Run Towards Your Fear
I was talking with one of our men from the Brotherhood yesterday and he asked me a question that I wanted to share. This man is your typical Alpha male – big, strong, and a powerful presence.
From the outside he has the perfect lifestyle that many of us aspire to. However, when I was talking to him about what was going on with his life and asking him how things were, it came out that things weren’t going well for him and we got into a longer and deeper conversation about growth, what it takes to truly grow as a man and how to truly step outside of your comfort zone.
Once we got to a deeper space in the conversation, he confessed to me that he feels he’s too fragile to grow. When I probed a little further he expressed that he avoids events, doesn’t want to engage in courses and doesn’t want to work with a coach because he feels like he is too fragile for growth.
What this really comes down to is that he is too scared to face the reality of what he is creating or what he hasn’t created in his life.
One of the things we talk about in The Activation Method is taking radical responsibility for your results in your life. As humans, we tend to naturally want to keep our results outside of us. We would rather lie to ourselves, not take ownership, and allow our positivity to mask our reality.
By doing this, we are allowing ourselves to keep everything at arm’s length but in this process we are also giving our power away.
When we are able to drop the mask and judgement and see things not as good or bad but as feedback, then we take our power back and are able to make massive change. This gives us the power and ability to choose something different.
If you say you’re too fragile for change, then you’re going to remain fragile.
Because I know this man, and I know the high performance business owner he is, I was able to identify what was really going on quickly. And when I told him the fear I was seeing, he broke down and admitted that what he was really afraid of was others seeing that he’s not perfect.
Isn’t this the mask that many of us wear?
What I told him was, “Look, I understand where you’re coming from. I understand that you you’re worried that in this fragile state 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. 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 really step into your power your true power. Because that is really to me what’s 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?”
I know that for this man, fear is what is holding him back, and that he feels it’s not the right time to dive deeper into coaching because he is “not perfect”. And yet, that is exactly what’s holding him back. Not only in this area, but also the area of his business, the area of his relationships, and the area of his health.
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.”
Have you ever had that thought?
You know what I love to do if I am in that situation? I love to run towards the fear head on. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t do this all the time, but an example of this was this week with my partner, Amelia.
My business partner and I set some targets for The Powerful Man for last month, and it got to the last 10 days of the month and we hadn’t hit our goals. So we adjusted, rose to challenge, and set out to crush our goals in the last week of the month.
Something came up for me during this process that I have actually come to recognize as a pattern of mine that has become my default mode, which is to create situations where I have to hustle like mad. And in the past, the energy behind the hustle used to be me trying to prove myself, prove that I’m worthy, and prove that I am enough.
So, as my business partner and I decided to go all in for those 10 days I found myself over a period of about 5 days, really going back into that pattern and going into some of those stories of wanting to prove myself and not feel like a failure.
What came of this focus of mine to hustle and prove myself, is that I actually started to disconnect from my partner, Amelia. To be completely transparent, I began to have dreams about other women, which has never happened for me within this relationship. I would wake up and feel a little bit confused, and even more distant. For the first time ever, I started to question the relationship we had. We have such an amazing bond, such an amazing relationship, we have been phenomenal for a few years and yet I found myself in the same thought pattern I’ve seen in all of my relationships.
Thankfully, this time I was able to just stop, see it, and ask myself some hard questions.
“What is really going on here?” “What is really beneath this?”
I felt stressed, I wasn’t sleeping as well. I was going to bed later than usual with my mind still racing awake. I was thinking about work and hitting these goals in 10 days. And then it hit me…
It wasn’t Amelia. It wasn’t a relationship. It actually wasn’t anything external that was causing me to feel this way at all.
I was feeling so much scarcity within myself, I was lacking in my energy, I was feeling stressed and tired. There has been so much going on in my life, by choice, I have chosen this path and I love it but something wasn’t working. And I realized that I was looking through the eyes of projection. I was completely projecting the scarcity I was feeling deep within myself, onto Amelia and our relationship. This is the space I was operating out of.
So a few days ago, I went to my business partner, Doug and told him if we don’t hit the goals we set for this month, fuck it. I’m choosing to no longer be stressed about this. Whatever happens, we’ll adjust. We’ll pay for it, but we’ll go again and figure it out. I’m no longer allowing this to control my life. It’s not worth it. It’s not worth losing my health and it’s not worth my stress.
I then spoke to Amelia and apologized to her for not showing up fully within our relationship and not treating her with the kindness she deserves. I opened up to her about what was really going on and what I had been experiencing but also what I had come to recognize and realize on a deeper level. This opened up the space for us to get honest and real with each other and connect on a deeper level.
Just a few months ago it would have been SO easy for me to not have this conversation with Amelia. To not be as vulnerable and honest as I was. It would have been easy for me to just go back to being extra loving with her, but not have the conversation. But the truth is, it probably wouldn’t have been forgotten about. The tension and the energy that took place within those few days would have resurfaced later on until it was dealt with.
To be honest, I felt fear, I felt guilt, I felt all of the resisting emotions, which is okay and normal to feel.
So, in terms of being too fragile, it’s important to know that the fragility comes from the fear. That fear of being seen, of being judged, of not feeling like we have the capacity or energy to be able to handle it. So instead, we want to hide, and lie, and run away to avoid feeling that fear.
The most powerful men that I know, they run towards their fears. As soon as they fear something, they create this habit of going TOWARDS it. And I’m not just talking about physical fear but any emotional fear.
I love to say that they are like the Indiana Jones of their inner game. They’re always discovering more about themselves, finding the treasure, and the lessons.
Something that I have been on a journey of working on personally, and something we work with our men in The Activation Method on is creating the habit to run towards our fear once we experience it. To step into it right away and see what it’s here to teach and what new level of ourselves it’s asking us to step into. And the truth is….sometimes this can be an instant recognition and sometimes it takes weeks, months, or years to understand what’s really going on.
Oftentimes, when I’m speaking with men in The Activation Method, they will beat themselves up about not realizing earlier, something I think most men struggle with. And the thing is, there is no point in beating yourself up because all that does is make you feel worse.
Instead, you have this opportunity to look at what is showing up for you and not label it as good or bad, just what is. And determine for yourself if it’s serving you and choose to take action and also take a look at what the triggers are for you so that you can recognize it earlier the next time.
For myself, I know something is really off because I won’t sleep well, I will feel very stressed and anxious most of the time, I will snap at others quickly, and I shut down. Notice what it looks like for yourself, and when you notice it next time, choose something different.
It’s easy to blame the other person, it’s easy to blame work, it’s easy to blame your business partner, it’s easy to blame your staff, and it’s easy to blame your spouse. But doing this is giving you the results you are sick of. It’s time to take radical responsibility for yourself, it’s time to master your inner game and create the habit of recognizing when fear is taking over. It’s time for you to take control and create the life you want and on your terms.
We’ve worked with hundreds of men and one of the patterns we see within almost all of the men we work with is that they all feel like an island. There is this mask of perfection out there on social media and when we get to have these deeper conversations with all of these men, we get to look behind the curtain and see the real stuff that’s going on.
And what we have come to find is that most men are experiencing similar things. They may show up in different ways but the core of the experience is the same. We are not alone, even though society and social media has this way of making us feel like we are. The more you have other men to talk to about what you’re going through, the better you’re going to feel and the more you’re going to realize that you’re not alone.
At our Alpha Reset retreats you look around and you see all of these high performers in the room and everyone is nervous about stepping into that realm of vulnerability and honesty with others watching but despite everyone’s story being so different, the things we face as men have so many parallels and similarities and they’re not things to be ashamed of.
It’s actually the stepping into the fear and being able to enter that realm of vulnerability and honesty that is what being a Powerful Man is all about. And if you’re reading this thinking there is no way that you would want to talk about your feelings…well, I am here to tell you that is scarcity. That’s really just you being afraid of what people are going to think about you, about what will come out of your mouth, that’s fear.