#DontBe Fearful – BE BRAVE!
The number one thing that stops people from achieving what they want in life is fear. Fear that we are not enough; fear that we will fail, fear that we will succeed and it will not have been worth it. Use fear. Don’t let fear use you.
The irony of fear is that usually when we fear failing and let that control our mind, failing is most likely what occurs next. I recently read a great article by the author and speaker Brian Tracy. Tracy eloquently points out that Fear Paralyzes Action. This is so on point! As a high school athlete, the fear of messing up on the field would paralyze me from taking a shot, making a move toward the goal, or even putting myself on the field. Have you ever found yourself on the sideline during a major game and felt more comfortable on the sideline than on the field? This is fear! Have you ever avoiding going to a professors office hours for help or come up with great reasons why you don’t need to apply for that internship or scholarship? This is all fear! Anytime you find yourself paralyzed to take action, this is fear.
Great, so how do we push past fear? For me fear showed up most often on the field. I would get in a game and just not do anything of value other than pass the ball. I was a role player but I didn’t want to be a role player. During my junior year of high school I was introduced to visualization. On the bus ride to games I began visualizing the entire game and my role in it. I would visualize walking off the bus, warming up, the National Anthem, and the opening whistle. I would see myself picking up the first ground ball off the face-off, charging up the field, making a great move, and going toward the goal. I would visualize shutting down my guy on defense, making a huge clear, and making a great assist. Anything and everything that I wanted to do on the field, I would visualize on the bus ride. This made it real for me and made it less intimidating. By the time I got to the field I had already played the game of my life in my own mind. This wasn’t an overnight fix. This took practice. Lots of practice! I bought a CD to listen to that helped me do it. I read books on visualization and mediation. I made it my pre-game ritual. And eventually it began to work. I didn’t always play the game of my life as I had envisioned it in my head, but I played a game of action instead of a game of fear.
Have you ever tried visualization before a big game or big moment in life? Even though I don’t play in big games anymore, I still use visualization before I go out on stage in front of hundreds of people. I use it to curb my fears in that moment so that I can show up for my audience. Where does fear show up in your life?
#DontBe Fearful – BE BRAVE!
Salisbury head coach Josh Merkel pulls down the net following the Gulls victory against Christopher Newport University in the Capital Athletic Conference finals on Saturday afternoon.
On May 1st I was invited to join a book club with Salisbury University athletic coaches. I am an SU alum, I now live near campus, and I love staying close and involved with higher ed and students. As I walked in to the Breakfast Bum (our wonderful meet up location for an 8am book club) I was greeted by a student-athlete who I had worked with earlier in the year. He is a graduating senior who just finished up his final season as a basketball player for the Sea Gulls. I congratulated him on his terrific season! This past season the SU men’s basketball squad won the programs second ever CAC conference championship and first since the 1995-96 season. This year marked the first 20-win season since the 1996-97 campaign, a program-record 14 conference wins, and they advanced to the NCAA Division III tournament for the first time since 1996-97 before losing in the second round. Quite the senior year!
As I congratulated him he interrupted me to say, “Thank you for speaking to us! Your program was the turning point for our season. We didn’t lose a game until the NCAA tournament after that.” I was really touched by his comments and I quickly shot back, “Oh well you guys are the ones who won the games! You had it in you all along.” To which he quickly shot back, “Exactly. Which is why your program meant so much to us. We had it in us. We just needed you to pull it out. #DontBe in our own way.”
This hit me. I watched with excitement as the Sea Gulls won game after game this season. I felt a connection because I knew the players and I am good friends with Coach Merkel. But I never felt I had anything to do with their success. And to be honest, I still don’t! Coach Merkel is a top notch coach and someone who values building the man as well as the player. This led to their success. The Sea Gull team this past year was committed to success and a talented group of hard working men. This led to their success. Was my #DontBe program the entire reason for their success? Of course not. Did #DontBe serve as a catalyst for SU’s success this past season? I sure hope so and this is always my intent when I work with team of athletes.
I am glad #DontBe allowed the Sea Gulls to play their game, their way, and on their terms. Congratulations again on a record breaking season!
Ever watched SHARK TANK and thought, “I have a great idea and I am going to get on this show!” Me too! And I am going to get on this show! Well…at least I am going to try 🙂
This Saturday ABC’s SHARK TANK is hosting an Open Casting Call in Salisbury, MD and I have a 9:15am time slot scheduled to give my 1 minute pitch! When this opportunity first came to me my first response was, “Absolutely NOT! I am not ready for this. My business is not ready for this. I will try out next year when I am ‘more’ ready.” My mentor looked at me and said, “That doesn’t matter. Just do it. What’s the worst that could happen?” I thought, “I’ll tell you the worst that could happen! The worst that could happen is I don’t do this and there is no next year. Then what? I just wonder the rest of my life what might have happened?” I answered my own question.
You are NEVER ready for your next big opportunity. Let me repeat, NEVER! This morning I was listening to an interview on NPR’s Fresh Air with Louis CK and he spoke about this. He said that when he first started he really sucked. He said he was painfully bad. But he kept going. “I’ve seen guys who from day one are really comfortable up on stage and they usually have quick success and that’s it. It’s the guys who really suck at first but stick with it that really make it some day. They become something special and unique.” That’s my best paraphrasing of what Louis had to say on this radio this morning and I just love it.
Your next level is just a hair outside your comfort zone. Get out there! Stick your neck out. Allow yourself to be vulnerable. Admit you don’t know it all. Admit you don’t have all the answers. Admit you have the courage to try and see what happens. You might even surprise yourself.
#DontBe Afraid to SUCK!