Jack Canfield once said,
“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.”
And he’s right. But I’m going to take it one step further.
Pain, discomfort, shock, boredom, impostor syndrome, awkwardness, fear, being wrong, failing, ignorance, looking stupid: your avoidance of these feelings is stopping you from a life beyond your wildest imagination.
These are the feelings that accompany a life of success. And yet, these are the very feelings you relentlessly avoid!
Interesting how that works, right?
This article is an excerpt from my forthcoming book, THE PROXIMITY EFFECT.
Wealth, optimal health, incredible relationships, deep spiritual maturity are all available to you. But you have to pay the price to have these things. The primary obstacle in your way is how you feel about what you need to do to have these things.
Most people aren’t willing to feel difficult emotions on a regular basis. However, if you’re willing to disregard how you feel in the moment, you’ll have access to a world of opportunity unavailable to 99% of the population.
When you feel the fear and do it anyways, you get the satisfaction of living life on your terms. Instead of being a hostage to your emotions, you get to experience them more deeply.
Hilariously, once you break past the emotional blocks and just act, it’s never as bad as you think it will be.
Make the decision and act
Napoleon Hill said,
“When your desires are strong enough, you will appear to possess superhuman powers to achieve.”
Similarly, Tim Grover has said,
“When you crave the end result, the hard work becomes irrelevant.”
Put most simply: when the why is strong enough, you’ll be willing to do any how. The clearer and bigger the why, the bolder the how. Hence, if you 10X your why, you’ll have insights about how to do things far more effectively than the norm. As Dan Sullivan has said,
“When 10X is your measuring stick, you immediately see how you can bypass what everyone else is doing.”
If your dreams are big enough, you’ll have to do different things than you’ve been doing. Not all “hows” are created equal. You’ll have to do things you don’t feel in the moment like doing. You’ll resist the actions you need to take.
If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got. What got you here, won’t get you there.
If you want bold results, you need bold actions.
If you want it bad enough, your momentary feelings won’t stop you. How you feel right now is irrelevant. Of course it’s out of your comfort zone. Of course it may not feel good in the moment.
Said Tim Ferriss,
“A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.”
Are you willing to disregard your momentary feelings to achieve a particular results?
Life is practice.
Every day is practice. Right now, you’re practicing; you’re experimenting.
Start with small stuff and work your way up.
For me, taking cold showers is great practice. Even after doing it for years, I still often experience a moment of resistance. But I feel the resistance and do it anyways. Within seconds, the resistance I was feeling is replaced with confidence and satisfaction.
Confidence is an effect, not a cause.
Identity is an effect, not a cause.
Your behaviors and your choices of environment shape you from the outside, in.
What you do alters how you see yourself and the world.
The more frequently you can confront and walk past emotional blocks, the more powerful of a person you will become. You’ll begin to believe in yourself, because you’ll have watched yourself act in a believable way.
You will ride some amazing emotional waves.
You’ll find yourself in situations and ask yourself, “How did I get here? How am I going to pull this off?”
But your confidence will grow.
Because your behaviors, and the situations you find yourself lead you to believe in yourself.
“Wow! I’m really doing this…” you’ll say to yourself.
Your beliefs and identity will change. They’ll follow your courageous behaviors.
You just need to walk past the emotional wall — the electrical fence — which paralyzes and imprisons 99% of people.
Because people remain imprisoned, they doubt themselves. They develop a victim mentality.
Their confidence crumbles.
Rather than building the life they want, the settle for the life they have.
Rather than living in an environment created by them, they live in an environment created for them.
If you want something different, you need to act different. It doesn’t matter how you feel in the moment.
If that life is different than what you have now, you can expect it will feel terrible. You haven’t yet adapted to your new life.
What do you expect?
Change is always an uncomfortable transition — until you develop a tolerance for change, uncertainty, and even fear.
Are you willing to go there?
How big is the emotional roller-coaster of life you’re going to ride? Small rises and dips? Or huge rises, drops, spins, and twists? Life is meant to be lived, emotions are meant to be felt and experienced. You get to design the roller-coaster.
Do you want the result bad enough that you’re willing to feel absurd, horrible, amazing, ridiculous, and stupid to get there?
Or, would you prefer feeling safe and regretful?
The choice is yours. But everything you want is available. And the more extreme the emotional shock you’re willing to walk through, the faster you’ll get the results you’re seeking.
There must come a point when you stop worrying yourself over the opinions of others. Even the opinions of your heroes.
Your work and ideas must eventually come completely and unapologetically through you.
Only when you fully trust yourself and your ideas will you be able to create in a bold, honest, and beautiful manner.
No matter how “successful” you become, trusting yourself never gets easier. In fact, it only gets harder with more external noise and pressure. But you will never be happy with yourself or satisfied with your work if you don’t do what you truly felt inspired to do.
Your most honest work will always be your best work. More than likely, it will also be your most successful work.