I posted this back when I had very little traffic. I thought it deserved a recycle!
I remember the Underdog cartoon from my childhood and think of it often because Shoeshine boy would speak in rhymes and I love to rhyme …I do it all the time! And anytime Polly Purebred was in distress he would take his magic pill and transform into Underdog! His proclamation being, “There’s no need to fear, Underdog is here!” (Underdog was a dog version of Superman for those unfamiliar with the cartoon. Google it, it’ll make sense.)
And of course Underdog would validate Polly Purebred’s confidence in him by swooping in and saving the day! And she knew that as long as Underdog was around she had nothing to fear. Sometimes I think each of us wished we had our own version of Underdog to take our fears away. Unfortunately, there is no Underdog and learning to deal with fear is part of life. For some fear is the potter, and others fear is the clay.
I think it is safe to say we have all read or listened to stories of those that looked fear in the eye and prevailed as the master. When I think of this epic I envision Mad Max Under the Thunderdome, “two men enter, one man leaves.” Man or woman enters the dome with fear as his/her opponent and once the dust settles there they stand, holding the dead carcass of fear…well you get the point. I’ve been thinking of fear a lot lately and have been wondering why some allow fear to direct their lives and others use fear to propel them into the stars.
Athletes will usually reference the fear of losing or failing as their motivation to work hard to make sure they win more than they lose. And this is the way most successful people use fear, as they learn that fear is more powerful inside your own head than it will ever be on its own.
I remember having to do my book work for my PGA Professional membership testing in 2005 and being scared about going to Port St. Lucie, Fl for the week long test and seminar. But, once the testing was over and I had passed, I realized that my fear was much bigger in my own head than it was in actuality. But the fear of failing my test motivated me to over-prepare and from that experience I realize now that overcoming fear can become habitual.
For instance, think about someone you know that is successful, that isn’t afraid to put themselves out on a limb, always seems to be trying something new. I liken it to the experienced parachuter that so freely jumps from the safety of a perfectly functioning airplane. He/she has jumped so many times that they no longer allow the fear of falling or dying to keep them clutched to the rail. The rush they get from the free fall and the weightlessness of floating thousands of feet above earth far exceeds the fear. So it is in life. Once you have overcome fear once, twice, one hundred times, the rush of a new adventure or business venture exceeds anything fear has to offer. And once you have experienced this you know to turn off fear’s megaphone and prepare for action.
But you will never experience any of this or allow overcoming fear to become habit if you refuse to come off the bench and refuse to participate in living! You owe it to yourself to push beyond being average, beyond the walls you have built around yourself.
Life isn’t just about working 9-5, hoping for a raise, taking the kids to soccer, figuring out dinner, making sure homework is done, putting kids to bed, paying bills, blah, blah, blah. Write a book, go skydiving, advance your education and get that promotion, audition for a play, learn a new language, start your own business, learn to jump on a pogo stick, take up a new hobby, take up photography, learn to draw, learn how to juggle!!
I had a friend recently enroll in college at the age of 40-something and is excited and scared beyond imagination. I promise you that if you start to do something new, something you always wanted to do, it will awaken an excitement for life that has been dormant for many years.
Fear cannot hold you back unless you listen to its lies.