How would your life be different if you were not scared to face the fears holding you back from reaching your biggest goals?
I recently reconnected with an old friend from USA – Garrett Gravesen, who is the author of the book 10 Seconds of Insane Courage – when he traveled through Bangkok on his 52 countries in 52 weeks “Insane Book Tour”. He is one of the liveliest, funniest, most good-natured people I am lucky to have as a friend! We met up for lunch and he gave me a copy of his book, and told me all about the inspiration behind it when he was writing it. As I looked at the back of the book, I was amazed to find endorsements from some world renowned names in the entertainment industry, including Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Will Smith, Sofia Vergara, Robert Downey Jr., and Cindy Crawford. I was curious and asked Garrett how he managed to get all of these incredibly famous people to write a testimonial for his book. The story he told me, left me speechless! Here’s his re-telling of how he did it.
“I couldn’t just write a book called 10 Seconds of Insane Courage and not do anything so insane, that would be an example of how courage really can pay off. When I was writing my book, my publisher asked me who I thought would be the most outrageous person I could approach to give me an endorsement – and I immediately thought of “The Rock” – who is all about fearlessness, saying “Yes!” and never giving up. I don’t know him personally, and I don’t know anyone who does, but I thought I would give it a try. My first instinct was to try to get in touch with someone from his alma mater, the University of Miami, and I knew someone there – my former colleague. I gave him a call and casually inquired about “The Rock” and if he knew how to get in touch with one of his people. Incredulously, my ex-colleague told me that he had just spoken to his representative and gifted tickets to a football game to “The Rock” and his family! The door was open! I managed to get an appointment to speak to him directly and when I told him my story and what the book was about, he was totally sold on giving me his endorsement. After I got “The Rock” I thought why not keep going and get more people on board, so I sent out my media kit along with his testimonial to hundreds of other actors and public figures, and got a few back! Had I not had the courage to say that I’m going to get “The Rock” to give me an endorsement and believe that it could happen, I wouldn’t have gotten any of those incredible people to back up my book.”
Garrett Gravesen showing Fearlessness
Yes, dreams do come true! But it happens to those who have the courage and audacity to ask. In his book, Garrett discloses 8 of the most common fears holding us back from living the life we want.
Fear of the unknown.
Fear of letting go.
Fear that I’m not good enough.
Fear of the first step.
Fear of bailing out.
Fear of not having enough.
Fear of disappointing others.
Fear of failure.
Visit garrettgravesen.com to read more about Garrett and buy his book.
Our ancient mind keeps us safe
The message then, is clear: all the fears that control us are just a result of the limiting beliefs our minds make up to keep us safe. The mind is still primitive in some ways, as its main purpose since the dawn of time has been to keep us out of harm’s way. The subconscious mind will always and forever try to talk us out of putting ourselves out there where we can get embarrassed, rejected, or emotionally or physically hurt from wandering out of our comfort zone, into a new realm of unfamiliarity and possible danger.
Fear is a natural and essential feeling for all human beings that has allowed us to survive and procreate in the past. This survival mechanism works against us, however, because in our modern lives, without any of the dangers we used to face daily in prehistoric times, we are left with the instincts of our ancestors. These ancient emotions tend to manifest themselves in other ways – phobias, paranoia, and anxiety. Carl Zimmer (2010) “The primitive, complicated and essential emotion we call fear”. Discover Magazine
Our minds also tend to play tricks on us, making situations seem more distressing than they actually are. It is essential to recognize that our thoughts don’t automatically reflect objective reality. And we must also realize that it is only through the unfamiliar, the unknown, and by taking risks, that we can have new experiences that will lead us to grow, learn and become a better version of ourselves. The winners are those who look past fear and take control of their mind, telling it to quiet down, as they break past the barriers of their comfort zone and ultimately try to do the things that very few people have the courage to do.
And they consequently get rewarded. Perhaps not right away, as many of them face inevitable failures and setbacks. But with more fearlessness and perseverance, they forge ahead, learning from each mistake and garnering strength and wisdom along the way, finally emerging triumphant on the other side.
“I believe that the only courage anybody ever needs is the courage to follow your own dreams.” ~~ Oprah Winfrey ~~