Life presents us with opportunities every day. And at the same time fear and anxiety are at an all time high. Watching the news won’t help. Social media won’t help. Often the people we talk to the most don’t help either. So what do you do?
We’ve all been faced with the choice between staying where we feel comfortable and safe or taking the next step even if we aren’t certain about where it will lead.
The truth is you will never live a life of meaning and purpose if you allow being afraid to rule every decision you make.
Fear has a way of paralyzing each of us. Our brains literally have a fear meter called the amygdala that controls fear and wants us to stay safe and comfortable. This is great if you’re fixing to be attacked by a wild animal, but it’s horrible when it comes to pursuing your goals.
Fear will keep you in a bad relationship to long.
Fear can stop you from starting a business.
Fear can stop you from speaking up for what’s right.
2020 has begun with most of us feeling uncertain about our health, job security, and our families well being. It would seem that all is lost and and all of the opportunities have dried up. Have you had that feeling?
But in this tragedy like every other tragedy we have faced there will be people who use this as a moment to change their life, their families legacy, and maybe even the world.
Maybe you’re one of the millions of people who have lost their job, are feeling uncertain about your future. My hope for you is that you make a choice in this moment to not allow anxiety to be your controlling emotion.
My hope is that you would take a deep breath and realize that you’re still alive and therefore still have a chance to make what you want out of your future.
There is hope for you. There is hope for us all.
In this episode I share:
- My own struggles with fear
- How I overcame fear and took the next step
- How you can overcome fear in your own life
- How preparation can eliminate fear
- How being bold can inspire everyone around you
00:00 Speaker 1: Being terrified, how are you dealing with that it in your own life? Not like Boogeyman-scary-movie fear, forget all that. That's nonsense. I'm talking about petrified-at-failure fear, like I just don't wanna take the next step. Sometimes, it's because you're afraid you might fail, other times it's because you think you might actually succeed.
00:24 Speaker 2: Welcome to The Art of Hope podcast, with your host, Chadwick Sapenter.
00:29 Chadwick Sapenter: If you're willing to dream bigger than whatever your environment is, then anything is possible.
00:33 S2: It's time to create the path to your success by overcoming your past, embracing your present, and outlining your future.
00:41 CS: Today, that goal becomes a reality.
00:43 S2: Every journey begins with the first step. So, let's begin The Art of Hope podcast.
00:51 CS: Welcome to the Art of Hope show. I'm your hope dealer and adversity expert, Chadwick Sapenter. Thank you for tuning in. I have a great show planned for you today, but before we begin, leave me a five-star review and share this podcast with someone you know who needs to hear this message.
01:08 CS: One of my mentors told me one time, Gigi, she came up to me and this is... She's an amazing woman, has overcome some of the most incredible experiences that you could ever imagine to just be a beacon of light. Gigi. I had started this business and it was actually working. And it was just when we... The first time I launched Little Book of Words, before it was what it is now. But one of... The first title that I launched, I mean, it took off, and I was terrified. I had just came from running a $40 million real estate empire. I thought I was gonna be the next Barbara Corcoran. Me and my partner had built this company and things just took off. I'll share that story another day, but what ended up happening is the recession hit. We lose everything, go through a whole period of just trauma, which turned out to be the best thing. And in the process of that, I ended up writing this book, the first little book, Little Book of Words Every Foster Kid Should Know. And this was a real shitty book. Well, the content was good but the way it looked was, I mean, it was horrible. And so what I did is... I'm a hustler, I know how to get stuff done. I borrowed 100 bucks. I got the books printed. I accidentally sent out a email, thousands of books got sold, and then thousands more got sold, and then thousands more, and it just took off.
02:50 CS: And then all of a sudden I said, "You know what I'm gonna do?" I couldn't find a publishing company. Even with the sales, I had no publishing company. Anywhere that I reached out to, they... I mean, it was a crappy product, unedited, looked a mess. Nobody really wanted to deal with it and nobody's... They're like, "Yeah, no, that's not how it works. Go get a agent, come back to us." All of those things. But anyway, I had initially reached out to Gigi to guide me 'cause she's a extremely successful businesswoman and understood just where I was coming from, from a background standpoint. And she was spending the time with me, willing to help me, giving me guidance, and then I started listening and it actually started working. Things started changing. It went from being an idea to turning into a business, and now I got an idea of how to scale the business, and it's very tangible what to do next. But then all of a sudden I just stopped, I got terrified. The pain of our real estate business that it just went into the dumpster unexpectedly, the pain from there, and not just the actual real estate business, but more so what I was afraid about was the pain of the person that I actually had become. If I look back, I despised myself. All I cared about was money, period. There was nothing else that mattered. I was a disgusting human, a very low version of a man.
04:29 CS: The ends, or I guess, the means always justified the ends. Whatever I had to do, I was willing to do it. And in some instances, that was a good quality, just being willing to go make it happen. But at some point, you have to ask yourself, what is the price tag that you put on your own integrity and character? And looking back at that point, it was a pretty low number. As this business started to succeed, I started to get afraid because what I didn't want to do was become that guy again, that greedy self-indulged, selfish guy. And so, instead of pushing harder, which is what I normally do, and going longer and doing more, I just stopped. I stopped returning phone calls. I stopped showing up to meetings. I pushed people away. The fact that it was actually working terrified me because success comes with some expectations, but what if it's not the right quality? And again, like I said in episode one, I was comparing my version one to Chicken Soup for the Soul's version 100 or the For Dummies company's version 100. I was comparing where they are now to where I'm starting. And it terrified me because I wasn't measuring up. And those were my expectation, that higher standards for where I thought I should be, who I thought I should be. And just doing the work, although in the beginning was enough, it terrified me because I couldn't do everything that I needed.
06:00 CS: And so, anyway, one day, I was at a coffee shop in Austin, and it's a beautiful Saturday morning. And I'm there with one of... My best friend, one of my business partners and we were there just having a cup of coffee, brain-storming and just kinda catching up since this last business we had had, failed. And in comes... Walking, I guess, down the street in Austin, it was Gigi and her husband, and they just... I mean, they looked like they were having the best day of their life. She had a beautiful dress, he's smiling, these are just awesome. You take a picture, and you're like, "Man, that's what a good day looks like." And so, Gigi notices us and her husband had been a mentor to my best friend, Jason.
06:54 CS: And Gigi walks into the coffee shop and they talk, and she gives me a hug and she's always just warm and just a beautiful spirit, the energy is just good. You just know this is a good person. And Gigi comes up to me and it's just me and her, she didn't call me out in front of everybody, only I can hear her. She says, "Chad I hadn't heard from you in a while, and I hope you're okay." And I was like "Yes ma'am." And then she said, "Chad, you know, what's your a problem?" And I didn't say anything because I didn't really want to know what my problem was. She said, "Chad you are afraid to succeed, you don't think you deserve it." And she is whispering this to me and tears are starting to boil up in my face because she is right, I am terrified to succeed. And I thought it was because I was concerned about being that... The guy I was before, but it was worse than that, I was terrified to succeed and she hated it, she said, "You don't think you deserve it." She said, "Chad, you still think you are that little abandoned boy." And I was just rocked. I just put my head down and I couldn't say anything, but she said, "It's gonna be okay."
08:24 CS: Well anyway, she was right, I was afraid and somehow I had allowed the abuse I've experienced as a child, the abandonment, the homelessness, the foster care, all of the trauma, the death, the poverty to just consume me, to where there was a gunner like a general. Like on a truck they put the general, "You can't go over this speed." So anytime I got close to going over that peak... Because that is what it is, when you are starting something, whatever it is, you go through a point to where you feel like you can't do it, and then you take the first step and then you start to actually make progress and it is hard as, I don't know what, the climb up that hill but I would get right to that point... So I would get right at the peak, where I was gonna be coming on the other side of it, and this thing, this idea, whatever it was, could actually become something and then I would just quit. And it wouldn't be like, "Hey I quit." I would just fail to launch, I just wouldn't start. I had a general. Something was right there, just, boom, I couldn't get over it. And then I would just have to go back down to a, quote unquote, normal speed.
09:50 CS: So fear sucks, because it is bullshit, it's not real, it's basically we've curated an outcome, we've created an outcome in our mind of what could possibly go wrong, or what could possibly stop us or get in our way. And here's the thing, I am not even talking... Like not being on the airplane fright. Not that. I'll talk more about that stuff in another episode. What I am talking about right now, is the fear of just trying, of doing, of taking the next step, of asking that person out or whatever it is, we have already decided in our mind that the outcome is gonna be negative and so we don't take the step and here's the thing, we have no idea if the outcome is actually gonna be negative. We've just already decided what the outcome is gonna be before we even took the first step. And that is what I was doing.
10:57 CS: So even with this podcast, like the last episode 1.1, I looked up and I am recording the whole dang thing. So if you think the audio was bad, I didn't even have the microphone plugged in. But I'm like, "I am not re-recording it it's going up." I'm gonna... There is no perfection, there is no such thing as perfection, there's nothing there... There is nothing there, but taking the next step, that's all you have. Fear is nonsense, it's a liar, it is false evidence appearing real, it is an illusion, a mirage it is a hologram. It is not real and you don't know it's not real, until you start walking closer towards it. All of what we want, the person that we can be, all of it, is on the other side of us walking through fear. We have to push through it.
11:43 CS: Like right now, like that thing that you're most afraid of... Like a lot of us, we're afraid of being exposed. We think, "Man if it comes out that I was this or I did this, or I enjoyed whatever it is, man there's no way that these people could accept me." And you don't even think you can accept yourself, you are living perpetually in fear. Never never never allow fear to stop you from becoming who you can be, because you just don't know until you walk through it.
12:11 CS: Listen, you've gotta put your head down, you've gotta grab your nuts, you've gotta hold on. Like gird up your loins and show yourself a man. Gird up your loins and show yourself a woman. Pick up your cuffs, pick up your dress and walk through it. Fear shouldn't stop you. Like there's nothing that can stop you from doing what it is that you put your mind to, except you. There's nothing that can stop you. It is almost as if the moment that you decide that you are not going to allow fear to control you, it's as if God will move things around to propel you closer not to the fear but through the fear. But you never know unless you're willing to take that step. Don't allow fear to control you. Don't allow the fear of negative outcomes. Don't allow fear of potential set backs, of getting it wrong, of judgment, or whatever it is, don't allow that to stop you from taking the next step.
13:28 CS: Now, here's the thing, you can minimize some of the fear you have by being prepared, by doing a little bit of front end work to find out, "Okay, let me... The things that I can control, let me make sure I'm in a position to be able to control those things." This is gonna help eliminate fear. At least you get up in a plane and if you have a parachute on, you feel a little bit more comfortable about jumping your ass out the plane. I ain't jumping out of planes, but you get what I'm saying. The metaphorical plane of your life. You've got a parachute on, you're like, "Cool." Now, if you know you don't got a parachute and you've gotta jump out the plane, you're like, "I don't know how this is gonna happen." But if you've got a parachute, you feel a little bit prepared 'cause at least you know you think, "Alright, this is it."
14:11 CS: Now, life don't come with parachutes all the time. It doesn't. Sometimes you've just got to jump. I just want you to fight for your dreams. I want you to fight for your goals. I want you to fight for your family. I want you to fight for the outcome that you want. Don't give up on yourself. Where you are now is not where you have to be. You are not helpless, hopeless, passionless. That is not who you are. That may be how you're living, but that is not who you are. You were created with a purpose. All you have to do is take the steps to accomplish and identify what that purpose is. Don't allow fear to control your life.
15:00 CS: Now here's the thing, watch what boldness does. You taking bold steps, even uncertain steps, even unidentified steps, you taking bold steps will embolden people around you. Watch how your family looks at you. Watch how your friends look at you. Watch how your co-workers. Watch how your employees look at you. People want to follow people that say, "No. I may be afraid, but I'm gonna do it anyway." Go do it anyway.
15:37 CS: Listen. Thank you guys for tuning in. Like I said, this is The Art of Hope podcast. This is episode 1.2, but really two. This is me keeping a promise to myself. Not perfection. I think every episode will get better. I'm not pursuing perfection because I don't think it exists. But what I will do is I'm gonna show up, I'm gonna these things done. I will get this done. I'm not gonna let fear stop me. I'm not gonna let the fallacy of perfection prevent me from just executing and getting it done. What I wanna do is this, is I wanna motivate you. I wanna inspire you. And I want you to believe in you. You don't gotta believe in me. You don't even gotta like me. What I want you to do is to be able to get up and look in that mirror and say, "You know what, this shit ain't that bad. I could take the next step." So, I'm gonna get better every week. So, keep tuning in. Tell your friends about it. I'm looking forward to next time. Go out there, believe in yourself, believe in what you can do, and kick fear dead in the ass. Thank you for tuning in.