4 Ways to Control Fear!

Over the last 15 years I have spent time in professional sports establishments, the armed forces and recently in the world of business (For which I’m learning a hell of a lot) and I often try and use these experiences to help make decisions.

One of the things I realised over time was that if I ever want to achieve something, no matter how big or small. You need to make sacrifices, you need to dedicate yourself and you have to take risks. 

If you always play it safe and never get out of your comfort zone, you’ll struggle to achieve those goals you think you have!

So what limits us when it comes to taking the step?

Fear! Fear is one of the first reasons that stops people taking the step to trying something or achieving something. Fear can be viewed in a multitude of different ways:

  • Fear of failure
  • Fear of looking small, weak or silly
  • Fear of actually achieving
  • Fear of making mistakes or letting others down

Im sure by reading these you can look back on times when you’ve experienced fear in some way and in different levels. I know I have!!

So now we ask, how do we control this fear to actually move closer to doing something!

1) Reevaluate the why 

There has been loads of times when I felt fear really want to take over and stop me doing something. The biggest one I have experienced so far?!

For sometime I had wanted to pursue the dream of opening a gym/starting a business. At the time I was in the Royal Marines and was lucky enough too be doing lots of exciting things. But I wanted to take the step to try something new.

The one thing that was stopping me ……. I was scared! I was scared what my parents would think, I was scared of getting it all wrong, I was scared I would ruin everything I had worked so hard for.

I had to re evaluate the situation. This is exactly what I thought:

  • If I wanted change then I had to go for it.
  • No matter what people said If I worked hard enough it might just work.
  • Do I know what I’m doing? No. Will I learn. Yes!
  • Is the worst case scenario really that bad?

After really spending sometime thinking through what I wanted to do I decided to take the step. Was it scary? YES! My whole life was being part of the Royal Marines and that was going to change into something I didn’t know about.

Which moves us onto the next steps! Reevaluating the why is really important. It allows us to understand the reasons why we want something and why we fear the idea. It can help you to really understand the situation better. Whether that is the fear of going on a date, going for a new job or doing your first burpee!

2) Stop worrying what people think

You know those times that stop you trying something because you’re scared of what people think?! I knew this was the main driving factor into holding me back to start a business! I was scared what my parents, friends and family would think. I was scared what they would think if I got it wrong!

I remember my parents telling me it was a bad idea. They always want the best for me and taking such a big risk risk wasn’t safe. I think my parents have got used to me taking risks and doing crazy things and I am thankful that they always look out for me and keep me levelled.

I remember people laughing when I told them the idea. I remember people saying I wouldn’t be able to do it. Fuck those people!

The biggest and best step I ever took was to stop worrying what people thought of my decisions. How and when did I do this? I have no idea. But what I can tell you is the moment you stop worrying about what people think of your decisions…… You open new doors to try and achieve things.

Humans are weird. They will often be nasty, gossip about you, be unsupportive of your success and ideas. But what you have to think is how do their thoughts affect you? Would you really allow an opinion to stop you trying something?

Could you fail and look silly. Giving fuel to these peoples fires. Yes. But would it actually matter?

Every single successful person in life has FAILED. They have looked silly and they have been shot down. What makes them great? They learn to keep moving, trying and working until they reach their goal.

Please don’t let someones opinion stop you!!!

Haters gonna Hate!

“There’s a lot of haters out there. Instead of focusing on improving themselves they prefer to spend their time chatting shit about you. But it just goes to show you – you must be doing something right if you’re getting all of their time and attention!”

3) Think about the worst case scenario

As we did in step one you need to think about what is causing your fear? One thing can be the fear of failing and is usually the main one. What do you need to do? You need to think about the worst case scenario!

So let me tell you mine. I left the armed forces, tried to set up a gym. It kept going wrong and I couldn’t find a property to move into and I struggled to source the money to do it!

Well this actually happened.

I was worried, I thought I had failed. What was my view of failure had actually happened. Let me tell you, it wasn’t that bad. I remember thinking, yes I’ve got no money, no gym, a rubbish job! But what I did still have was a goal.

Yes people were saying ‘I told you so’ and were laughing at my decision. But what really struck me was initially failing wasn’t that bad! It was a huge lesson to learn. Luckily I enjoy adversity and I wasn’t going to let one thing stop me.

The worst case scenario can often look bad, but is it that bad that its going to stop you achieving something or even trying something?

4) Put yourself in more uncomfortable situations

In todays world of technology, life is becoming easier and easier. So what do we miss out on because of these things. Hard work, adversity, tough situations.

One of the biggest things I love about CrossFit. The butterflies in your stomach before you’re about to start a WOD! When you hear 10 seconds and you know you’re about to work hard.

One of the biggest improvements Ive seen in people over the last two years is their actual mentality. You can see the moment they realise they can push themselves more than they realise!

By putting yourself in more situations like this you learn to deal with fear more and more. You actually start to train it! This might look like trying your first CrossFit class, applying for jobs you wouldn’t have done before or putting yourself in situations that give you those butterflies!!

So remember to really look and understand why you fear something. Don’t allow peoples opinions stop you even trying something. Really look at what the worst case scenario is (Is it really that bad) and finally try new things that make you nervous!

Hopefully you can use these small points to help you make a decision and make a positive change or try something! Don’t allow fear to control you. Learn to control it and use it to your advantage!

9 Comments

  1. Jeff Y on 15th September 2017 at 11:57 am

    Great words, there was a time when Inwas too scared to take the rugby pitch because my greatest fear was failing and looking stupid.

  2. Andrew (Taff) Wilcock on 17th September 2017 at 9:14 am

    Great words Jack. We are here for a good time not a long time. I always knew you would succeed because of your continual positive approach. As you say is failing actually that bad. Just take the positives and move on.

    • jack on 17th September 2017 at 9:24 am

      Love it! So true Taff and I hope you’re well!! We will have to catch up soon!!

  3. Jamie Smith on 17th September 2017 at 9:39 am

    As someone who has always gotten butterflies before nearly every sporting activity I absolutely love this!! Works for some many situations and for all walks of life. Had the want to change to a completely different career for a while, things like this are a big help towards actually doing that. Hats off to you for taking the plunge, and working hard to create such a great gym and community!

    • jack on 18th September 2017 at 8:18 am

      Thanks Jamie!!

  4. Louise Aston on 17th September 2017 at 7:32 pm

    Fab read Jack – Always said to the boys, do something out your comfort zone as often as you can and be positive in life.
    Keep up the great work 👍🏻

    • jack on 18th September 2017 at 8:19 am

      Thanks Louise!! I hope everything is going well out there!! See you soon!

  5. Zoë on 17th September 2017 at 8:01 pm

    Never a truer word said and I am battling that fear with handstands. Simple things but they will not beat me in the end.

    But as I was talking down a person from jumping in front of a train the other day they had so much fear of failure and what others thought. Fear is a power thing but don’t let it win.

  6. Hannah M on 5th March 2018 at 9:14 am

    So true Jack. I am probably the worst person in the world for letting my anxiety of what other people think hinder me. People keep saying do you really think CrossFit is that good for you? Before CrossFit I would have wavered and worried. Now I can categorically say I am mentally and physically better. There is a long way to go but you have made me see it as a journey not a fad! Thank you.

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