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Mastering Fear: A Man's Guide to Courageous Living

“The day you become more committed to your dreams than you are to your fears will be the day the life of your dreams begin.”

I don't know anyone that doesn’t at some point in their life deal with fear. As I reflect on my life I realize I've been experiencing fear and worry my whole life. I play the “what if” game in my mind that feeds my fear and worry, thinking of the worst case scenario. I’ve dealt with fear of my father, failure, what others think of me, even fear of what lurks in the deep dark abyss of the ocean when swimming, perhaps a shark. Now running in the hills of Western North Carolina, venomous snakes or black bears.

How does fear hold you back?

  • It causes you to procrastinate-Put things off, avoid things in order to avoid the fear.

  • Your mind is our greatest enemy. It's your thinking, and your thoughts that create the fear. This stifles your ability to achieve and reach your dreams and your goals. 

  • It causes you to settle and to stay in your comfort zone.

“Once you decide fear is not an option, you're left with only the choice to change, to shift your consciousness or to take action. Think about it this way. What would you do if you were not afraid?”

  1. Challenge your fearful thoughts with positive self talk.

  2. Write down your fears-sometimes identifying your fears is an important step in letting them go. You can create a ritual like writing down your fears and burning them

  3. Take action. Feel the fear and do it anyway. 

Last week during a run I was thinking about a bear encounter, and what would I do? You can't outrun a bear, it’s too fast. You can’t climb a tree because they're really good climbers. Just like your fears, you can’t outrun them because you’re the one that creates the fears with your thinking, you’re going to take them with you. So what can you do? With a bear encounter you make yourself bigger by raising your arms overhead and making loud noise. In the rare occasion that doesn’t work and they attack you fight like hell. So with fear, become bigger than your negative thoughts by replacing them with positive thoughts. Challenge and conquer your fears by taking action. Replace the fear with anger and fight like hell against the fear. 

Each time you practice changing your thoughts and taking action regardless of your fear you’re going to be less fearful. Embracing your fears allows you to uncover hidden strengths and resilience within yourself. As men, let us recognize fear as a companion on your journey, guiding you toward growth and self-discovery. By facing your fears head-on, you not only conquer them but also unearth the true essence of your masculinity. In the dance with fear, you emerge stronger, wiser, and more authentically yourself – a testament to the courage that resides within every man's heart.

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