“How few there are who have courage enough to own their faults, or resolution enough to mend them”. – Benjamin Franklin
“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.“- T. S. Eliot
“You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor”. – Aristotle
Fear and anxiety will get you killed in a real arena combat, and they don’t help anyplace else. We need to eliminate them as much as possible. On your first reading, this will seem like bullshit. By the time you are done reading this book for the second or third time, not so much. That is because of the next exercise.
Do you imagine that Luke, Obi-wan, or Yoda are overly fearful or anxious? Is it not part of the joy of the movies to imagine being them and not having your concerns? Nothing wrong with that, and it’s an effect we will use in another exercise. But now we will begin an exercise that will very much reduce your fears and anxieties. We are talking about what we call a “normal’ life. If you are parachuting into a fire or working with unexploded ordinance, then you are entitled to some degree of anxiety. But if your day is drive, Starbucks, work, drive, then we are going to vastly reduce your mental load.
This habit is very easy to execute but can have major life changing effects. It produces a great elimination or reduction in anxiety and fear. This is not difficult, it works every time, but it takes time.
This is part of your journaling. Have a notebook page with a line down the center. On the left side write whatever it might be that causes you fear, nervousness, or anxiety. This must be a specific event. You can’t write making phone calls. You can write, “Calling Jane at 6PM and asking for a date.” Nor can you write, “Making presentations at meetings.” Instead you might write, “I feel nervous about making the zilch presentation tomorrow.”
Then after the event transpires, write its outcome. You will be surprised at how everything works out with no pain to you. So was there anything to be anxious about? If you were anxious, did it do any good?
Now review your notes and look for some consistency in what causes you fear and anxiety. Try and get to the bottom of it. And then realize it doesn’t matter what causes your fears, because you don’t want them. Next find a task you are reluctant to do for emotional reasons, write it down exactly on your Fear Training Sheet, then do the task all the while noting your emotional state. See how meaningless were your doubts and fears.
It is crucial to grasp that stress is something you place on yourself. When you feel stress imagine that someone has taken a Photo of you at that moment. Now contemplate if someone else, seeing only that photo, would feel stress. You will comprehend at a deep level that the stress is often caused by the movie in your head. After you do this for a while, you will note that your anxieties are baseless, and do no good. Even if you are rejected or ridiculed, so what? Did the world end?
Save these sheets. You will note that what bothered you three months ago is now forgotten. Yet something else has taken its place as an object of concern. If you want to, you can always find something to cause anxiety. Rechannel that anxiety energy. The same amount of effort you put into your doubts and fears can free you of anxiety and lead you to fearlessness.
SUMMARY: You can vastly reduce your fears and anxieties by taking note of them in your Journal, and then recording how the dreaded events turned out.
“To worry is to become accessible, unwittingly accessible. And once you worry you cling to anything out of desperation; and once you cling you are bound to get exhausted or to exhaust whoever or whatever you are clinging to.”
– Carlos Castaneda, Journey to Ixtlan