Many CEOs, business owners and everyday people look for adventure and excitement outside of work that test their fears and abilities to take risk. Why? The Goal, to get past what is called the Freakout Point. The freakout point is when you are so scared, so filled with anxiety that you can hardly breathe. You know that feeling? The sweaty palms, the ringing ears, the rapid heart beat, the bumble bees in your stomach and flat out tears.
Recently, I read that for first-time parachuters that happens when the doors of the airplane open up and you hear all the air and noise and feel the pressure drop. Okay, just the thought of that one gives me sweaty palms. What is amazing and gave me goose bumps aka inspiration is that Hayward Putnan, former CEO of Southwest Airlines calls it the moment of truth and total focus. He says, It really makes you focus at the moment and forget all your other stresses or problems.
How To Overcome the #1 Fatal Mistake – FEAR in life
We have all been there, full of fear, scared at a potential outcome even if you are successful and confident. Seeking the freakout point does not require that you jump from airplanes or climb Mount Everest or speak to a group of 30,000 people, although I did do that one and it was a blast. What simply separate leaders from other talented people is the willingness to go through the freakout point. To just keep moving forward in business as in life. Sometimes this is easier said than done which I can attest to like many of you, although the reward is worth the effort. Everything we do is like a muscle, and it needs to be tested and worked out and put into uncomfortable positions. Recently, I was definitely working out with the freakout point. Boy, a trip to the gym would have been easier! Realizing life has no glass ceiling and by putting yourself in uncomfortable situations, the success muscle grows, not shrinks, withers up and dies.
Fear paralyzes most people from reaching their goals and potential. Often times people keep doing things the same way just because they are afraid of change. People understand this intuitively and keep doing things the same way when they know they need to change. Fear is what keeps them from changing and achieving success. Michelle McTiernan, a CFO at DDB Health says I see bright people every day at work who are rigid in their approach. It is a huge barrier to success in a fast moving world. Pushing your limits helps with being comfortable under pressure. This is a great asset for any leader.
The Answer – Make A Decision.
This is the Moment of Truth and Total Focus. Certainly the ability to focus on the task at hand or an immediate threat is a great skill to develop. Yet, perhaps the greatest skill that you can develop by seeking freakout points is to overcome the fear of making a decision. As many successful people will tell you, not making a decision is sometimes more risky than making the wrong decision. In your journey for success it is critical that you conquer your fears of success. Whether you develop this ability by looking for freakout adventures or other means is up to you. The most important thing to remember is to never let fear keep you from reaching you true potential.
Make a decision about your life, your career. If you do not, who will? Do what you love, what lights you up, even if it’s not perfect. Because doing nothing, making no decisions, living a life filled with fear and confusion is far worse that discovering the freakout point and living a life with no glass ceiling!
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