Obstacle Course Racing has taught me that fear is the biggest deterrent to reaching our goals. So big, fear can prevent us from even starting. Upon closer examination, the true revelation for me was not how to overcome the fear of exceptionally challenging obstacles, or how to deal with the fear of running out of steam on long distance trail runs. The opportunity was in how I managed the big scary monster created inside my head!
To achieve success, we must learn to face our fears. In order to do so, we need to be willing to go head-to-head with what is really troubling us. We must manage our fear in the mind before approaching the challenge at work, on the playing field, at school or at home. If you do not see yourself getting through your own personal obstacles that often linger in the mind, the ones that await you in life will become much more difficult than if you had taking the time to deal with them first in your head.
Preparation and practice for a business presentation, sporting event, school exam or even a heart-to-heart with a friend or family member is essential not only to organise your thoughts and to train your body, but to rid yourself of the big scary monster you create in anticipation of an upcoming challenge.
Presence is half the battle. To convince yourself that you can overcome a challenge means you have decided to show up and be present instead of avoiding it. Once assured that the challenge is not as bad as it may seem, you help to reduce stress and anxiety levels which, in turn, better equip you to approach and accomplish a difficult task. Once you decide to show up, the monster may still be there, but it won’t be as big or scary!
Procrastination is only a factor once we agree to goal setting. If we don’t have a goal, there is nothing for us to avoid or put off. With no goal, we would simply remain stagnant in a present comfort zone that does not allow us to evolve or grow. It takes pain, not pleasure, to grow. Ask anyone that has had any form of success. Choosing discomfort over temporary pleasure builds character and overcomes challenges. We should seek the pleasure that comes from accomplishments, not from distractions. The main reason we procrastinate is to avoid discomfort, and to enjoy short-lived pleasures. The biggest problem with procrastination is that when you put off the inevitable you begin to fall deeper into a dark hole of guilt and regret making it harder to progress than if you had stuck to ticking off your to-do list on your way to meeting your goal.
Successful people rely on consistent preparation, practice and presence not on a feeling, a partner or the weather. Regardless of the circumstances or the environment, uncomfortable or unexpected situations you cannot deter the determined. They prepare long before they realise their goal, show up regardless, practice in spite of available excuses, and depend on their own will and determination, not that of a partner.
Some life lessons to help you meet challenges on your way to meeting your goals:
• Defer current pleasures and endure some discomfort for more rewarding and satisfying achievements in the future
• Realize your full potential by not allowing today’s distractions to halt your progress
• Get rid of the big scary monster for a greater probability of success
• Don’t avoid challenges, welcome them… therein lies your opportunity
• Don’t procrastinate or become distracted, practice self-control no matter how difficult
No one one ever said it would be easy, but accomplishing your goal will be worth it!
Written by Warrior Ric (lead counselor and co-founder of Camp Hero).
www.Camphero.co.za click for details of our next kids adventure camp in December 2016