I’m one of the biggest realists that you’ll ever meet. I’m also a ridiculous optimist. So, then, what would that make me? Well, I guess that would make me a optimistic realist. But, telling someone to just move past fear doesn’t help. I don’t subscribe to ignoring the bad things around until they go away nor do I believe that simply wishing for things real hard will make them come true. The Law of Attraction requires thoughtful activation. That means if you want something to happen, then you’ve got to do some hard work to attract it. This includes the idea of moving past fear in troubled times. Here’s some of the ways I’ve found to be helpful in activating that feeling of calmness during the storm.
The Setup For Fear
When we as humans feel fear we almost always misinterpret the source of the fear by not digging deep enough to understand it’s actual origin. Most of us are not trained to move past fear. When I was younger I played organized football. I can remember stacking up against this guy across the line from me. As an an offensive guard I knew that on this play the running back was going to run right through the hole I was to open up for him. If I failed, then the play wouldn’t be a disaster and my team mate could get injured.
But the noseguard stacked up across from me was a beast. He was almost twice my size and amazingly quick. Not just in his movement, but also his ability to “see the play” and adjust accordingly. His knuckles were taped and bleeding. His face was screwed up in anger and he was breathing hard like a bull waiting for the rodeo to start.
When Fear Sets In
Suddenly, I was afraid. I wasn’t afraid of him, but I was afraid of failing. I was afraid that everyone would see me fail. The spectators, my parents, my teammates and worst of all, my coach. The fear gripped me as the quarterback barked out the signals. Time slowed down to a crawl until I heard the signal to snap. Time snapped back, but passed it’s normal pace and sped forward so fast as if it were making up for the slowdown it had earlier. I blindly rushed at the noseguard in an attempt to blast him out of the way and into the stands and and out of my fear.
But that’s not what happened. Instead, he quickly identified the play and juked past me to tackle our running back in the backfield. Instead of gaining two yards the play ran for a loss of two yards. I was humiliated. The coach shouted my name followed by the words “What the f@#k was that?!!” I went back into the huddle feeling like a total failure until we lined up for the next play
At this point the guy was in my head. I couldn’t shake the fear of getting beat again… the fear of humiliation. You know what happened? Yep, you guessed it. I got beat again. Not just that play, but every play for the rest of the half.
At half-time coach was up to his normal antics, but I didn’t really hear him. I was so deep in my own head that couldn’t pay attention to anything else. I couldn’t move past fear.
“Bianchino,” coach yelled, “What the hell are you doing out there? Get your f@#*%ing head screwed on straight and blast that f@#*%ing guy to kingdom f@#*%ing come!”
Coaches have such a way with words.
He continued on for the rest of halftime, but just as we were running back out on the field coach yanked me back, grabbing the collar of my shoulder pads and said to me,
“Hey! Listen! That guy is so deep in your f@#*%ing head that he might as well pay you rent. You’ve gotta move past fear. You have to pay attention. Focus. He’s fast, but not that fast. He’s big, but not that big. You can take him. Go out there and play him just like he was half your size. You’re a veteran. You’re my guy. That’s why I trust you to be my guard. I trust you. The whole team trusts you. You got beat the first half, but this is the second half. Go out there and beat this guy. Not for the whole half, just for one play. Then beat him for another play. And then another. Kick his f@#*%ing A$$ so bad that God himself is laughing at him. Hey! You got this. Now go out there and be the player you’ve been all season.” And he slapped me on the helmet as I ran out onto the field.
Coming Out On The Other Side
I did much better that second half. No, I didn’t beat him every time. You never beat someone every single time. But I no longer felt the humiliation of getting beat. I wasn’t afraid of humiliation. I was just playing football. Just like any other game. I played. I was enjoying the game. The battle. The struggle to win not just in physically, but mentally as well. Football is a lot like life, you see. You’re on a field with other players fighting as an individual and as a team. However, this time your team is your family, your co-workers, your neighbors. The battle is your competitors in business and other people competing for your job. The battle is to both protect your kids while also allowing them to fail.
Move Past Fear
Fear is, after all just a figment of our imagination. Just like in my football story, I wasn’t really afraid of the other player, I was afraid of feeling humiliated. It’s just a matter of identifying the root cause of your fear and then coming up with a plan to beat it. Remember, you can’t just wish away the fear. You have to take action. In our next post we identify the 5 Ways You can move past fear in your own life so you can live a healthier, more vibrant life.
Tony Bianchino is a Nationally Certified Personal Trainer and Nutrition Specialist
See more about Tony on our website Out Run Your Fork.com
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