Friday, November 11, 2011

The Fear We Face

one of the most laughter inducing photos i've ...Image via WikipediaBy Rebel Brown

Have you noticed that the anticipation of facing something fearful is so much worse than the actual facing itself?

Yet we work ourselves up with visions of the worst possible outcomes, live the pain ahead of actually facing the reality. And then - in the end, facing that fear is most likely anti-climatic.

That's what happened to me last week. In December, my little wild mustang Maverick went berserk and dumped me, hard. Cracked my ribs, nearly broke my silly neck and it was painful for a long time. Maverick had also broken my trainers ribs, piled another trainer and was generally viewed as a wreck waiting to happen. Everyone agreed we should leave him wild and not try to ride him again.

Yet I knew I had to get back on that horse. Which I actually did right after he piled me. For 1 minute before we found he'd hurt himself while piling me. And that was the end of that.

For months I've played with Maverick from the ground. We've developed an amazing relationship in that time. He now trusts me ... and I'd venture to say he even loves me. He whinnies when he sees me, sticks his head in my chest for his rubs, comes when I call to him from across the yard, follows me around like a puppy.

Still I didn't ride him - because of the fear.

Last month I decided I was going to face that fear. So I started prepping Maverick to be ridden. I carefully put the saddle on him again - and he didn't even flinch. I took him out on rides with Shadow with his saddle on, worked him in the arena with that saddle - not even a buck.

Yet still I stood there - waiting for the inevitable fury of bucks and humps. After all, that's the way he's always been. (NOTE: That's a Gravity-thinking warning right there in that statement).

I did everything we could think of to prep him. And he passed every test. Yet when the time came to get on him - I procrastinated. Again and again.

Last week I did a little game called Driving to the Saddle - when you ask your horse on a long line to go to his saddle and touch it. That means he accepts it...and generally it take a few minutes to a long time to get them to go touch that saddle.

Maverick went to his saddle in 10 seconds. Twice.

Yep - he was ready to be ridden again. And so, last week, after much build up and drama - I got on him.

Nothing happened. He walked and trotted with me, bent when I asked, did everything I asked of him. After 6 months of no one riding him - he was as good as the day I stopped.

Anti-climatic now isn't it.

So why my story about Maverick and my own fear?

Because we all let fear slow our progress. In today's economy - fear is the dominant motivator in so many businesses (and people) that I meet.

We're afraid of what might happen - with the economy and all the things that seem to be out of our control. We're so afraid that we're frozen - as the markets and world move on. Those fears become the Gravity beliefs that drive our business thinking - and limit our forward progress. Yet we wonder why we can't move forward.

What if everything we fear was only in our minds - and the opportunities for business growth and success (personal too) are out there waiting for us to take that single step - beyond our fear? Just like Maverick was waiting for me to get back in the saddle - and be successful.

What if we take that step and find that the only thing to fear is - well - the fear we created in our own heads? Once we face our fears - the release and energy on the other side is so powerful it inspires us to do more. And we are free - to grow and soar.

Is fear preventing you from stepping into your own growth? What's your first small step?

For over twenty years, Rebel Brown has positioned and repositioned technology companies for high-velocity growth. Rebel's best selling market strategy book, Defy Gravity, is a guide to creating Powerful Market Positions in today's new economy.

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