Fear is debilitating. It’s restricting. It can numb.
But it can also motivate. What does it do for you?
The Tough Mudder this weekend was insane.
Freezing cold water.
A 3-story plummet off of a plank into the freezing cold water.
For me, it was more about overcoming fears than it was about the physical challenge.
Many obstacles took me out of my comfort zone.
Especially the plank jump ...
“A few more obstacles into the race and it's already time for the plank. You climb up 2 stories. You wait 3-deep for your turn. You look down; it’s even higher than you thought. You didn’t take into consideration that the water level was many feet lower than the base of the plank. It’s your turn. You go to step off but fear grips you. Wait, no way. How can I fall this far? What’s going to happen when I hit? You step back. I can’t. But there’s no going back, people are waiting behind you. No choice. You step off and free fall. Your stomach climbs to your throat like the hill on the Millenium Force. Smack. Ice cold water. Your body goes into a mini shock. Now you gotta swim to get out. You get out and keep moving. Time for the next one.”
After 3 hours of pushing through with “mental grit,” mud head to toe, you walk through the finish line a different person.
And it was a good time for me to reflect.
The Tough Mudder experience reminded me about my Top 4 Lessons about Fear and overcoming it in 2012.
Conquer your fears by facing them.
We’re not going to magically wake up one day fearless. Fear will be there. Our job isn’t to run away from it. It’s to run towards it and figure out a way to plow through it. Entering the struggle and untangling yourself from it is when true growth happens. Eventually, fear will slowly release it’s grip and taking risks each day becomes a conquest, because you know it’s only going to transform you for the best. Climbing monkey bars over ice cold water, or lining up to crawl through water with shock-wires zapping you, isn’t necessarily something you look forward to. But the person that you’ll become after you get through it is.
The outcome doesn’t matter; the process does.
It doesn’t matter about the outcome. It doesn’t matter if you take a step and trip and fall flat on your face. You’ll get back up a better person. You’ll learn to take a different step next time. We tend to hold ourselves back before even taking a step because we’re so worried about will happen. What will happen is you’ll learn something about yourself, you’ll gain confidence, and you’ll get better. Winning or losing doesn’t determine success. Doing the best that you can and learning from it does. The whole emphasis of the Tough Mudder was not about racing for “time.” It was about the journey with your teammates.
Enlist your A-team.
You don’t know how many obstacles I came to and said “I think I’ll just skip this one!” If I was by myself, I’m not sure I would have completed them. But I was with an awesome team. We really didn’t give each other an option. We just did it. We lined up, we encouraged each other, and we knew we were in this together. Support and camaraderie is what everyone needs in life. You need someone to lift you up when you fall. You need someone to help push you out of your comfort zone to become better. You need someone to tap into you and unleash your true potential. Successful people have mentors. Think about Mr. Miyagi, Micky, Socrates. If you don’t have one, find one today.
The only thing holding you back is you.
You wake up every day with a choice of who you want to be. Ask yourself “WHY” if you’re not being that person. Why? Why do you do what you do, or don’t do what you want to do? As Todd Durkin from Fitness Quest 10 always says, you have to play Big in life to Be Big. Take risks. You may be working hard to overcome an addiction, to pursue a new career, or to be a better leader in your household ... there are no excuses. People are waiting for you to take that next step.
“You’re standing 3 stories up on the plank. All you have to do is take that first step. You’ll figure out how to fall right. You’ll figure out how to land. Just trust yourself.”
If you’re still not living BIG in 2012 then sign up for something today that will take you out of your comfort zone.
When you do it, you’ll be taken to a whole new level and become a better person, not just for yourself, but for everyone around you.
Thanks to my incredible teammates Nate, Tracey, and my big bro Ryan.
Push It. Live It. Be It.