Photo: George Burns © Harpo
The life coach and host of Breakthrough with Tony Robbins believes in living a passionate life, a life in which fear is a counselor, not a jailer. Here, he shows us how to "step up" during our most intimidating moments:
1. Don't Turn an Excuse into an Identity
We need be careful of how we label ourselves, for example, saying "I'm an fearful person" or "I'm a weak person" or "I'm not a strong person." Usually that label comes from your current or past behavior, but once the label becomes a part of you, it starts to control you. So what I try to get people to understand is: Hey, you're not broken. You don't need to be fixed. You don't need a label. All you need to do is say, "I have to decide how I want to be now going forward."
2. Develop a Habit
Courage is not the absence of fear. That idea is the biggest b.s. in the world. Fear is impossible to eradicate. If you were completely fearless, you'd be dead. People who are courageous are scared to the core—they just make themselves go forward anyway; they make themselves take some kind of action. Taking action, even though you're afraid, is how you become courageous—because courage, like fear, is a habit. The more you do it, the more you do it, and this habit—of stepping up, of taking action—more than anything else, will move you in a different direction.
3. Let Your Body Lead the Way
Taking that action for the first time can be pretty rough. When it comes time to give the speech to the committee or snowboard down the mountain, don't hesitate. Don't start to analyze it. The longer you stand there, the harder it gets, because then your mind gets involved. If your challenge is mental, use your body. If it's in the body, use your body more aggressively. At 17 years old, I was on my own, sleeping in a laundry room. I had no idea what to do. I was so depressed. Fear is physically debilitating. I had to defeat it. So I made myself run until I thought I was going to spit up blood. I got stronger in my body, which, in turn gave me mental strength.
Next: Learning the simple way to grow