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"Befriending Fear"

Fear is an entity that possesses the greatest influence over the life of many. Those who do not understand the emotion of fear will allow it to intimidate them through life thus causing them to miss opportunities to become greater than they are. You cannot allow fear to dictate your path if you are planning to be any sort of competitor. The reason behind is that you will eventually meet your match regardless of how easy your opponents may be in the beginning of your mission. It is traditional to put the best against the best and this is what will happen to you if anyone of importance takes interest in your abilities. It is then when you are promised to face off with another individual who has prevailed just as you have or better, that fear will kick in your front door.

You have to be prepared to meet fear with a handshake and a calming cup of tea or it will force its way in, slap your wife, punch your child, kick your dog, and smash every item in your house as you lay balled in the corner sucking your thumb. Anytime that a worthy opportunity is available to you there will be something that you must place at risk. It can be your reputation, pride, health and more. This will introduce fear which will try to discourage you from taking the chance. You will have to decide whether taking the chance is “stupid” or courageous. This decision will have to be made by you. Here are some rules that I implemented to aid me in deciding between making a decision of ego/stupidity and courage.

1. If this task will benefit only my ego, emotion or is self-serving, it is not an act of courage and I should not do it.

2. If what I could gain from this act is not of equal or more value than what the loss could take, it is stupid to take the chance.

Many things can trigger fear within us and no matter how tough we may think we are, something that makes us afraid is always around the corner. Fear is not an emotion for the modern day warrior to run from. The modern day warrior is to familiarize himself with fear and to learn how he responds when afraid. It is only then that countermeasures can be put into place that will allow one to react productively when afraid. Here are some tips for handling fear:

1. Practice playing with your fears. Put yourself in positions to be afraid then practice calming your breathing and heartbeat.

2. Meditate on the things that you are fearful of to familiarize your mind with them. Then meditate on executing your countermeasures when you will be afraid.

When we learn to accept that fear will always be with us in life, and that we have been empowered with natural instincts that give us super human abilities when we are afraid, we can reverse the affect that fear has on us. When something startles us our eyes widen; adrenaline shoots into our bloodstream giving us faster reflexes and making us stronger; our heart rate picks up and pushes more oxygen towards our muscles and lungs; and natural pain killers are distributed through our system to allow us to accept more pain. So how can we be afraid of fear if all of this happens when we are afraid you may ask?

1. For one, we are taught to be afraid of being afraid by society’s everyday values.

2. We are rarely taught how to control our self when we are afraid. We are only taught not to be afraid of certain things.

Learning to calm and control our self when we are afraid will allow us to properly use instincts. This is why we must learn to understand our reaction when we’re afraid instead of only trying to teach our self not to be afraid of individual things or situations. One of the mishaps that all of these superhuman like abilities can bring when they occur during fear is a burn out. Too big of a shot of adrenaline through our veins is like too big of a shot of nitrous through a car at the wrong time. It can burn our motor out before it’s time to hit the track. This can happen easily when we allow our nervousness before performance to go too far. Adrenaline will release, the heart rate will pick up, blood will flow hard and during this super fuel moment we won’t be able to use it because it’s not time to act. Eventually the super fuel Adrenaline will run out and our muscles will be poisoned with the residue leaving us with a tired and possibly sleepy feeling.

When this mishap occurs our legs may go weak and even numb. This is a horrible situation when performance draws near but, it is one of reality until we learn to gain total control of our response to fear. When a burnout occurs prior to performance it is best for you to sit down, and get your mind back in order. Put some headphones on and listen to some calming music while slowly sipping a drink loaded with electrolytes. Use your meditation to take your mind from that which made you nervous so your body can reload itself with adrenaline for the competition. If this does not work you can get up and move around. Mimic the movements of the actions that you will make in your sport such as; shadowboxing for a fighter; kicks for a soccer player; throwing motions for a baseball player. This will allow your mind to place itself into a state of familiarity which in turn can calm things down.

If you ever have to enter competition feeling nervous and with numb legs don’t’ fret. Find a manipulating way to keep yourself in a “safe spot” until the action begins and then the nervousness will subside. For instance, when I had “Dead Legs” during a competition I was sure to first of all maintain composure so my opponent didn’t realize it. I then assured that I kept myself moving at the beginning of the fight to knock the cobwebs off before I engaged to a position where I would need speed and power. This was all a part of the battle. I didn’t fear “Dead Legs”. I “knew” that they could pay me a visit during important moments so I invited it in with a cup of calming tea, and sat it down on my couch where it could cause me no harm.

Learning to understand and control yourself when you are afraid can become a great power during your mission, because most people don’t study and learn this important lesson. Possessing this ability places you immediately ahead of most of the world.

(excerpt from "I.C.E. Inner Calm & Explosiveness" book by Jermaine Andre)

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