“We come this way but once. We can either tiptoe through life and play it safe or we can take life by the horns – live our life with gusto; or create and pursue outrageous dreams with near reckless abandon and live a full and complete life, realizing our wildest dreams!” –Shea Ellison, author, speaker, catalyst, and philosopher
Life is about continuous growth and expansion of your awareness of all that life holds
– which is everything and anything you desire. Nothing is impossible – Everything and anything is possible. We have infinite capacity within each and every one of us. Habits are both a blessing and a curse. Habits enable us to automate many aspects of our lives. Ideally, we have more positive and productive habits than negative and unproductive ones. The downside of habits is that we get comfortable with our habits because we get comfortable in what we do and how we do things. Therefore, changing a habit, or trying something new is uncomfortable because it means doing something outside of our comfort zone. Anytime we step outside our comfort zone – FEAR permeates every cell of our bodies.
In order to get from where you are to where you want to be, you’re going to have to do something you’ve never done before, you’re going to have to put yourself out there, and usually their is some level of fear. Unfortunately, most people let fear stop them from taking the necessary actions to achieve their dreams. Successful people, on the other hand, feel the fear along with everyone else, but they don’t let fear keep them from doing what they want to do – or have to do. They understand that fear is something that is to be expected, acknowledged, experienced – and transformed it into exciting energy and understand that doing what they fear is the ONLY way to make it go away. When you act in spite of your fear, that energy is transformed into exhilaration and confidence. The more you do what you fear, the more fear dissipates, and the more that same energy is transformed into confidence.
SO, WHY ARE WE SO FEARFUL?
Millions of years ago, fear became our body’s way of alerting us to danger and our brain signaled our body to deliver a boost of adrenaline that would give us enhanced power fight – or choose flight – and run like hell. Unfortunately, though this response was useful when wild animals or barbarians were threatening to kill us, today, most of our threats are not life-threatening.
Today, fear is more of a signal to tell us to be aware, alert, or cautious of some event in our environment. Face it, fear is a biological reaction that is alerting us that we have moved outside of our comfort zone; but we know we must act in spite of it if we are to continue to grow – which we must do.
FEAR – Fantasized Experiences that Appear Real; in order to feel fear, we have to imagine or fantasize things not working out as we would like. The key ingredient here is that we are imagining things NOT going as we would like. The fastest and best way to breakthrough FEAR is to focus on the positive outcome we desire. Know what we want be willing to do whatever it takes.
Realize that virtually everything you want in life, requires you to do things you have never done before. Most of the good stuff requires taking a risk; and the nature of risk is that is that it doesn’t always work out. People do lose their investments, people do forget their lines, people do fall off mountains, people do die in accidents. But as the old adage so wisely tells us, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”
Back in 1992 I attended Tony Robbins’ event entitled “The Unlimited Power Weekend: Fear into Power -The Firewalk Experience”. Now I had been a student of Tony for about five years at that time, and I knew he spoke in metaphors. In his book and on his audio programs, he used metaphors extensively. Therefore, when I attended this four-day seminar held in Orlando, Florida, I believed the “Firewalk Experience” was just a metaphor for breaking through your fears. The seminar began around 7:00 PM in the evening. After about an hour in the seminar room, Tony had us all follow him out into the parking lot where his crew were arranging about 20 cords of seasoned hardwood into circles that were shaping up into cones. He explained that they would soon be lighting the fires that would turn this wood into the coals for our firewalk later in the evening. (I believed he was just trying to psych us out, so I went along.) After about another hour and a half or so we went back out into the parking lot to see a bunch of huge bonfires roaring away as the sun was beginning to set. (Again, I still believed the firewalk was just a metaphor and he was just psyching us out.)
However, during the next couple of hours, Tony explained to us how to put ourselves into a peak emotional and physical state by recalling a time in our life when we had accomplished something great. We then learned about how to manipulate the sub-modalities (size, brightness, proximity, intensity, etc.) of that event to make it even stronger and more powerful. Then each of us set an anchor (a unique trigger) that we associated with that peak state. We practiced putting ourselves into a peak state… coming out and repeating it. Then he taught us about how to use a mantra to focus your mind on a single thought. Our mantra was ‘Cool moss’. We were instructed to walk ‘normal and direct’ with our head up and repeating our mantra.
Around midnight, Tony told all of us it was time for the firewalk and he instructed everyone to take off their shoes and socks and put them under our chairs as we were heading out into the parking lot to do the ‘Firewalk’. Up until we got out into the parking lot – then one of the crew had just shoveled a metal wheelbarrow full of glowing hot red coals from one of the bonfires and was moving it one of the 30 foot paths of burning out coals… and I remember smelling the smell of hot metal and burning paint from the wheelbarrow that it finally hit me – this is REAL – this is NOT A METAPHOR!!
We were all instructed to form single lines where there were crew members lined up in about 20 rows. There were even a few people crazy and were racing to the front of the line to go first!!. NOW I THOUGHT THIS WAS INSANE! I immediately started to look for a way out of that parking lot… but there was no where to go… then I got caught up in the energy and enthusiasm of the crowd. I got into one of the lines and soon found myself at the front. I was nervous and scared and excited. There were two crew members in front of the fire path (I later found out they were called ‘State Inducers’) and they helped me do just that. I fired off my trigger, clapped intensely – screaming YES, YES, YES… with increasing intensity and volume until they looked me in the eyes and asked “Are you ready?” It was surreal – a blur.. what the hell was I doing… I said ‘YES’ and the two of them stepped aside and I proceeded to walk normal and direct – repeating my mantra – COOL MOSS, COOL MOSS, COOL MOSS, COOL MOSS, COOL MOSS… until the two ‘Catchers’ (crew members) on the other side of the fire stopped me while a fifth crew member hosed my feet down – in case there were any burning coals stuck to my feet… IT WAS MIND BLOWING!! UNBELIEVABLE… It actually felt like I was walking on COOL MOSS.
There was a metaphor of sorts… the metaphor that was intended is that if I can get myself to breakthrough my fear and walk a 30-foot path of glowing red hot coals and not get burned… just imagine what else I could do if I could learn to control my state of mind and my focus! That night, about 1200 people walked the fire. There were kids from 10 years old to a man in his eighties. There was even a paraplegic man in his twenties who was determined to breakthrough his fears and with the assistance of the best crew members and Tony himself, two of them held up his legs as he walked the fire on his hands – his face only a foot or so from these 2000 degree glowing red coals! UNBELIEVABLE! (To my knowledge, everyone completed the firewalk and no one got burned). UNBELIEVABLE – is an UNDERSTATEMENT! It’s an event I will remember in detail for the rest of my life.
You can breakthrough your fear by controlling your focus and managing your state. Take control of your life. You only live once. Make your life a Masterpiece!