1. SET YOUR SIGHTS ON FEAR
Fear is a powerful human emotion that can CRIPPLE or CATAPULT you.
It’s natural and it’s part of our survival mechanism that is deeply ingrained in our psychology and it’s how we perceive threat.
- Are you being threatened?
- Is your life in danger?
- What are you afraid of?
When you experience fear, it’s important to understand where this emotion is coming from.
Everyone experiences fear and it’s not a weakness.
“It’s powerful fuel that can supercharge you in so many ways.”
I realized this after surviving one of my biggest fears. I actually didn’t know it was one of my fears, until it presented itself.
The fear was getting in the ring with a martial arts black belt instructor.
Back in 2004, when I was in the Marine Corps, several Marines under my charge had challenged me. They challenged me to a sparring match with the fiercest instructor at the martial arts training facility.
At the time, we were upgrading our training belt, so I guess they figured it would be the best time to challenge me. When you are in the Marine Corps and you are in a leadership position, it’s your responsibility to be the best role model you can possibly be.
At that time, I was still physically recovering from the birth of my youngest child.
Let’s just say I was still nursing her and parts of my body were still swollen.
Throughout the years, I realized that as a woman Marine, and leader, one of the things men will never understand is what women have to endure as minorities within a male-dominated organization.
Let’s be clear, I am by no means pointing this out to seek sympathy; rather, it is to point out that there are physical, mental, and emotional differences between men and women.
Women have to meet the same physical, emotional, and mental demands as men. In the Marine Corps, we are equals and it doesn’t matter if your breasts are engorged with milk because you’ve had your child. (sorry about the visual but it’s true!)
If you are in a leadership position, you need to step up and meet and exceed training requirements so you can excel in a competitive world.
So one day, FEAR reared it’s ugly head when one of my Marines challenged me to get in a sparring match with the black Assassin!
The black Assassin was a stalky, white guy who was solid muscle mass. Men feared getting in the ring with him because it was certain they would get destroyed!
Here’s a fierce fact, Sparring is the same as Boxing and it can be a graceful dance, or in my case a grossly death!
Luckily, I had 24 hours to think about it, but to be honest, I think that made it worst.
When your Marines challenge you, you simply don’t punk out!
It’s not the way we do business in the Marine Corps. Especially Marines, we thrive on challenges and we push beyond our comfort zone.
That night I couldn’t sleep knowing I would have to face one of the fiercest black belt instructors the next morning. I remember thinking, “I’m pretty sure I can hang for a minute and thirty seconds without getting knocked out.”
So that night I thought about my strategy and how I would nail this guy by exposing his weak spot. After all, the Marine Corps had trained me to become a force in readiness. I had to believe in my capabilities and I had to execute with fierce precision.
That plan gave me confidence and I knew that I would unleash a lethal weapon strategy.
I had been trained and now it was time for action. As I was mentally preparing for battle, the human element would sneak up and it would remind me that severe pain would be my outcome.
Quite honestly, it would frighten me and I started thinking about how my opponent would outmaneuver me because he was a superior boxer.
What pain could I possibly inflict?
When FEAR makes its presence, pay attention because fear can be camouflaged as;
And oftentimes, we fear the unknown. As I was mentally preparing myself for battle, my thoughts would slowly drift into the unknown.
- What if he knocks me out?
- What if the pain is too intense?
- What if I look like a fool?
From experience, I will share this important concept, most of the time, what we fear NEVER happens!
FEAR is False, Evidence, Appearing, Real.
My recommendation is that you SET your SIGHTS on fear.
Make it your ally not your enemy. Don’t let it provoke, paralyze or punk you out!
Take charge and SET your SIGHTS on fear.
What do I mean by this?
It means to focus on something or someone. What is provoking you? Don’t be intimidated because you don’t know what will actually happen because you’ve never experienced it before.
So what do you do?
You summon your fears.
2. SUMMON YOUR FEARS
Summon your fears by walking towards them.
- Don’t run away
- Don’t suppress
- Don’t ignore or
What you must do is…
- Draw them closely
As you draw them close, I want you to know that you are in control of this human emotion.
It’s a protective mechanism that if used appropriately will increase your chances of survival.
Don’t worry this brain you’ve been given will know how to respond to fear.
There is a preprogrammed reaction we all experience known as the “Fight or Flight Response” and it will help your body flood with adrenaline if there is a dire need to take flight.
But don’t take flight, because I want you to FIGHT!
- Fight for what is right
- Fight for justice
- Fight for credibility
- Fight for your business
- Fight for your children
- Fight for your independence
- Fight, and speak your truth!
Whatever you have to do always remember to STAY in the fight!
Well, because the thing you are fearing is nothing to be afraid of.
Fight for your happiness! Stand your ground and have fierce acknowledgement of what is truly hindering your progress or willingness to move forward.
A side of caution!
Depending on the severity of fear you will experience the following symptoms:
- increased blood pressure
- increased sweating
- tightening of muscles
- sharpened senses
It’s not my intent to alarm you but to give it to you straight.
The moment came when I had to confront the black belt assassin, and I experienced all of the above symptoms.
Moreover, I also wanted to vomit because fear can provoke mixed emotions. These mixed emotions must be handled accordingly.
So what do you do?
You demand and draw your fears in close.
Not demanding or drawing them close can have repercussions. They can create the following problems for you:
- Create unnecessary obstacles
- Predictions about unpleasant outcomes
Your thoughts DO NOT control your actions but they surely influence them right? Pay attention to your thoughts.
Diffuse from your thoughts, don’t let them manipulate your actions or your way forward.
Furthermore, there is no need to ignore or suppress them, just know they are there to protect you. You cannot control your thoughts but you can diffuse yourself from them.
Negative thoughts are just words that intrinsically pop up. They are thoughts that are trying to caution you about something. The problem lies in how you respond to this emotion.
Now let’s be clear, there are some instances where you need to be careful. You need to be careful if you have any phobias or extreme fear because these need to be treated by a specialist because those are anxiety disorders.
But most people are just afraid. They are afraid of flying, public speaking, speaking up, embarrassing themselves, or fear the unknown.
My recommendation is that you summon your fears.
Draw them close, because the moment you do that, you will see that fear is not as intimidating as you thought it would be.
3. STRIKE YOUR FEAR THROUGH ACTION
Strike your fear by taking consistent action.
Because if you don’t you will experience a sense of failure and this will affect your self-esteem and crush your self-confidence.
So do you want to experience more failure or more evidence?
The choice is ultimately yours and I would highly recommend that you strike your fears through consistent action.
Practice, practice, practice! Summon your fears, draw them close, and strike by taking consistent action.
As you take consistent action you will feel self-efficient and this efficiency is what gives you evidence.
This evidence is what gives you fearlessness.
Building this feeling of certainty and assurance gives you more fearlessness confidence. And the only way to achieve this is through consistent action.
Sometimes you have to pretend you don’t have fear.
That’s what I did when I confronted the black assassin.
I had to project superiority because a strong fighter like him can sense fear.
“They look for your weaknesses and try to expose your vulnerabilities.”
Trust me on this one,
- The actions of confidence come first
- The feelings of confidence come later
But you must be willing to take action first.
Expose yourself to your biggest fears. This is one of my favorite parts of coaching because I live vicariously through women.
It invokes enthusiasm because I know they are challenging themselves and facing the fear of the unknown.
4. SHIFT PERSPECTIVE INTO A MEANINGFUL APPROACH
Expose yourself to your biggest fears. Learn to coach yourself through scary, difficult circumstances. As you shift your energy from scared to excited, don’t forget to breathe!
Breathing has so many benefits especially when you do it correctly.
Your breathing may be altered when you experience fear. You will experience certain effects throughout your nervous system and it could possibly create tension if you are not breathing appropriately.
Breathing helps you reach a relaxed state so it’s crucial that you control your breathing when you experience fear.
Do not fear success or failure by changing your perspective.
Remember, you are not experiencing fear, you are experiencing excitement! Shift this energy so that it serves you. You get to decide the meaning you draw from your emotions.
I personally, choose to shift this fear into excitement because it will challenge me to grow.
It will challenge me to expose myself to something new and possibly something I might fall in love with.
Developing a warrior’s mindset will help you understand this concept.
A great example of this is Viktor Frankl. Victor Frankl, may he rest in peace, was a holocaust survivor. He wrote the book, “Man’s Search for Meaning.”
I highly recommend this book! Viktor Frankl’s book is about finding meaning in difficult circumstances, and that suffering can’t be avoided.
You will love his resiliency and his perspective on life. He is the perfect example of developing a warrior’s mindset.
Why am I sharing all of this with you?
Because I learned that survival and resiliency is about shifting our perspective. There must be a lesson in what is happening to me.
As I got in the ring with the assassin that day, I set my sights on the target and I controlled what was happening to me to the best of my ability.
My heart was intensely pounding and the moment he landed his first blow, I realized that I was fighting for my honor, my courage, and my credibility.
He hit me like a ton of bricks!
It was painful, but I soon realized I would survive. I had to capitalize on his weaknesses and exude superiority.
That day I used all the weapons in my arsenal.
I fought him with everything I had, but he exposed my weak spot.
He was consistent on hitting my left arm.
After the first minute, it wasn’t responding so I had to redirect my focus to being faster on my feet and utilizing my right arm.
My right arm would inflict bodily harm so I could remain intact throughout the fight.
At the end of the sparring match, I removed my mouthpiece and I could see my Marines jumping up and cheering for me.
I didn’t win of course, but I came out victorious because I had faced my fear and I had survived.
5. SUCCESS LIES IN EMBRACING UNCERTAINTY
Expose yourself to your biggest fears.
Why do I say this?
Well because success lies in embracing uncertainty.
“When you don’t embrace uncertainty you become doubtful about your future or the ability to deal with the unexpected.”
And quite honestly, I don’t want this for you! I want you to be prepared because when the unexpected happens, it will come at a cost and sometimes that cost can be detrimental to your soul.
Even if you are prepared, chaos can bring disorder and it’s my hope that you bounce back and you give yourself direction.
If you are not prepared how will you be able to handle..
- death of a family
- loss of intellectual property
- financial setbacks
- negative criticism
Be prepared, don’t be afraid to handle the unexpected. On the flip side, I definitely don’t want you to play it safe.
I highly advocate you take bigger risks and chances on yourself because this is a requirement for all women entrepreneurs.
That day in the ring, I took a big leap of faith into the unknown. Although I couldn’t move for about a week, and I had bruises in my upper body, I walked away feeling great about myself.
I had the courage and conviction to confront my fear, and I performed to the best of my ability.
I walked out a champ because I honored myself and I executed with precision, and persistence.
You must do the same!
Don’t live life with regret and starting today take those chances that will catapult you into greatness.
If you are ready for more challenges and seek other ways to grow then reach out to me. Let’s join forces and help you face your fears so you can live the life you were destined to live.
Click here and let’s discuss your next course of action!