Archive for April 2013

Being a person who loves the outdoors, I know there are times when I could be confronted by a bear or mountain lion. In grizzly bear terrain, crossing paths with a momma bear and cubs is certainly a very fearful experience. Not often will you ever see a mountain lion but when it appears at close range the heart pounds. In either case the most natural thing to do is to run from the fearful experience; however, being an avid outdoorsman, I know that is not the wise thing to do.

My wife, Susan, loves to hike at the ranch. On several occasions she has crossed paths with a bear. One time she came around the bend in a small road and straight in front of her was her fear: a bear not intimidated by her presence. The bear stood up on its hind legs, agitated at her presence. Her outdoors training kept her from turning and running from her fear. Later, back at the ranch she shared this with me while still wide-eyed from the encounter!

Obviously the point I am trying to make is this: Are you running away from your fears, whatever they may be? Is it the fear of rejection that prevents you from sharing a great opportunity with someone? The fear of the phone in making a follow-up call? The fear of public speaking? Most would say yes. The comedian Jerry Seinfeld once joked that most people would rather be in the coffin than give the eulogy.

Probably another fear that many have is the fear of failure. In fact, this may be even more commonplace than the fear of public speaking. If you fear failing, is that fear causing you to run from the most worthwhile thing you could do to create abundance and advance quality of life for you and others?

Fear is a powerful force. It can neutralize our greatest strengths and it can compound our greatest weaknesses. It can rob us of great opportunities and worthwhile causes and dreams. It can hold us in its anxious grip at the time of critical decisions. It is so powerful it can bring us to our knees, or it can simply hold us captive as if bound in chains – unable to move in any direction.

One of the greatest examples of fear is in sports. In golf we call it choked or as we age, the yips. It simply is the incapacity to follow through in making a shot under pressure – even in a friendly match with a 3-foot putt to win and no money on the line! The great sport heroes who we all love will deliver the most amazing performances while under pressure, such as Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson in golf. They face their fears and know they have practiced that shot or have hit similar shots so many times they are able to visualize making the shots while under pressure.

This month in the Valley of the Sun it is pro baseball spring training time, when professionals come to do what they have been doing since they were kids: throwing, catching, hitting and sliding into bases. Why does a pro do the fundamentals so frequently? So they can do the same thing under pressure, with peak performance.

The greatest gift you can give yourself is to not run from your fear but rather face it and take the appropriate action. It is our natural tendency to fear anything that looms large in our lives. But the more we practice confronting our fear, the more capable we are of taking the appropriate actions to achieve a better life experience.

While being calm and contemplative, take some time to list your fears as well as appropriate actions you can take to confront and overcome them. Your life is for living and for optimizing the purpose for which you are here on earth. And that purpose will always be centered around enhancing the lives of others as well as your own!!


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