Let me start by saying this – you’re never going to be completely unafraid.
It just doesn’t happen. If you’re doing something outside of your comfort zone, you’re going to have some fear there. In fact, it’s probably a good thing that you have that fear there because it can keep you incredibly sharp if you know how to get those butterflies in your stomach to fly all in the same direction.
The presence of that fear gives you the ability to put forward courage. To me, courage has always been the ability to act in the face of fear.
Sometimes those decisions are seen by others. Most of the time, it’s just ourselves who in the darkness get to decide which way to go. Those, are truly the courageous choices that keep us moving forward in life.
I’ve done both.
I’ve cowered in the darkness pulling the covers over my head not wanting to make decisions.
I’ve stepped into moments with courage even though the world seemed to be falling apart around me.
These moments define me, one just as much as the next, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I’ve been on the fringe for a while now. I’ve been in an interesting place where there’s been this calling for innovation in what I’m doing and to start creating new things that haven’t truly existed in The Better Man Project before. It’s about evolution right now.
The only tough part for me in all of this is that I have a handful of awesome ideas of what to do, and to be honest I just go…”woof that looks like a ton of work.”
I think more than anything – brutal honesty here again – I’ve just been avoiding all of that work loving where I am right now because it’s comfortable. Yep. I said it. I’m comfortable. But then again, internally, I’m not comfortable at all.
I’m not comfortable with not letting this evolve. I know all of the ways I want it to grow and have come across some things lately that are really going to help me push forward…but damn it can be difficult at times to head back into the ring when you just spent years working your tail off to get to where you are now.
But I have to. I have to because it’s going to take everything I’m doing and go from 100 to 200 real quick.
This isn’t a blog post about being completely fearless.
It’s a piece about what it truly means to be attacking all of this stuff. Like any good General would know, there are times for offense, defense, and stalling (+many more tactics). I myself have been hatching plans for a long time while maintaining the current atmosphere of my work. In one way, I think that’s a tactic that’s very useful. But when that intuition starts to ride on you telling you it’s time to finally go on the offensive, you can’t really have much of a sense of indecision about it.
Let’s take surfing for example – something I’m learning a ton about every single day I’m in the water.
When a wave is coming, you have to commit. I mean really commit. Because if you don’t commit fully to the wave or you start hesitating once you catch it, you’re going to eat it like it’s no ones business.
And trust me, I’ve eaten it a ton over the past few weeks.
But that teaches you the power of commitment.
There’s also a major sense of trust. If you start looking down when you catch a wave, you’re screwed. Because, where your eyes go, your body goes. Look down…guess where you’re going? Pearl diving.
There are thousands of reasons in life to get scared and do a metaphorical “look down” at all of the things that could rip the rug out from under you. But more importantly, you have to learn how to keep your head up and look towards the horizon and trust that your feet are going to take you there.
If you do that, you ride that wave perfectly.
Surfing has taught me more things in the past three weeks than anything else. From that feeling of catching your first big wave to what it’s like to get absolutely pounded by a set and dive under the water 6 – 8 times learning how to not panic as water races over you.
It’s about staying calm. It’s about learning to trust. It’s about commitment to something that when you start, you’re absolutely terrible at.
My definition of someone who is fearless is not someone who is always locked in ready to go and knocking everything out of the park. No, it’s that person who tries and tries and continues going for it no matter what.
That person I want on my team.
Because that person knows failure and what it’s like to get back into the ring for another round. I will take that person over the other person who seems to get everything right all the time. Courage lives in the standing back up.
That’s what I’m trying to do right now. That’s what I’ve always done.
-Evan Sanders, The Better Man Project