Why Experiencing Your Fear Is The Best Thing That Could Happen To You

I’ve been training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu since November under Professor Josh Russell at Gracie Barra Calgary.  For several years I had been fascinated with BJJ, but I didn’t enrol in a class because every time I would watch an MMA event, and see a jiu-jitsu submission applied, I would think “wow that looks painful”.  The thought of having a similar submission applied to me evoked enough rational fear to keep me from entering a BJJ gym for many years.

Eventually I built up my courage to take a few classes; although the fear of the looming painful submission remained ever present.  My first 4 or 5 classes were defensive, primarily sweeps and positioning manoeuvres.  Fortunately (as I will explain), the day that I had been dreading finally arrived.  This past Tuesday was an offensive class, where we learned attacks from guard (when you are on your back).  Jiu-Jitsu is an experiential art, therefore in order to learn a kimura (painful arm lock), arm bar (again another painful arm lock), guillotine and rear naked choke (those are pretty self-explanatory), you have to not only apply them, but also have them applied to you.

When Professor Russell demonstrated the moves a rush of fear came over me.  For this class I was “rolling” with a experienced purple belt (as compared to my beginner white belt).   My apprehension at getting “submitted” at first made rolling difficult as I was providing a lot of resistance.  However, after being directed by my Professor to go with it.  I was submitted.  First guillotine, then kimura, then arm bar, then anaconda choke, then rear naked.  He tried an omoplata too just for good measure.

Guess what…they hurt.  But not that bad.  That is when I had an amazing epiphany.  The massive fear that I held, that had kept me from learning something new, had been completely overrated.  When I experienced what I feared I realized that it wasn’t that bad.

Then another epiphany took place.  I really love doing this.  Seriously I think I’m becoming obsessed with it.

After the class was over I thought about this principle as applied to our business.  We see so many people that hold themselves back because they are scared.  However I believe, just like my Jiu-Jitsu experience, that most of this fear is overrated, and when you actually experience what you are scared of, you realize that it isn’t that bad.  Also, like me, you may find yourself loving the activity that once terrified you.

So what are you scared of?  Approaching new people about your business? Being rejected?  Letting yourself down if you give your best and don’t achieve your goal?

I bet you are giving far too much weight to this fear, and I believe that once you actually experience it (for example you build up the courage to do something and then your worst fear happens) you will realize that it isn’t that bad, and you may find yourself developing a life long passion in the process.

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