I’ve done everything from the usual (books, seminars, coaching) to the extreme (ziplining, fire eating, board breaking) in the name of personal development.
So when I had the opportunity to walk on broken glass, I jumped at the chance.
You may be scratching your head, wondering WHY anyone would volunteer to walk barefoot across a 15 foot platform covered with broken glass? When I felt that first CRUNCH underfoot, I asked myself the same thing!
But it turned out the hardest part wasn’t the act of putting one foot in front of the other. It was overcoming the fear.
Here are some important life lessons that became very clear during this exercise:
Getting started is always the hardest part. The first step was terrifying! But each step got much easier. Trying anything new is like that.
The best way to face your fears is to – like Nike says – “Just Do It.” No matter what you’re afraid of, the answer almost always lies in these 3 simple words. Take an action that scares you and it will set you free.
Find validation from those who have already done what you want to accomplish. Walking on glass without cutting your feet doesn’t seem possible! But witnessing others do it – with no screaming or bleeding involved – the impossible becomes possible.
Listen to what people more experienced than you have to say. One attendee ignored an important tip and got glass in her foot. Ouch! That’s learning the hard way. Have you ever had to learn things the hard way? Yeah, me too.
Pay attention. Walking on glass safely requires concentrating fully on the task at hand. Always an excellent idea … no matter what you’re doing.
You can always find reasons to justify not taking a risk. I’m sure you can think of several good reasons to NOT walk on glass. It will hurt. You could get cut. You could get an infection. You could DIE!!! As Richard Bach said in his book Illusions, “Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they’re yours.”
Successful people never stop investing in themselves
They don’t read one book or attend one seminar and call it a life. Because they realize that for every hour and dollar spent on personal development, they’ll be rewarded many times over with increased productivity, happiness, and self-fulfillment.
Owen Cook shares his great and unforgettable advice that is straight to the point about hard word, gym, dedication, habits, lifestyle, business, fitness and how to become successful in all these areas of life.
Can fear make people more productive? Some recent studies and research have shown this to be true. Having said that, the method to increase productivity may have some negative side effects if implemented.
Keep reading if you want to know why scaring someone can get them to work harder – and why it might not be the best of ideas.
I grew up believing in this societal myth that you have to be fearless. That in order to make it in life, you have to develop thick skin. Be afraid of nothing. If anything goes wrong, just throw some dirt on it.
It’s all bullsh!t.
This year alone, I’ve interviewed over 50 entrepreneurs who are truly living on their own terms. They are some of the bravest and most prolific people I’ve come to know. In deconstructing their stories to determine what drove them to succeed, we uncovered one underlying theme that finally debunked this myth for me.
Our deepest, darkest, most numbing fears aren’t spiders, rats, or snakes. While they may frighten us, our fear of spiders and such, probably won’t lead us to live a small, insignificant life. Fear of failure will.
We fear insignificance, and never truly experiencing the vast adventures that life can potentially offer us if we have the courage that they require of us. We fear that we’re headed on a road that will leave us alone in our beds, with regret as our only companion as we face whatever comes next.
I’ve tried pretty much everything in the way of increasing productivity…
I’ve created to do lists, checklists, and goals for each day. I’ve dedicated special blocks of every day to writing, email, product creation, you name it.
I’ve read books about how to maximize productivity, how to get more done in less time, while at a higher quality.
Of everything I’ve read and out of everything I’ve tried, the greatest ally, tactic, or tip I’ve come across thus far, was given to me by Steven Pressfield, in his books, The War of Art and, Turning Pro
Both books cover a great deal about what it means to create something, far beyond what I’m going to talk about in this article. What they did that no other book had done before, is position doing work as a battle. A battle against an enemy that Pressfield calls, The Resistance.
What is the Resistance?
The Resistance is anything that keeps you from doing your work. It can be internal, in the form of fear, worry, or laziness. It can be external in the form of others who are trying to pry you away from your mission and your work.
The Resistance has a few definitive characteristics
The Resistance is persistent
You can defeat it in battle, even kill it, but it will always come back the next day. Battle against the Resistance is a daily endeavor for those of us who are trying to perfect our craft.
Whether you’re an athlete, a writer, a marketer, an artist in the conventional sense, or a person trying to lose a few pounds, but every time you start a diet, the world seems to conspire to get you to quite, you’re at war against the Resistance.
The Resistance is your fear of failure that prevents you from setting the big, hairy, audacious goals your soul truly wants to achieve, set, and create in your life. It’s your sense of worry that prevents you from aiming high enough, the voice inside of you that wants to remain small and safe.
The Resistance has to be defeated if you’re going to not only write the book your want to write, paint the painting your soul longs to create, or get paid to play the game you’re in love with, but it has to be defeated if you’re going to live.
Ambition, I have come to believe, is the most primal and sacred fundamental of our being. To feel ambition and to act upon it is to embrace the unique calling of our souls. Not to act upon that ambition is to turn our backs on ourselves and on the reason for our existence. ~ Steven Pressfield, Turning Pro
Ambition isn’t merely what you want in life, it is life. To defeat the Resistance, is to live in accordance with what your soul truly longs for, what it feels this thing called life is all about.
The Resistance is cunning
The Resistance will try to rationalize your laziness. It’s your internal voice that tells you that the deadline can be pushed to tomorrow, that it’s “ok” to take just one, insignificant day off.
The Resistance will trick you if you don’t identify its existence, and wage war upon it.
If you ignore it, the Resistance will conquer you, leave you broke, weak, and as far away from accomplishing your goals, and the object of your ambition, as you can possibly be.
The only way to understand what it truly is, is to be aware that the Resistance exists, and it’s trying to kill you every day.
The Resistance is fear
The Resistance is relentless, persistent, and cunning. It can take the form of happy thoughts, of people you love, of selfish desires, but it’s always grounded, founded, and supported by fear.
Having read Mr. Pressfield’s books many times over, and waging war against this demon daily, I still find it hard to determine whether it’s the Resistance talking, or me. I have to focus to determine whether it’s a venture – or an adventure – I truly want to pursue, or one that’s guided by fear.
Fear always wants to lead us to safer pastures. Fear isn’t something we should avoid, or move with, but something we should oppose.
If something scares us, then it’s a pretty good determinant of something we should be doing, pursuing, moving towards, and giving every ounce of our energy to.
It’s the things we fear most, that we often want most.
Our greatest fears aren’t snakes, crocodiles, or spiders, but failure in what we’d most like to do with our lives. Our greatest fears in life are that we’ll die without doing what our souls know we should be doing.
When we take the first step to accomplishing this object of our fear, the Resistance throws everything it possibly can at us. It puts more on our plate, reasons with us as to why now isn’t the time, brings a relationship into our lives, the death of a loved one, another interest that’s easier, a route that is safer to take.
The Resistance is real. It’s cunning, persistent, and relentless
It will attack us when we’re about to embark on our great journey, or we’re about to realize is become something real, tangible, a creation. Identify the enemy if you want to live a strong life, ignore it if you want to live a small one.
Fight it everyday as the alarm rings and you’d rather stay in bed. Defeat it with every step towards perfecting your craft, facing your fears, and conquering that voice inside of you that wants nothing more than safety.
If you’re waging this war, and fighting this battle. I applaud you. You’re one of the few.
What used to be safe, is no longer. What’s “safe” in today’s volatile economy and society, is risk.
Not long ago it was safe to go to college, get a degree, then get a job in the field of your study. That’s no longer true.
Today, someone is working the job you want to have. They have experience, you don’t – and no one’s hiring. You have to make your own way. College is no longer your best investment unless you’re going into a field that needs a degree (doctor, dentist etc…); even then, success is far from guaranteed, and paying that investment back is even harder.
And so, you’re left to your own devices. You’re kicked to the curb, forced to see what you can offer the world – and if they’ll accept it. Or, you can go another route: you can find something that excites you, and give it to the world.
The Global Economy
The world is your oyster. The internet has opened borders, broadened your niche, market, and potential client base. You can now reach anyone with a computer – like I do with my business. You don’t even have to learn their language, there are apps that can translate the text for them.
All you need to do is give people something unique, in a unique way, and with passion.
The good news: you can reach far more people than you used to be able to.
The “bad” news: average doesn’t cut it any longer.
Doing an average job used to mean security. Today, an average – or even a good job – may mean you’re replaced by someone who does what you do, only they do it exceptionally.
With the expanding of the client base, the broadening of what can be done, and the incredible lack of employment, should you seek a career, or risk it all and create your own path?
What does a “career” offer?
The likely risk of being laid off (seniority is king in the work force).
Low pay – as an entrepreneur you can essentially, determine you own pay by you actions. A workers pay is determined not always based on merit (unless you work in commission, even then you’re getting a small piece of the pie), but on seniority.
It takes the control of your life out of your hands.
What does “risk” offer?
More control over the funds that come in, as well as what’s taken from you in the form of taxes (although the government needs to improve this).
Control over what you do with your life. So many spend their lives doing things they don’t like to do – essentially living a life they don’t want to live; what’s the point?
Risk offers a purpose.
Death is a magnificent thing; it gives your life, and this very moment, a very special and unique meaning. With each day you’re closer to the end. Each moment is one that will never be had again. Death should give you reason to risk, to try, to persist. To live a life spent doing what you hate doing, is a life lived in hell.
To risk nothing is to gain nothing.
In business, the greater the risk, the greater the room for gains. In the stock market that risk isn’t always founded on sound principles, but a lot of time when you’re talking about growing a company, or even finding success in life, great risk leads to growth.
Any great accomplishment has been done so in the face of “safe logic”. They’ve gone with their gut rather than the path walked by those before them. They’ve forged a new path.
Have the courage to step out from the crowd. Break through the limitations that bind your mind to the life you’re living right now. You deserve something greater.
We Live in Scary Times
They say that the unemployment rate in America is at 8%, but that’s not counting all of the people who have simply given up. Some economists believe that unemployment is actually closer to 15%, and could reach up to 25% in the next decade.
The future isn’t uncertain, it’s very certain that the jobs you hold now may not be there in a decade. What will you do then?
The safest thing a person can do is take matters into their own hands. This may mean joining on with a start up, something that entails a lot more risk, but you typically need less education, you’re working for a company who’s making a difference, whose leaders are leading with passion and have a lot of skin in the game, and you’re innovating.
This may also mean starting your own company. The internet has given you endless possibilities to create what you want to create, to reach who you want to reach, and to help who you want to help.
The world needs new companies, leaders, and entrepreneurs if it’s going to survive this economic collapse. It needs leaders that hire, not drones that follow. The old dinosaurs are beginning to fade away, will you take their place?
Now we know that you should never make excuses for not sticking to your goals, and we understand that from time to time you will have your valid reasons, but what if it is not really you to blame for your failures and that your brain is actually out to sabotage your hopeful plans?
Well this article here explains the 6 ways that your brain plays tricks on you to sabotage your goals and dreams.
I found this nice little piece created by ‘Leo Pantero’. I believe this is a great method to facing and defeating your procrastinations and doubts. This right here is a nice quick read to inspire a greatness you deserve.
Don’t sleep on this, take a minute or two to soak this one in.
What makes one person extremely successful, while another will fail and give up vowing never to try again? Is it due to the fact that the successful one was more intelligent, more experienced, or possesses some sort of god given ability?
As humans we all experience the five basic emotions of fear, love, sadness, anger and joy throughout the course of our lives.
When it comes to harnessing your emotions to further your personal success, there are several strategies which you can implement to this end. To help you in this important endeavour, let’s examine each one of these emotions separately in more detail below, and how you can turn them to your favour.
Can you remember the last time you really wanted to do something, but didn’t? What stopped you, what changed your mind? Was it that voice inside your head? Have you ever stopped to question, who and what that voice is? Fear. Fear is the catalyst for inaction. Fear is the voice that tells us, if we try, the probability of failure will be higher than that of success, that rejection is more likely than acceptance, fear is the impetus that makes us do nothing instead.