bridge to give fear the returning eye. Use it and remember it. That’s how you face the most powerful, yet, most powerless force in the world.
I believe we can say that when you are planted with resilience and armed with no doubt in you having your own back, you are utilizing Courage to face the fear. Sometimes even knowing these words helps us tremendously. It helps us frame what we need to call on. Most of us feel fear and just run away with hands in the air. But, we are not scared of the fear – we are scared of our self-doubt. Good news is that when aware of this we can work on fortifying our abilities, remember difficult situations we’ve overcome in the past and lessen the doubt – so we can combat what scares us. It might be a long road, but at least we can start taking the problem apart and make progress. Even armed with the info here it is not easy.
As a book mark to end this post, when someone goes through the process outlined above time and time again successfully, you can say the person has developed Confidence. They have a good track record by now, and are confident that they’ll do it again. This is a true confidence built on tangible results and personal wins and not a cocky attitude of all looks and no hooks. Big difference.