Fear is like a two-sided coin. If we control it, we can use it to our benefit. On the flipside, if fear controls us, it will render us unable to accomplish anything.
Think about a roller coaster ride. Part of what moves people to get on a roller coaster is the fear, except they don’t call it fear, do they? No, they call it excitement.
What makes it possible to embrace a fearful situation and see it as exciting and exhilarating? In the case of a roller coaster, you see others doing it and having fun. No one flew out of their seat, and all the cars stayed on the track. So your mind becomes convinced that you won’t die.
Logic versus emotion
This is where the negotiation process begins between your mind (logic) and your emotions (fear). Your mind says, “You can do this and it will be fun.” How these internal negotiations turn out will have a lot to do with your level of fear and the reasons behind that fear. These are your paradigms.
Suppose that as a child, you saw someone fall to their death from a roller coaster. Obviously, in that case, your fear is deeply ingrained and your mind will probably never be able to move past it, period. In fact, your mind will likely support your emotions and your inner dialogue will be short and unchangeable. “I’m not getting on that thing no matter what.”
There is nothing wrong with that kind of reaction. It is a natural, survival response that serves to protect you from danger. That is why sane people don’t try to jump off of tall buildings in hopes of flying. So fear can be a healthy, logical response to a dangerous situation, and that’s a good thing.
Turning fear into excitement
Now, let’s go back to the internal negotiations about the roller coaster ride. For someone with no fearful roller coaster references, what’s the likely outcome? Their mind will be able to reframe the fearful energy into anticipation of an exciting experience.
In this situation, the person whose mind is energized by a manageable amount of fear will be able to create a positive internal response called anticipation, which opens the door to a positive and exciting experience.
Because the human mind is capable of processing billions of bits of information per second, all of this can take place in a moment. So, most of the time, we just respond on autopilot without considering what’s involved.
Nothing happens unless we take action
This is where things get interesting. Let’s say we made a decision to get on that roller coaster and have some fun. So far, everything that has happened has been internal. We haven’t really done anything yet, except make a choice. The anticipation we feel after making that choice must be turned into action before we can experience any results.
Now we come to the defining moment. The special moment in time when we commit to following through by taking action on the decision we’ve made.
With reference to our roller coaster ride, it becomes a commitment at the exact moment when we climb aboard, place the safety bar across our lap and the cars start to move. Now our anticipation grows into excitement. Now our whole being becomes focused on this “experience” because we have made a commitment and we can’t go back.
How to harness the power of decisiveness
For an Olympic track athlete, the decisive moment comes when he brings to the starting line the sum total of all his training and focus, assumes the starting posture, the gun fires and he rockets into action.
At that moment his energy levels explode, his focus is unshakable and his commitment is absolute. You can use this same concept to propel you into truly focused action.
Making the shift from preparation to action
The decisive moment occurs when planning and preparation are transformed into action driven by a total commitment to success. The surest way to accomplish incredible things in your life is to bring that same level of commitment and focus to the starting line before you launch into action.
Setting a goal, establishing a plan of action and fixing on a specific time to start, are all vital to success, but they actually make up the training and preparation phase. These are the steps that prepare you for the action phase.
All systems go!
Yes, each step required you to make choices and then act on those choices. Each step also moved you closer to your goal. But everything changes at the decisive moment. From that point on it is a new and completely different experience. It’s game time.
This is the moment when you blow the doors off your limitations and you call up resources you didn’t even realize you had. At this point, any residual fear becomes excitement, doubt vanishes and your commitment gives you the focus needed to blast through anything that tries to get in your way. Now it’s a rush, a living roller coaster ride and you are the one having fun.
Do you see application for this strategy in your life?
Are you seeing your fears in a slightly different way?
The lines are open!
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