In my last post, I discussed how Fear can be twisted by the mind to be seen as a positive emotion. A emotion that tells us that we are leaving our comfort zone, and about to embark on something that is new, exciting, and potentially life changing. A stimulus sent directly from the mind to the body to inform you that you are experiencing something of great importance.
As I embark on my new career journey as a Life Coach, motivator, and "confidence enlightener" (yes, I just made that up), I believe it it my responsibility to learn as much about the human mind and the struggles of life as I possibly can. One of my biggest role models has been Brendon Burchard, New York Times bestselling author and creator of the High Performance Academy. His book, blog, and podcasts are incredible and I highly recommend you check them out. Much of his work is free and it is quite obvious he comes from a small American town called "Hard Work." Go to google, type in his name, and find his great work today!
In his latest work, The Motivation Manifesto" he has this to say about Fear:
"Today we are faced with a multitude of placaters and licensed professionals, many of whom have never actually teansformed lives, who try to fool us into believing that fear is a positive emotion in life. They say, "Fear is natural," or "A little fear will motivate you to try harder, or "Fear builds character." But in most cases, this is wrong. Fear is the thief of humanity's light."
Brendon clearly takes a very strong stand against viewing Fear as a positive emotion. He has such an interesting, fresh, and wise view on life that I find myself agreeing with just about everything he says when I read his book or listen to his awesome podcast. There is one specific thing he does talk about that I agree with, always be yourself in the face of self-doubt and social oppression. When I first read this portion of his book, I will be honest, I started to doubt my viewpoints from my last blog post. But then I read what I wrote again. And I disagree with Brendon.
First, I never said Fear would motivate you to try harder or build character. My main viewpoint is that Fear can be viewed as a positive stimulus sent from the mind to the body to inform you that you are about to leave your comfort zone. Leaving your comfort zone is crucial to growth and life success. And it certainly isn't easy. NOTHING in life worth doing is easy. So, of course there is going to be some nervousness, fear and anxiety involved with the few beginning steps of stepping out of the zone. Sure it would be great if you could be super enthusiastic and excited as you stepped out of your comfort zone, but that is really asking a lot. The most likely emotion you will feel is fear. Sweaty palms, shaking, internal tension. But take a step back and look at reality, you are doing something that is going to help you grow and expand your life.
In all psychology writings and books of human development you read, you will read about the intense and amazing power of the human mind. The mind is so powerful, you can literally convince yourself of anything. You can literally convince yourself today that you will be happy and no longer let anything bother you. Many believe that you can even convince yourself that you as getting sick. If you think long and hard and negative enough, you can actually start to develop a fever and sickness. The mind is the most powerful thing we have. Our thoughts drive our behaviors and our behaviors drive our actions. Everything starts with the mind and how we think. What we learn as a child, we often always hold to be true and believe to be the norm. It ALL starts with the mind.
So here I ask: Why not? Why can't the mind be capable of viewing Fear as a positive emotion? It is certainly capable of it. But maybe to be more specific, it's not quite a positive emotion, as it is a positive stimulus. A stimulus from the mind to the body, telling you that you are about to experience something life changing. Something that can help you GROW. Something you will remember and not simply forget about. Something that is of great importance to you. I just want people to be able to positively recognize the feelings of Fear. If you are about to start writing a blog and your really going to "put yourself out there" and you start to feel Fear, view it as a simple stimulus that you are embarking on something new and great! Same thing if you are trying a new sport, asking your crush on a date, speaking up in a meeting at work, asking for a raise, or doing public speaking. Most likely you will feel Fear before embarking on these activiites. Should that stop you? NO! It should allow you to pause for a moment and have a few seconds of supreme Emotional Intelligence. Ask yourself, what am I feeling right now? Why do I feel this? The answer will be symptoms of Fear, and because this is important to me and my life. Having this emotional intelligence could cause you to really take advantage of the situation and totally transform that Fear into confidence.
Fear is the signal you are leaving your comfort zone. Chances are, once you take that very first step out, your going to instantly feel great. And that is where confidence and GROWTH comes from.