“It’s all about confidence” my friend said over a beer.
It was alright for him. He wasn’t the one who had to spend the next eight weeks in a small maximum security prison meeting room across the table from one of Britain’s most notorious gangsters.
It’s not easy to be confident when your first case as a lawyer is “theft of a pork pie” and your second is defending a man accused of masterminding an international drug ring and enforcing it by whatever means necessary.
There have been times in my life where I’ve used meditation, hypnosis, positive thinking, to convince myself that I’m fearless.
I’m not completely fearless. It’s just not who I am.
It doesn’t matter how many times Paul McKenna whispers in your ear that you are unstoppable – if you look into the eyes of a psychopath, you’ll find out you’re not necessarily Iron Man.
I’ve met a few fearless type people. People who charge into new things and seem to thrive. I sometimes want to be more like them.
I’ve found if you spend more time around them one of two things happen.
1) You get disappointed about how much you suck at being fearless.
2) You pick up some of their traits which builds up your “fearlessness bank”.
“Every little helps” says Tesco.
But it really does when you surround yourself with fearless people.
There’s a super-fight going on in a few weeks. Probably worth a billion dollars. I’ve seen the pre-fight interviews. Both fighters say they have no fear about their opponent. I don’t buy it.
Yes, that’s right – I just called out Floyd Mayweather Jr.
I believe you do have fear sir. Oh, and I’ll gladly take a beating for $160 million dollars if you’re offering.
We need fear. Fear is what keeps us moving. It’s what tests us and makes us a better person. It’s not something to be ashamed of.
“I’ve been worryin’ that we all live our lives in the confines of fear” sings Ben Howard on my Ipod when I am at the gym.
That makes me worry a bit. But then the dance version of the Rocky theme tune comes on and for that fleeting moment in time, holding those weights above my head, I feel like Dwayne The Rock Johnson.
It’s a rare man or woman that is fearless 24/7.
The most fearless person I know is a woman called Josie.
She’s gone through her whole life never complaining. Maybe it’s that generation (she’s 80 now) but she just gets on with stuff.
Last year she was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a double breast mastectomy. She never complained. She smiles. She’s my hero.
She’s my mum.
I know some more fearless people too.
Chris just told his parents that he didn’t want to be a doctor. He’s going back to college to study drama. Kid’s following his dream and gonna be an actor one day!
Sarah who brings up two young kids, whilst working shifts and studying at night school.
Jessica who had a phobia of snakes who was on my course in London when I was training to be an NLP Practitioner. They brought in six huge snakes and wrapped a boa constrictor around her neck.
Well, not immediately. It was several minutes before she stopped crying, fainting and puking before she agreed to do it.
But she did it. And it made her more fearless.
Maybe that’s all we really need to do. Just get on with it. Stop talking. Quit analysing everything. Just keep moving.
On my Facebook page I post a lot of motivational and inspirational quotes about positive thinking.
Does that make me a fraud if I don’t think it makes any difference?
Well, I’m not saying it doesn’t work. But reading a quote isn’t going to make a huge difference.
It sometimes takes putting yourself into situations that challenge you so you can stare fear in the face.
But over the years I’ve learnt a lot. Fear has been the catalyst for many things.
It can make you a winner, or a loser.
I’ve made a lot of money by facing my fears. I’ve lost a lot of money by letting my fear control me. I’m a winner, and a loser.
What are you going to do now?
“I don’t really know.”
Aren’t you scared about what you are going to do with your life?
“Yes. But, I guess I’ll figure it out”.
And so I did. I let a lot of fear go that day.
Now, I’m not Tony Robbins. I don’t have a deep enough voice. Or white enough teeth.
But I do have my own strategy.
There’s a little bit of fearlessness in all of us.
There’s a little bit of fearfulness in all of us.
That’s okay too.
Life is a delicate balance between the two. A dance, if you will.
Being fearless isn’t about not feeling fear. Sometimes it’s about acknowledging that you do feel fear. And then giving it a big fat finger.
Screw you fear.
Don’t analyse. Just keep moving forward.
Don’t let anything stand between where you are now and where you want to be.
Oh, and I won’t pretend the criminal trial went well.
The evidence was so overwhelming it didn’t take long for Mr Big to be found guilty and given the highest sentence ever received in the Crown Court.
But did anything positive come out of taking the case and confronting my fears. Well, I guess, justice.
But it also made me a little more fearless.
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