F.E.A.R.

The thoughts that circle in our head; fear in particular can be a challenge to overcome.

FEAR. It’s the word denoting the feeling that slips in and out of our lives on a consistent and relentless basis. Too run away and avoid the situation. A holdover from our early days as a species when we were the hunted as much as the hunter. How much, and how strong really depends on the individual. It’s a word that I’ve watched in my own life for a while now. Writing about it, all the while poking and prodding at it.  Chipping away at the fears that seem to have erected walls around the things I’ve thought about doing.  If you’ve followed this blog for a while you will have seen the progression; the change in attitude and direct challenge to my own fears to do new things.

Grant Cardone’s book, The 10X Rule, has embedded itself into my thinking and he uses the well known acronym for fear: False Events Appearing Real. He makes the following, very direct, statement:

“All the excuses in the world won’t change one simple fact: that fear is a sign to do whatever it is you fear – and do it quickly.” – Grant Cardone

Simple and to the point. If I started listing off the things I don’t know, and the actions I don’t take or ideas I don’t pursue, because of fear, it would take me all night. All of the ideas I’ve had and not pursued. Fine. It’s in the past. What in your life right now have you thought about and not yet pursued? Have you seen the excuses that you’ve made in your own mind whether they are tangible or not. Money, time, etc. I’ve talked a bit about my @books.and.beers IG account recently as a fun creative outlet. Well I’ve taken the 10X approach and used it as a test case.  Here is what I’ve seen so far.

Every idea that I’ve thought about or written down I’m doing. Instead of simply writing them down and letting the idea passed; I’ve pursued it. In the month since starting this account it’s grown to 750+ followers, I’ve been in contact with two breweries, various liquor stores, a start-up craft beer store, two different book stores, and an international brewery. All as a result of addressing my own fear. Let’s take one example and break it down. I’m traveling soon and thought of the idea why not reach out to breweries and bookstores in the various cities I’ll be traveling.

Excuses: They won’t know me. I’m an unknown photographer. Why would they support a small IG account. What would they hope to gain from it. How would I market myself.

Action: E-mail them all anyway with a pitch. Collaboration and marketing with a professional Canadian photographer. I e-mailed as many as I could find in one city with one responding the next day. I’ve now got a point of contact and plan on heading there when I visit.

Result: Ignored the fear and started firing off emails anyway without any true notion of what I was going to do. Passion and enthusiasm, a few sample pictures, and a marketing pitch and I landed a lead. The fear’s that were present were really a function of my own creation.

The lesson for me has been the need to constantly push myself out of my own self imposed limits and I suspect a lot of people reading this are in the same boat. We create the excuses before action even has a chance to take hold. To Grant’s point, we must act immediately, before the limiting excuses set in and we hold off until tomorrow or until next week. The beauty of acting immediately is that we are truly responding in the present moment. The essence of mindfulness is in action without letting our own storylines prevent us from moving forward. So make a list of things you want to do and start acting on them. It’s been eye opening for me to say the least and the results are very encouraging. Each decision I act on moves me out of the habit of fear and that is a great sign.

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