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  • Colin Jonov

Why Overcoming Fear Matters More Than Being Fearless

I don’t want to be known as fearless. I aim to be recognized as someone who, despite experiencing fear, faced it and overcame it. I believe it’s a myth that you can eliminate fear and doubt. However, what you can do is understand your fears intimately and move through them more gracefully.

In order to be fearless, there needs to be an absence of fear. That would mean the removal of any psychological or emotional response to threat, danger, or the unknown. That is simply unattainable. When we look at famous athletes like Kobe Bryant, Tom Brady, or Michael Jordan, it’s a misnomer to suggest they’re fearless. It’s factually not true. Fear also has a negative connotation, similar to nerves. The truth is, fear can be a positive mover in our lives, particularly in the biggest moments. Fear is a driver of immense adrenaline. That adrenaline can work for us or against us. It’s our choice. The goal then becomes not to become fearless but to overcome our fears.

Fear is no doubt a worthy adversary. It can beat you to your knees if you let it. However, it can also be your best friend when you learn how to work through it. It’s imperative to develop the communicatory skills to process, understand, and navigate our fears. Once we know what it is we are fearing and why, we can take action to overcome that fear. The first step is to start putting ourselves in situations that scare us. We need to feel the discomfort of our heart pounding and mind racing. We need to become familiar with our fears. The more we put ourselves in those situations, the more we find comfort in them because, regardless of the outcome, we begin to learn that what’s on the other side of fear is far less painful than what our mind had told us. Often, on the other side of fear, can be our most rewarding successes. So the following step becomes shifting our perspective of what fear is.

Fear, as stated earlier, is our response to threat or the unknown. This suggests that we have control over not the initial feeling but our response to it. We don’t need to negate fear but reframe it. When we have those initial biological feelings in the pressure-filled moments of our careers, the response that’s needed is the mindset shift to perceive this as an opportunity to rise to the occasion. This can only be done when we have rooted experience in taking on fear. The process of understanding fear comes from repeated practice in things that scare us. We also need to be cognizant of what is driving that fear in order to practice effectively. There are layers to fear. So, we need to become experts at asking ourselves the right questions when practicing: Am I afraid of failure? Am I afraid of the opinions of others if I fail? Am I afraid of what the successes will bring me? Then, once we have repeated practice and understanding of what it is we are fearing, we can begin to shift our perception of what fear really is, which is simply an opportunity to be the hero in our own stories.

Joe Rogan famously donned the process of writing your own story and making yourself the hero in it. To me, being a hero is rising to the level of the moment. That is a natural progression from overcoming your fears. You can only do that with repeated practice. It’s no different than any other skill. The more you practice and reflect on it, the better you will be. The amazing part of it is, once you get good at it, you’ll begin to seek out that emotional feeling of fear. It’ll be a signal to you that you’re about to do something pretty special because only the biggest moments will be able to elicit that adrenaline rush you seek. That’s why they say athletes are adrenaline junkies. Fear, anxiety, and doubt all create an immense amount of adrenaline and pressure. The best learn how to harness that adrenaline and drive action and results in their favor. Everything you want is on the other side of your biggest fears in competition. I can promise you this: when you face and conquer a fear, particularly in a critical situation, you will experience a rush of exhilaration and elation. The intense anxiety and tension that build up due to fear give way to a flood of endorphins when you realize you’ve prevailed and succeeded.

The moment of overcoming fear is followed by confidence and competence, as you’ve proven to yourself that you can confront and master your anxieties. There’s a deep sense of satisfaction and fulfillment, knowing you’ve pushed beyond your perceived limitations and succeeded. In doing so, you change your self-perception, reinforcing your resilience and capability to handle future challenges.

We have the ability to control our adrenaline. We have the ability to overcome our fears. It’s our responsibility to dictate where our energy goes

To Building Fortitude.

Best Regards,

Colin Jonov, Founder & CEO Athletic Fortitude

P.S. Want to share your experiences or challenges with us? Reply to this newsletter or connect with me on social media @ColkyJonov10. I’m here to support you on your journey!

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