Don’t Back Down

I was in Vegas most of last week for the UFC fan expo and International Fight Week events, culminating with the UFC Middleweight Title Fight (Anderson Silva and Chris Weidman) on Saturday.

I’m a huge MMA fan.   I love watching the competition.  I love how hard these athletes push themselves to find out what is inside of them, to see how far they can go.

I love how, even though they feel fear (just like us), they still take the “walk” and face their fears, in front of the world, in a small cage.  I find it incredibly inspiring. I am constantly looking to apply this mindset to my life and to my business.

On Saturday night I witnessed easily the most intense, amazing, inspiring, and frankly surreal sporting event I have ever seen.  At this point, if you are a UFC fan, and haven’t been on the moon in the last 48 hours, you know that the middleweight champ, the greatest of all time, Anderson Silva, lost, in extremely dramatic fashion.

For those of you who watched the fight you fully understand how crazy, wild and unexpected it was.  For those who didn’t watch it quick summary.  Anderson didn’t take Chris seriously (or either engaged in an absolutely nutty strategy) he danced around the cage, he mocked Chris in front of millions. He taunted him, he let himself get hit, he pretended he was hurt, he created an absolutely scene, until he took it too far, and he got socked.  Hard.  He got knocked out, while he was in the act of mocking and taunting, by a hungry bull of an athlete.

My gut saw it coming, although my mind resisted it.  I saw it coming early.  In fact, it was during Chris Weidman’s walkout that I sensed something incredible would happen.  I looked at the situation from the vantage point of a coach. Weidman chose Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down” and you could just see on his face a look of someone who wouldn’t be intimidated.  Anderson came out to his normal theatrics, he danced, he delayed, he shook the hands of celebrities ringside.  All the while, a hungry Weidman stared him down.  We all know the outcome.

I’ve thought a lot about this event over the last day, to see how I can apply it to my life and business.  The best application I can find is the principle of not backing down.  Think about your greatest fear.  What would life be like if you refused to back down to your fears.  How would you feel, if no matter what, you wouldn’t back down to whatever scared you.  You would make the walk.  What goals would you set?  What would you go after?  How would your day to day life change?

Life is too short to be inhibited by fear.  Don’t back down.  If something scares you, pursue it.  You will feel more alive.  You will inspire others at the same time.  Don’t back down.

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