VISUALIZING THE FEAR
Fear only lives in the past and the future, but never in the present. I can recall going to a dirt bike race as a kid watching individuals jump their bikes twenty-five or thirty feet in the air. It was awe inspiring to see people throw caution to the wind as they fishtailed at breakneck speeds. People all around us, do incredible things for which all have a secret twinge of fear.
My brother and I were born ten years apart. It has been hard to find common ground with him over the years due to our age gap. In September of 2015, my brother and now sister in law got married. My brother asked me to be his Best man, and I can remember being a little nervous. I was deeply honored. I recall being a bit nervous because I did not know him very well. As I boarded the plane bound for the state my brother lived in, I can remember thinking “What the heck am I going to say for a speech?!”
I sat in the back of the plane in a cramped seat as the twinge of fear shot up my back. I was going to have to get up in front of a hundred and fifty people I didn’t know or haven’t seen in fifteen years. As I took a deep breath, I remembered a story of Pele, the soccer player.
Pele played for well over twenty years, shattering long-held records. The story goes, Pele would show up two hours prior the stadium and simply lay down on the trainer’s table with a towel over his eyes. One day, a coach asked Pele what he was doing. Pele, responded, “I am visualizing the entire game.” Pele would start the whole game from start to finish, mapping out every defender's actions and seeing the ball pierce the goal.
As I sat in my tiny airplane seat, with a rather large man pushing ever closer to me, I started to envision my speech. After a few iterations, the fear began to fade. When I landed, I changed and went directly to the wedding. I arrived thirty minutes before the start. The ceremony was a gorgeous display of my brother and sister's love for each other.
As night fell and the dinner ended, it was time for the speeches. I can still remember them motioning the mic at me. As I strolled up, this was the umpteenth time I took the mic. All the fear melted as it was just another time of me saying my speech. People will still come up to me and mention the speech, and it is not because I am a good speaker. The address was different from when I got off the plane. I had rehearsed the speech to a point I was confident, and it came through in my words.
We all are afraid at times, and this can stop us from trying something or giving our best effort. We can overcome our fears, by visualizing ourselves doing it. Whether it's sports, talking in front of crowds or pushing ourselves the more we visualize ourselves conquering these fears we loosen the gripping fear has on us.
Call to the Path Challenge:
Sit in a quiet area, close your eyes and take a deep breath. This focus on the rising of your chest, once you start feeling relaxed visualize a staircase. As you walk down the stairs, take a deep breath at each step counting to ten. Once you have reached ten, envision a door and yourself walking through to a gym. In this gym, you can do anything or be anything.
For this first exercise, I want you to envision yourself giving a presentation at your work. See all of your co-workers nodding their heads in agreement with your pitch.
Though this is simple, you will start to see your confidence build. Once you start to feel more comfortable with visualizing, branch out and visualize yourself doing other actives like skydiving!
I hope to see you on the path…