Win a Free Copy of “The Fear Project”

by Craig McBreen · 24 comments · Breaking out


My friend, Srinivas Rao is currently running a 30-days to Mastering Your Fears Series.

The series centers on the latest book from Jaimal Yogis, The Fear Project: What Our Most Primal Emotion Taught Me About Survival, Success, Surfing . . . and Love

This is a highly-engaging, thoughtful book that will help you take on the primal emotion of fear.

And I’ll send a complimentary copy of Jaimal’s book to the person who provides the best answer to the question below.

I loved the book. “The Fear Project” is an amazing read and it came at a perfect time, as it’s inspired me to start on something I’ve been putting off for months.

So, here is my question …

How have you tamed fear by embracing discomfort?

This is practice #3 in my post at The Skool of Life. It’s the habit that has helped me the most and I would love to know how it’s helped you.

And here’s the reality: I don’t mountain climb, bungee jump or skydive, and you don’t have to either.

My main battle was public speaking, and taking it on has honestly done more to change my life than just about anything.

Doing something that gives you the jitters over and over and over, starts to numb that ancient fear-response within.

So I would love to hear about your real-world experience. Some way you’ve made friends with fear by getting out and doing something that gives you the shakes.

What say you? How have you made those butterflies fly in formation?

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Kenna Griffin January 22, 2013 at 4:49 pm

The greatest thing I’ve attempted to do to control my fear is to realize when it’s just fear. If I start thinking about something, writing my dissertation, for example, and I begin to panic, I remind myself that it’s just irrational fear. I use that reminder as an opportunity to outline the little steps I can do to make progress toward my final goal. Or, if there is no goal and I’m just being silly, I tell myself that. You can’t live your life in fear. The two concepts are counter. I use my intellect to fight my fears.

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Craig McBreen January 23, 2013 at 3:24 am

Hi Kenna,

That’s part of the trick, isn’t it? Playing the observer of your own emotions? It took me a while to realize this, but I finally got it ;)

You certainly can’t live your life in fear. Appreciate you coming by today. Thanks!

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Shaun Thresher January 22, 2013 at 5:41 pm

Hey Craig,

Its funny the things you guys are working on called “Fear”. I thought I’d share a little piece of experience here.

Its kinda ironic. You see back when I was about 19 the biggest love of my live was being in rodeos. Riding bulls to be exact. I wanted nothing more that to make it to the professional level.

I would dream night after night about it. But somehow it was not to be for me. And that was a HUGE hit. I will never forget the day I realized I would never make it. Kinda brings a tear to my eye thinking about it.

But all is not lost I learned many valuable lessons along the way. Including what I’m about to share.

First I wanted to mention when I floundered off my path, I seemed to have forgotten all the rules.

Onward.

When you ride bulls you are faced with more fear than most people will ever face in their lifetime. Not saying this to brag. It just the way it is.

When your staring down at an animal that you know can kill you and doesn’t want you anywhere near it. You better have a way to keep that fear monkey in check. Cuz that could mean the difference between life and death.

I especially remember when I got started. I can’t remember how many times I was literally shaking uncontrollably but I told fear to take a hike. And every single time you do, it becomes a notch on your belt you can go back and relieve anytime you need a boost.

I have had where they hired me on the spot. I’ve also have a few romantic interludes because I didn’t let fear stop me.

However sometimes life can blind us and steer up off course. I know because I’m writing you this. I lost sight of my ability to stair fear in the face and knod my head.

Thanks,

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Craig McBreen January 23, 2013 at 3:31 am

Hey Shaun,

“When you ride bulls you are faced with more fear than most people will ever face in their lifetime. Not saying this to brag. It just the way it is.”
–It doesn’t sound like you are bragging. And … I believe you! ;)

And yours is a prime example of living in the moment and forgetting fear, or maybe losing your life.

Man, here I am writing about public speaking and you have to bring bulls into the picture ;) Me? Maybe one day I’ll try one of those mechanical bulls … wonder how long I could last?

And you’re so right, it’s easy to lose the ability to deal with fear. It IS a sustained effort

Thanks for your contribution today. Great stuff! Something I’ll probably never experience ;)

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Akos Fintor January 22, 2013 at 6:41 pm

Hey Craig,

I recently read a book titled “Feel the fear and do it anyway”, I think that was the name of it. :)

There was a key point in the book that made me realize why we don’t do things we know we should.

We think “we can’t handle IT”
We can’t handle the consequences that come from our decisions.
But the book made me turn things around, adopting a new belief: ” I CAN HANDLE ANYTHING! ”
I believe that.

I used to have problem with calling leads, mainly because I have an accent and I believed that I worth “less” because of it, so who am I call people with accent??? (complete nonsense).

Now, I’d call anybody, even the Pope :) because now I can handle rejection.

great post!
Akos Fintor recently posted..How my Blog Went from None Existence to PR2 and from 3k Visits to 16k Targeted Visits in 4 MonthsMy Profile

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Craig McBreen January 23, 2013 at 3:40 am

Hey Akos,

How are you? “Feel the fear and do it anyway” about sums it up, huh?

We think “we can’t handle IT” Yes! And sometimes that even means we are afraid of success, we are so used to comfort and our everyday routine.

Funny, I’ve often wondered if an accent could be a benefit. Like Americans often romanticize a british accent or how about the caricature of the ace, ultra-smooth pickup artist from the Mediterranean? ;)

Seriously though, I feel the same way you do about calls. I was simply apprehensive, now I just plow forward, like you.

Thanks for stopping in, Sir. Really appreciate it.

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Rob Skidmore January 22, 2013 at 6:46 pm

I hate snakes and I’m afraid of heights.

But my biggest fear is not a fear of physical pain or death. It is a different kind of fear.

I write poems and short stories. The scariest thing I have done, or ever will do, is allow someone else to read what I have written.

It is an irrational fear. Having a stranger read my poem is not going to endanger my life. But whenever someone picks up that paper my heart beats faster, my breath quickens, and my palms start sweating.

Maybe it is because my writing contains some of my most intimate thoughts and feelings. When someone reads my poem I feel exposed.

I had a conversation with C.C. Chapman, author of Amazing Things Will Happen a few days ago on twitter. He said every review of the book is emotional for him because it is so close to his heart.

I listened to an interview with Seth Godin where he mentioned that he still gets nervous every time he speaks.

Our fears will never go away. I will always be afraid of snakes. I will always be afraid when someone reads my writing.

The only thing we can do is become comfortable with the fear and use it as a tool.

I can now tell the quality of my writing by how afraid I am to show it to people. The more terrified I am the better it is.

I’ve linked up one of my poems for anyone interested.

Although the fear has never decreased, I am getting better at embracing it.

Thanks Craig for another thought provoking post.

Rob
Rob Skidmore recently posted..Just An ObservationMy Profile

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Craig McBreen January 23, 2013 at 3:55 am

Hi Rob,

You and Indiana Jones ;)

If I yelled “fear” in a crowded room, I would say most people would conjure up snakes, skydiving or speaking in front of a large group, or something along those lines. A heartfelt poem or short story you’ve agonized over … well that doesn’t immediately come to mind. It’s a different kind of fear, because as you’ve mentioned, there’s that fear of being exposed.

I often wonder how the famous author or director or musician feels when a critic soundly thrashes their work? No matter how famous or successful they are, they still feel it. And I’m sure, like you, they feel the anticipation … what are they going to say?

So you’re right … “The only thing we can do is become comfortable with the fear and use it as a tool.”

Glad you’re getting better at embracing the beast and thanks for the link.

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Joshua Robbs January 22, 2013 at 10:27 pm

17 years ago, I enlisted in the US Army. I have never had so many “you want me to do what!?” moments as I did in basic training.

If I picked up 1 thing from that training, it’s that it doesn’t matter. What is “it”? Pretty much anything. Discomfort, whether mental, physical, or emotional, really only matters as much as you let it.

We humans are so adaptable. Keep conquering your fears and those butterflies in your belly won’t be harbingers of doom. They’ll be a heads up that you’re about to knock down another boundary.

Josh

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Craig McBreen January 23, 2013 at 4:02 am

Hi Joshua,

Yeah, I guess basic training will knock the fear right out of you, huh? “you want me to do what!?” … I can only imagine ;)

Great point about “it” and how it can take so many forms, and it really only matters as much as you let it.

Taking on fear is a sustained effort though, don’t you think? Keep at it, over and over.

Love, this …
“Keep conquering your fears and those butterflies in your belly won’t be harbingers of doom. They’ll be a heads up that you’re about to knock down another boundary.”

Thanks for stopping in!

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Chris N. January 22, 2013 at 10:44 pm

Ive learned to tame fear through deep breathing. Specifically, I suffered from panic disorder for 30 years. I also faced a diagnosis of AIDS, cancer, or emphysema two weeks before starting grad school at 28. I defeated the panic disorder, survived the misdiagnosis and graduated from grad school and now am training for a black belt in Krav Maga. The power of the breath is amazing and calms the winds of an anxiety so the butterflies stay in formation!

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Craig McBreen January 23, 2013 at 4:13 am

Hi Chris,

30 years is a long time to deal with anything and I can only imagine how a panic disorder can paralyze you. And glad you survived the misdiagnosis.

Sounds like you’re making great strides. I’m not familiar with Krav Magna, but looked it up. A mix of boxing, muay Thai, jiu-jitsu, wrestling. Man, sounds like you have everything covered.

Deep breathing is amazing, but I’ve only touched the surface. Glad it’s worked out so well for you.

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Melanie Kissell @SoloMompreneur January 22, 2013 at 11:44 pm

Craig, I’m the princess of “worst case scenario” thinking when it comes to tangling with my fears.

I figure no matter what happens as a result of my taking some kind of new or uncomfortable action in life …
The sun will continue to rise in the east and set in the west and the world will still keep spinning on its axis. And chances are pretty darn good I’ll still be upright and taking solids.

This ties right into my “So what?” kind of mindset. So what if I fail? So what if people don’t like what I write? So what if someone criticizes me? So what if I don’t conform to society? So what if I’m a bit quirky? This kind of thinking helps me flush my fears down the toilet.
Melanie Kissell @SoloMompreneur recently posted..Out With The Trash And In With The TreasuresMy Profile

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Craig McBreen January 23, 2013 at 4:18 am

Hi Melanie,

I can relate, I was once the kind of “worst case scenario” thinking ;)

‘I figure no matter what happens as a result of my taking some kind of new or uncomfortable action in life …
The sun will continue to rise in the east and set in the west and the world will still keep spinning on its axis. And chances are pretty darn good I’ll still be upright and taking solids.”
– Ha ha, yes!! So well stated.

I love the “so what?” mindset! When you play the observer of your own emotions, especially said “fear” and see how you sometimes react to others you realize how worthless those thoughts are. So debilitating.

Glad you’re flushing the old bugger down the toilet. I’m right there with you ;)

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Linda Jellison January 23, 2013 at 12:09 am

My biggest fear is the unknown – becoming a freelancer, starting my own business, changing my career.

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Craig McBreen January 23, 2013 at 4:21 am

Hi Linda,

I guess changing careers would top the list of many folks. This is where there’s a balance between careful planning and not too much careful planning, if you know what I mean … But taking the leap to start your own business can be one of the most rewarding. The best move I ever made ;)

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Sheila Bergquist January 23, 2013 at 9:41 am

I have suffered from an anxiety/panic disorder for years and years. I think the thing that helped me the most was a book I read called “The Power of Acceptance.” It taught me to accept the anxiety and panic attacks instead of fighting against them…trying to control them. I also take medication, which helps a great deal, but that book changed my thinking.
Trying to make a success of my sites has been a real challenge and, obviously, anxiety ridden at times, but I’m determined to forge ahead and accept my fears and get on with it anyway.

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Craig McBreen January 23, 2013 at 5:03 pm

Hi Sheila,

Never hear of “The Power of Acceptance,” but it sounds great.

Like most have stated, it’s about accepting this ancient fear response (which varies dramatically from person to person) in your own way. Accept and change your thinking. Yep.

Great to hear you’re determined and won’t let fear get in the way!

Thanks for stopping in.

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Ralph January 23, 2013 at 12:02 pm

Working on it.

How’s Toastmasters going? A guy I work with has been involved for a few years and he loves it. I left you a comment here about my next step. http://theskooloflife.com/wordpress/day-21-how-to-take-charge-of-your-fear/

Just call me Shakes the Clown http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=XwkTb6SMEIw
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Craig McBreen January 23, 2013 at 5:06 pm

Hi Ralph,

Well, it’s done more for me than just about any org I’ve ever been a part of. Not that I’ve been involved with many, but you get the picture.

Bobcat, huh? “Mom, who’s the naked clown in our bathroom?” .. ;)

Thanks for stopping in and commenting at The Skool of Life.

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Ralph January 25, 2013 at 3:29 pm
Craig McBreen January 25, 2013 at 4:23 pm

Ah, thank you sir. Mitch is the man! I’ve saved this for afternoon reading :)

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Brian D. Meeks (@ExtremelyAvg) January 26, 2013 at 2:42 pm

A number of years ago I decided to embrace my fear of first dates. I hated them and always felt a lot of stress about getting up the nerve to ask that special woman out. So, I gave one of those online places a try and bravely went on a few dates.

It turned out it wasn’t so bad, asking someone out, and I got over the fear. Of course, I realized that being on the dates with these dreadfully boring women was less fun that a root canal, so I stopped, but at least I’m not afraid to ask. :-)
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Craig McBreen January 27, 2013 at 8:47 pm

Hi Brian,

Not sure if you’re a fan of Louis C.K., but last season he had a show about a rather strange first date where he ended up in a pickup truck with a woman. The scene is definitely not for the squeamish or easily offended, but I thought it was hilarious.

Dreadfully boring dates ;) I guess that’s the downside of “those” sites. Boring is better than crazy though, right?

Keep up the courage, good Sir!

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