Fear sometimes points us in the direction we need to go.
My whole life, I was terrified at the thought of performing in front of an audience. So of course it came as a massive shock to me that I would come to love performing as much as I now do.
When I started karate at age 41, I had never competed in solitary sports. Ever. But I loved karate so much—immediately, deeply—that I knew I needed to face this fear of putting myself out there. And so a week after starting karate, I signed up for my first tournament. And two months into my journey, I stepped into that competition ring for the very first time.
I was terrified right up until the tournament. But then once I stepped into that ring, something amazing happened: that fear no longer mattered. I realized that I could perform my best even when afraid. The fear never really went away, but I learned that I was no longer a prisoner to it. Facing it was the key.
Skip ahead to last year. Starting on YouTube was as terrifying as competing in that first tournament. But the exact same thing happened: I faced that fear—I made that video despite it—and the fear stopped mattering. Every video I’ve made—as with every tournament in which I’ve competed—I’ve felt those nerves. But they no longer control me. Those nerves no longer stop me from doing what I want to do.
When that fear comes up now, I see it as a big neon arrow, pointing me in the direction I need to go. If I’m afraid? I HAVE to do it. And every time I face it, I grow stronger and more confident in my ability to handle ANYTHING that comes up.
I am now in control of that fear.
And to prove it to myself, last week I filmed my very first weapons kata video for my channel. You can watch it here:
Can you tell that I was really nervous? Maybe. Does it matter? Probably not. But you know what does matter? I faced my fear, and it no longer controls me.
When fear comes up for us, it can be a sign that we are at the edge of our comfort zone. And what do we know about comfort zones? We need to step out of them in order to grow.
Step out of your comfort zone, and into your fear. When you do? Amazing things can happen.
What fears are holding you back right now? How could you move out of your comfort zone, so that those fears no longer have control of you? Feel free to share below. 🙂
Check out some of my other articles on performance and competition: