Face fears every day

Running at 7:30 in the morning is not my idea of what I want to do at 7:30. I was looking for the quote “do one thing every day that scares you”.

Turns out that’s not actually the quote. It was attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt who’s obviously incredibly bright, verbose, articulate. Turns out that’s not what she said.

She didn’t say do one thing every day that scares you. Because what I want to talk about is you have to do something every day.

What she said, which is far more meaningful and verbose, is:

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”

Which essentially boils down to facing your fears.

And the reason I wanted to talk about this is because no matter how strong, disciplined, motivated someone looks to be, or you see them as they are themselves always battling an internal fear or a lack of motivation or a desire to not do something.

One of my values, mantras, whatever is. It’s not worth doing something unless you’re going to do it a thousand times.

Don’t do something once unless you’re going to do it a thousand times.

And it’s true, I think of everything. If you’re going to pick up a new habit, if we want to do something, there’s no point in doing it unless you’re going to do it a thousand times, which is also one of the reasons why I exercise in the morning.

The last thing I want to do is get out of bed. In the cold, even when it’s sunny outside, the last thing I want to do is get up and move around.

But I believe that following with Mrs. Roosevelt’s quote, because I don’t want to do it, that’s why I have to do it. And I think we all do.

When I sit down at my desk with some more words to write for the books or for blog posts. The reason I’m doing more videos is because I become very uncomfortable with them.

I don’t like filming. I don’t like filming myself. I find it awkward. I find it embarrassing. So to me, the practice becomes, do it every day, face that thing every single day. And if you can face it in the morning, the rest of the day is yours.

You have conquered the rest of the day, right?

Mrs. Roosevelt was obviously you know, incredibly intelligent and articulate. And I think that when she said, when you face that particular horror, I almost think that she was being a little bit playful, maybe even sarcastic.

Because we tend to blow these things into portion in our own minds.

And that can lead us to say “I couldn’t possibly start writing, start filming, start exercising go on a run at 7:30 in the morning or 6:30 or 5:30. Or wake up earlier or go to bed earlier or start eating healthier or start that business, or think of that new product idea, or ask that person out or approach that sales call or whatever” because it becomes a horror in our mind.

It becomes this insurmountable mountain of dread and fear.

Whereas in actual fact, once you’ve done it, you think “that was not bad. It wasn’t as atrocious as I thought it was going to be. It wasn’t as awful as I thought it was going to be. It was completable and doable”.

And this is why I think it’s important to do it every day as well.

Because you’re not necessarily conquering the mountain every single day. You’re just knocking off a few steps. I always use the analogy of carving steps into the side of a mountain for achieving a goal.

That’s borrowed/stolen from Roald Amundsen, who was the first person to reach the South pole. He knew what a task that was. It’s not just the distance, it’s everything about it.

He got there and back with no loss of life, no casualties. And it’s because he just clocked off 20 miles a day. Now 20 miles is obviously it a fair chunk.

It’s a big distance, but comparatively, Scott, who he was going against and was actually doing more on some days. But the difference is that Scott only did it on days that he felt were good, like good weather days and when the crew was up to it.

On all days, Roald did 20 miles, no matter what the weather was, storms, ice, sunshine, clear rain, whatever rain we get rain in the South pole.

Roald Amundsen understood the importance of clocking it off every single day. which is again, why I think you have the opportunity to do something every single day because you can break it into much, much smaller chunks.

It’s actually more effective doing something every single day in small chunks, rather than trying to do it all in one day, it would be impossible for me to take all of my exercises and just do it on a Saturday.

You wouldn’t get the benefits of it. You don’t get the benefits of eating healthily just one day a week, super healthy. You have to do it every single day. You don’t get the benefits of writing or creating or learning or doing something unless you’re doing it every single day.

It doesn’t mean you have to do it for the whole day. It doesn’t even mean that you have to be good at it for the day. It just means sit down, do the thing face the fear.

Look the horror in the face, first thing in the morning, and just do it. Don’t even feel that you have to fight it and say, I’m going to do this. Just start moving, just start doing it. That’s why I do this every single day.

It’s why I’m filming more often because I want to get over that horror that I’ve built up in the back of my mind.

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Mike Killen

Mike is the world's #1 sales coach for marketing funnel builders. He helps funnel builders sell marketing funnels to their customers. He is the author of From Single To Scale; How single-person, small and micro-businesses can scale their business to profit. You can find him on Twitter @mike_killen.