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Run Towards Your Fear

Episode #3

Tim and Doug discuss putting things off and holding back in your work and personal life. At the heart of this is often fear. Fear of change and fear of what other people think is completely natural and inbuilt in us all, but when you learn to push past this your life and business improve drastically.

But how do you overcome fear?

The answer is simple… Run towards your fear!

It sounds easy in many ways but it can actually be more difficult to conquer, on this podcast you can learn the best approach to embracing fear. Imagine if fear became something you embraced or something you didn’t naturally try to avoid, how would that make you feel?

Tim and Doug share real-life stories as to times when they ran towards their fear including a very personal story about how Tim’s work was seriously hindering his health, personal life, and relationship as a result of fear. He reveals how he overcame this.


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Episode Transcript

Doug Holt  0:00  

That fear right there is what is holding you back. The fear of it’s not the right time because I’m not perfect yet, not only in this area but also in the field of his business, the area of these relationships. It’s this idea that it’s not the perfect time because I’m not perfect yet, but then I’ll do it when I’m perfect.

Tim Matthew  0:17  

You know what I love to do in that situation. I love to run towards fear. 

Doug Holt  0:25  

Hi, everyone, and welcome to another episode of The Powerful Man show. I am your host, Doug Holt, with my co-host, the most, Tim The Powerful Man Matthews. Tim, How are you doing? 

Tim Matthew  0:37  

Oh, I got a name? Tim The Powerful Man Matthews, huh? Yeah, I’m doing fantastic. Thank you. How are you? 

Doug Holt  0:42  

I’m doing great. Fantastic as well. Well, Tim, I know we have a lot that we always want to talk about on this, and we talk a lot about things before we get on to hit the record button and talk about him afterward. But one of the questions that came up yesterday from a guy that I was talking to Let me frame this for everybody listening. This is kind of one of your, from the outside a typical alpha male, you know, significant, reliable, compelling presence. A lot of people listening to this will probably know who this person is. I won’t give too many identifying clues. But somebody that a lot of young men would look up to, you know, he’s got the lifestyle from the outside that a lot of us, you know, would aspire to if you’re looking at traditional media. 

So, when I talked to him about what was going on with his life and asked how things were going for him, his answer wasn’t fantastic, right? Because things aren’t going fantastic for him. And in the conversation, we talked about growth, like what it takes to grow as a man sincerely and how to step outside your comfort zone and what it looks like. And what it ended up coming down to once we broke through all the BS is he told me he was too fragile to grow. He said, Doug, you know, look, I just think right now I’m too sensitive. Like, I don’t Want to go to an event or take a course or work with a coach or read a book or whatever it is? I’m just too fragile for growth. What would you say to somebody like that?

Tim Matthew  2:11  

What do I say? Yes. Yes, you know, you are too fragile for growth. I mean, the thing that comes to my mind, if that was the response it sounds to me like, in that instance, he’s just too scared to face the reality of what he has created in his life or what he hasn’t created in his life. You know, one of the things we talk a lot about in The Activation Method. As you know, Doug is taking radical responsibility for your results. For as long as you want to keep your achievements outside of you, you know, you want to lie to yourself and not take ownership and let your positivity mask your reality. 

Then you keep everything at arm’s length, and you’re giving your power away. However, when you’re able to drop the level and remove, you know whether things are good or bad, and just take them as feedback. Then, you can put the ball back in your cart and then choose something different. You know, whereas what I hear you say, and you know, so it’s funny, because yesterday as well, I had a similar conversation with a business owner. Maybe we’ll go inside a moment. But yeah, as long as you know, you want to keep those results, arm’s length and say that you’re too fragile. You’re going to remain vulnerable, aren’t you? You know, so it’s, I mean, what was your response of interest? What did you say? 

Doug Holt  3:42  

What I told them and then to give more frame of reference, I wasn’t going to bring it up. But this wasn’t a direct question concerning him taking The Activation Method and jumping into the inner circle with some of our high performing guys. And so what I read into it right away knowing this person is he’s a top performer business owner. He was terrified about what he was saying, and I repeated this back to them because I don’t want anybody else to see me melt, right? I don’t want anybody else to know that I’m not perfect. And it’s this mask that we all wear, not all of us, right? Many of us now walk away like yourself and myself, taking that mask off as much as possible, but concerned about what other people think, you know, when so when I told him exactly what I told him. 

I said, “Look, I understand where you’re coming from, I understand that you, you’re worried that you know, in this fragile state that you’re not performing at 100%. And that’s what you like to be. That’s what you like to put out in the world. That’s like where you liked to go. But this is the perfect time for you to jump in. This is the perfect time for you to rebuild yourself, shed your skin, shed your mask, and step into your power, your true power. Because to me, that is what is powerful. When you’re scared of being vulnerable, when you’re scared of showing people that you’re not perfect, and guess what, none of us are perfect, right? Instead, that fear right there is what is holding you back.” And I’ve been working with him for a little while. And so I know this because I fear what other people think of him, the fear of it’s not the right time. After all, I’m not perfect yet, its exactly what’s holding him back. Not only in this area, but also the area of his business, the area of his relationships, the area of his just general wellness, it’s this idea that it’s not the perfect time because I’m not perfect yet, but then I’ll do it when I’m perfect. 

Tim Matthew  5:38  

You know what I’d love to do in that situation. I love to run towards fear. And you know, I don’t do this all the time. But an example of this was this week with Amelia, so you know, you and I set some targets, you know, for the powerful man for this month in a way and I got to divide the final ten days of the month. And we will right let’s adjust And let’s stretch and let’s go again. And I was like, right, bring it and you know, you’re like me, we love challenges, whether it’s fitness, whether it is whatever we rise to the challenge, but the pattern that I have been able to come to realize, and it’s the one that I, it’s kind of my default mode and it’s “hustle.” 

Now my default mode is to go and hustle like one because what I love is what I do; two, I love the challenge three; I just, you know, find it fun. But before, I never used to have any balance, so it used to come at the cost of everything. And also, the energy behind the hustle used to be me trying to prove myself. So anyway, as you and I then go and reset and go and stretch things, and I’m like, “yeah, bring it awesome all in.” I then found myself throughout about five, six, or seven days going back into that pattern. Going back into some of those stories as well, you know, wanting to prove and not feel like a failure and some of it to some degree we had some projects finish in two when the company didn’t we? And you know, they will come into completion. So it was some of that as well. But what started to happen was that I stayed disconnected from Amelia, from my girlfriend, and just been honest and transparent. I’ve not spoken to anyone about this, and a couple of I’m doing it for the first time in this format. I didn’t start to have dreams like other women. 

And I was like, “What was going on?” Like, why? Why am I having these dreams and I’d wake up, and I’d feel a little bit confused, a little bit even more distant? And for the first time, I started to question my relationship with Uh-huh. I’ve never not. Yeah, and I have ever wondered about my relationship with her. We’ve got a fantastic band, and we’ve had such a great relationship. And it’s been a phenomenal few years. And yeah, I’ve found myself in the same thought pattern that I’ve been in all my relationships. And I was like, This time I was able to just, you know, stop and see it and dive into it and ask myself some questions. I was like, “what’s going on here?” You know, what’s really beneath this? And, you know, I felt stressed, I wasn’t sleeping as well. You know, one of the telltale signs for me is I go to bed. Later, with my mind still racing. I wake up, and I’m thinking about work straight away. I don’t necessarily go to my phone straight away or anything like that. But my mind’s active, I’m not as rested, stresses were higher. And that was happening over these past ten days. 

And what came to realize was, you know, Wasn’t Amelia it wasn’t a relationship. It was because I was feeling so much scarcity within myself. Not necessarily in the sense that I don’t feel good enough and things like that, although there probably was some of that going on. Mostly my energy, you know, I felt so lacking in my power. And because I felt so drained and so tired because I’d been working ten days straight trading for a triathlon, and then I’ve got stuff to do with the dogs and with Amelia and family, you know, there’s been a lot going on by choice, you know, moving here, I’ve chosen this path. But you know, as a result, I then start to look at Amelia through the eyes of project Tonto, when in reality, it was all about me, and space I was operating, and you’ll remember I inbox you didn’t I? A few days ago, I was like, “Do you know what Doug, if we hit this way? If we dealt, we dealt with it.” I’m not stressed now about this. I’ve surrendered to it. I’ve relaxed on, whatever happens, you know, we’ll just adjust a little pivot, and we’ll go again. 

You know, I’m not letting this control my life, it’s not worth it. That’s what I said to you, and it’s not worth it. Not worth my health. It’s not worth my stress. It fucking isn’t. And then what I did in terms of, you know what I said a moment ago about running towards these things. I told Amelia, and I was like, “I went up to her, and I said, Look, I want to apologize.” She said, “Why?” I’m like, “because I’ve been quite stressed over these past ten days. I don’t feel like I’ve been very nice here. So you’ve not been nice to me at all.” I don’t agree, and I wouldn’t go that far. You know, just little things like go ahead and get in, and I was at a favorite coffee shop, and I took a smoothie back that was asking for it. Also, as a lot of things I’ve been doing, but you know, this is sometimes my reluctance to open up to something to Amelia because sometimes when I do, she’ll be like, “Oh, yeah, this is my opening.” Boom. That’s what it seems to me. So anyway, 

Doug Holt  11:02  

And every man is listening to this, by the way.

Tim Matthew  11:05  

As you know, I just apologized to her. I said, Look, you know, I’m sorry. And she said, “Yeah, you have been I said, Okay, what have I been like,  and she said, “You’re showing interest, you’d be distant. You’ve not done this, and you’ve not done that.” I was just, I just hugged her and kissed her and sat with her and I was, you know, I explained what was going on and explained, you know, I just didn’t let her everything into my life. And I told her exactly what was going on and what, why I was acting that way. And I was choosing to make me, you know, do something different. But the point is that at that moment, in terms of running towards what scared me, it would have been very, it’d been more comfortable for me not to have the conversation with Amelia. You know, it would have been easy for me to go back to her and just, you know, be all-loving or be or whatever. And it probably wouldn’t have been forgotten about it apparently would have surfaced in some other way at some other point. 

But you know, I felt quite guilty, honest at first, and it’s okay to feel guilty. Some of us, you know, at all levels. I felt guilty about those dreams and about thinking about is it a winning I thought “Fucking hell!”. Now wherever I go, I’m going to take myself with me. Whatever relationship I go into, I’m going to make myself with me. So it’s not, it’s not Amelia. I didn’t necessarily tell her about the dreams and the winnings because I just didn’t think that it was relevant. I might have been misinterpreted in some way, because, you know, she’s an amazing woman. But anyway, yeah, brilliance was what scares me. It was just such, and it was so freeing. So in terms of being too fragile, and, you know, really the fragility comes from the fear, like you said, that fear of being seen and being judged and not feeling like we’ve got the capacity or the energy to be able to handle it. Instead, we just want to hide a lie and run away and avoid what’s going on. 

Boxer Team  13:02  

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Doug Holt  13:48  

What scares me the most here in this hearing you say that story is one of the things I responded with. And I didn’t share earlier. As I said, you know, the most powerful men that I know are the guys that you know are strong, you know, and compelling to run towards their fears. As soon as they fear something, they’ve created a habit of going towards it, not physical anxiety, necessarily, but any emotional fear. And I said that you know, they’re like the Indiana Jones of their inner game, always discovering and going through that, you know, and finding the treasures they look at this fear as a treasure and as a lesson. So great, great analogy. The high point there, Tim. And it scares me a little bit that I brought that up, which means I was talking about you. 

Tim Matthew  14:32  

I have a question for you. 

Doug Holt  14:34  


Tim Matthew  14:34  

So when was the last time you ran towards your fear? 

Doug Holt  14:40  

Great question. Gosh, I was trying to think about it. It’s become like you. It’s become such a habit that as soon as something scares me or worries me, I bring it up right away. I recognize that trigger of fear, so to speak, coming in toward me, and it’s an emotional trigger, and then I step into it and do it right away. I think you know, and probably the last time was this conversation with this guy, you know, perfect guy, I respect him a lot. You see, I was worried that if I were to Frank with him, he wouldn’t be able to take it. And so as soon as I was worried, again, fear, right, anxiety and worry are very similar. That’s when I knew I had to be very frank and honest with them, and tell them to look, here’s the deal. I told them that I’m just going to be blunt with you and honest with you because I would respect that you would do the same with me. You need to master your inner game because right now, you lack in that department. And that is going to control and run with everything. So that was probably the last time that I went through it, you know, a small fear, but again, I just try to recognize as soon as possible and then go towards it. 

Tim Matthew  15:49  

I know. Like for me, it took ten days, doesn’t it? It took ten days for me to realize about ten days anywhere. I was ignoring the signs for quite a while, to be honest. I could manage to change how I felt my stress levels going up. There are always symptoms, isn’t there? For me, it’s stress levels go up. Sleep gets worse, and I feel like I’m trying to spend a lot of places like I’m trying to keep things loaded up. So I start to feel overwhelmed. And then I start to do something that I don’t want to do. So start with people, please as well. Commitments that I, because I’m coming from a place of I, feel more drained and worn out. And then I don’t have the strength to honor my “No,” you know, so I say “yes” to things when there are “no.” So now I’m just present even further. So, you know, for you, it’s great that you’re able to catch it, you know, quicker for me it’s a bit longer. And you know, I think that’s a critical point because some people, and I know this is true of a lot of the guys we’ve coached in The Powerful Man and do coach That lag time can sometimes turn into judgment. 

And then say, Well, “why didn’t I catch it sooner,” And “Fuck, I should have done this” and “what about that?” And “I’ve lost on this,” and, you know, just chill. You’ve caught, you know, now you can change. There’s no point living in the past. There’s no point beating yourself up because again, all that does, in my opinion, what’s happening there is that the buying into the levels armor, this is good, or this is bad. Well, why does anything have to be good or bad? Why can it not just be what it is? You know, it’s such a critical point and just, you know, the conversation I had with one of the guys in the inner circle yesterday. So he jumps on the call, and he was, he looks deflated. He was quite upset. He was like, “I’m supposed to be going out to see Michael McIntyre tonight and for dinner with my girlfriend, but it now looks like we’re gonna have showdown talks at dinner” I’m like “Okay, what do you mean?” Well, the shows aren’t the fun again, you know? I mean, you know they’ve had various arguments in the past. Still, you know, they’ve worked through all of them because his ex is quite manipulative to his current girlfriend and does certain things and says certain things as she now has blocked his ex on Facebook to try. You know, focus on herself and the relationship without being triggered. So anyway, what happened was, this person wanted to go swimming. 

So it was Sunday, and I wanted to go swimming and get my training for the triathlon. So I asked, I’m just going to call her Sarah. So I asked Sarah if she could start the first time out for the kids they could first time the mom while I went swimming perfect time the kids were going to be in bed. Laura is just there. No one’s doing anything. So I’ll go swimming perfectly. I thought it was going to be, you know, no problem. And then look then Sarah said, Well, you do know that I’ve blocked I’m going to call her. Jean. You do know that I’ve blocked a Jean on Facebook, right? And he’s like, yeah, it’s okay. Just unblocker so Sarah’s like, Huh, okay. Right, Sarah thinks. Anyway, one thing led to another, and obviously, there were those words that went back and forth. Then this guy turned around and said to Sarah, “Fuck her! She is just so full of bullshit”, because, almost, there was some resistance and you know, and for him, this has been something that had been going on previously, but you know, at the same time Sarah is trying to figure out how by blocking her and doing her own thing. 

Anyway, what one thing led to another and why it turned out was as I was speaking to him a lot, I, first of all, I get how important it is for you to let the kids the first time the mom gets it. If the shoe were on foot, you’d run the same, so I understand that, but at the same time, I don’t think it’s fair that you asked Sarah to unblock Jean. So she could then go for the first time. That’s not her responsibility. It’s your end of the day, you know, show responsibility you made the commitments you get to honor. Thirdly, why is it that you’re trying to cram in swimming in the last thing in the week in an evening? And he’s like, “Well, you know, I’ve just had a busy week.” I’m like, “Yeah, but you’ve worked so hard in the company for the past ten years, building the company. You all have space within your schedule and energy to work out when you want for the traveler. Instead of it creating loads of stress in your life.” As you can see him, the cog stops going then, huh? Anyway, the outcome of the conversation was, you know, it wasn’t a problem in his relationship at all. 

It was an opportunity In his leadership, to, you know, lead his company and not be doing everything, you know, trying to be different roles, different people, you know, just staying on his own, they’re not leaking energy all over the place. And as a result, you know, it would be able to work out at times he wants, instead of feeling so stretched and fragile. And as a result, then reacting in the way was, you know, he said, his own words, if he, you know, if he didn’t feel so stretched and so burnt out and exhausted, then he feels like his reaction would have been very different. Because it feels that way, it feels fragile. And at the same time, because he’s not run into all these fears. I mean, it does. He’s a fantastic entrepreneur, but there are some things that he’s not running towards, within his leadership and the company. 

One of the means is, is paying the price outside of it and his relationship. It’s just so simple; there are so many parallels. Between all these conversations isn’t a Doug? What you went through what I went through what the guy you were speaking to experienced, or the guy I was talking through experience, there’s so many threads they all linked, isn’t it? It’s fascinating to see how we often feel like we’re on a lot of an island, you know, where this mask of perfection points out there and social media. We’re in reality, you know when we have these conversations that are real, and we talk about real stuff that’s going on behind the scenes, and we understand that. Oh, wow, yeah, there’s other guys experiencing something similar, and it’s okay to talk about it. Well, fuck, I’m going to talk about instead of letting the guilt and the shame wear me down,

Doug Holt  22:50  

It’s so true, and that’s what’s so great about The Activation Method and getting the guys into groups or for retreats that we put on is you know, these guys are all coming, and there are high performers. And everybody’s nervous, right? Stepping into that realm. And then to have them look around, even despite everybody’s story being so different, you know, the things that we face as men have so many parallels. They’re not things to be ashamed of, it’s stepping into that fear, as you talked about stepping into that fear, to me is what being a man is all about. 

And you can do that. And instead of just talking now, oh, you know, I will talk about my feelings. Well, that is scarcity. That’s really you’re just afraid. You’re so scared of what people are going to think about you, and you’re afraid of what’s going to come out of your mouth. There’s that fear, right? That’s deep down. If the men are listening to this, they are honest with themselves. The reason you don’t talk about things is you’re afraid. You’re scared of what other people are going to think or what’s going to come out or some societal norms. So that’s why I love getting those men together and seeing what’s happening, and what comes out of that and allows them To be the mirror reflection for the other men. 

Tim Matthew  24:02  

Yeah, for sure. And then in terms of the relationship piece, as well, because I thought that’s such a significant threat. It’s something that always comes up, isn’t it? It still rears its head, whether we believe it’s a problem with business turns out to be something behind the scenes that is usually causing the stress. But yeah, when you’re able to take ownership and be vulnerable and run towards your fears. Wow, you know, the woman in your life. Talk about, you know, improving your sex life. There’s only one reaction that she’s usually going to have: she sees you running towards your fears, being vulnerable, and doing so with pride and honor. And standing tall is only usually one outcome there isn’t there.

Doug Holt  24:59  

Absolutely. Man, that’s a great outcome.

Tim Matthew  25:03  

Yeah, it can be for sure.

Doug Holt  25:07  

Well, Tim, I know that you and I can, and we’ll probably talk about this for hours. But that’s a wrap for this show. And guys and gals, we’ll be back with another episode coming up at The Powerful Man. So Tim, as always, thank you for sharing your wisdom and imparting it upon the world. What you’re doing is fantastic, man. 

Tim Matthew  25:27  

Likewise, you co-host space and then do business with me you Yeah, total mirror back to you in and out of business. An amazing father, entrepreneur, husband, man, so it’s not about every time. 

Doug Holt  25:42  

Thank you so much. All right, guys. We will see you next episode.