Choking with Fear

Some of the biggest leaps I’ve experienced personally or professionally are directly related to fear.  Tell me you know that feeling…


Your face is becoming flush from the fire hose of blood rushing to your head,

your lips and mouth become desert dry,

your fingers become cold and lifeless,

your throat feels like you’re trying to swallow an entire loaf of bread,

a chill runs down your spine,

you tremble,

your voice cracks,

fear and the situation are taking over complete control of your entire body and you’re helpless.  Something must change.  You think to yourself, how the hell can I possibly get out of this scenario RIGHT NOW?  What are you to do?

Here is the answer you weren’t looking for.  CHOKE THE FEAR BACK.  Don’t run.  Choke it back!

I recommend grabbing your fear around the neck with a kung fu grip and choke the life out of it.  Stare with steely eyes into your fear and let it know you’re not going anywhere.  Grit your teeth and squeeze as tight as you can.  You’ve got things to do and a life to live.  You could liken this experiment to an out of body experience.

I do realize all of this is easier said than done.  After submitting your fear to the floor like an accomplished ultimate fighter, you may feel exhausted.  But give it some time.  The feelings of complete exhaustion will subside and adrenaline will invade your bloodstream.


I struggle with fear every week of the year.  But I must tell you, with every conquest it just keeps getting easier.  The more we learn to live in uncomfortable surroundings, the more dangerous we become.

My personal goal is to become lethal with a unconditional confidence in disagreeable surroundings.

Here is a fear I work on every day.  A few years back, I was diagnosed with a stomach disease causing frequent and immediate bathroom breaks from time to time (no more detail needed).  This consistent anxiousness led me to being slightly afraid of eating with a group of people because I didn’t want to embarrass myself.  Bigger challenge, I’m in the people business.  I meet people, hundreds of people every year over breakfast, lunch, dinner, and drinks.  Conferences and board rooms are where I get down.  The silver lining with my fear is I have no choice but to attack it and work through it.

I leave you with this quote from someone slightly more accomplished than me.  “Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live,” Dorothy Thompson.

ACTION ITEM: Start small.  The saying, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”, plays well here.  Focus and tackle one fear at time.  Build your confidence and momentum by stringing together victories.


Success Bible

Watch the video below.  I’ll tell you exactly why you need to start a success Bible today.

I mention in the video the book, “The Winner’s Bible.”  I suggest you pickup a copy of the book on the Amazon link below.  Dr. Spackman will help to teach you how to rewire your brain with the simple but elite tools used on some of the greatest athletes in the world. 

Winner’s Bible: Rewire your Brain for Permanent Change

As I continue to practice what I preach, I’ve included a couple little nuggets of emails I’ve saved over the years.  I read these from time to time for a quick pick me up or for a jolt of confidence.

The messages themselves are very short and sweet, but every time I read them I feel better.

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How many emails, messages, notes should you keep?  I think the specific number is up to the individual, but I’ve probably got 15-20.  They’re from different clients and different experiences in my life.  The purpose is to put a smile on my face, confidence in my mind, and wind in my sails.  It works every time!

ACTION ITEM:  Please, Please, Please start your Success Bible today.  Find an old email or two you’ve kept and get them organized into a folder.  I’ve also seen hard copies kept with people.  I choose to keep them available in my GMail account so I can access them anytime, anywhere.


Jerry Maguire, Seth Godin, and the $90 Fear

I certainly hope you’re wondering what Jerry Maguire, Seth Godin, and cash have in common with fear.  Allow me a moment to explain.

I spent a couple weeks up late at night scheming and planning.  I’d been sketching and strategizing toward the final stages of my big idea and presentation to our owners.

I’d done my research and there was undoubtedly merit to the plan.  Two core business elements would be repackaged and sold as a combined offering to our clients.  The client would benefit and so would our business.

As stated, I spent a couple weeks working through the particulars: sales, training, process, execution, client enrollment, external marketing and internal marketing.  All of these elements were combined into one well thought out plan (my opinion) ready to be put in front of our ownership the day before everyone departed for Thanksgiving.

bb360634fb28151dcbf284acb1dc71b6839d21d7b039fc17a12a3048179f6a60Imagine something along the lines of Jerry Maguire, without getting fired afterward of course.

I ventured off to Copyworks the evening before the presentation to ensure I had professionally bound materials ready for the following morning.  I was going to have eight of the documents printed in sharp color and bound for an expert touch.  To be taken seriously I was going to make serious moves!

When the booklets were completed the charming yet shy girl at the front desk asked me how I’d like to pay for the books.  I politely asked if she took American Express and replied with, “Yes, it will be $90 sir.”

WHAT?!?!  Are there gold leafs in the booklets?  How on earth could this cost $90?

I was confused, frustrated, and for some reason embarrassed.  Maybe I should’ve asked (before I was in such a hurry – typical me!) what the price was, but it was a little too late for that.  I handed her my credit card and she completed the transaction.  There were a couple of books remaining to be assembled so I grabbed a seat in a stodgy old chair by the front store window.

I starred off into the cold dreary street and I got to thinking.  Was I really upset about the $90?  I certainly shouldn’t be.  I mean, I had the $90 and I knew it was going to cost something.  I didn’t plan on bartering for the goods.  That’s when the real question hit me.

“Zac, do you think your idea is worth $90 or not?”

I had a fear of putting the concept out in the open; to our ownership nonetheless.  I was taking a chance.  The perfect idea lived in my head and on paper, but it might as well have been in a vacuum.  Certainly no one was going to benefit from a idea in a vacuum.  It had to see the light of day and breathe in the cool wintery Iowa air.

Taking time to reflect, I’m glad the books cost $90 to print and assemble.  It made me take a good hard look at the material and the confidence in my idea.  After all, it only took $90 to get my mind right!  Thousands of people waste much more than $90 trying to find confidence in the midst of fear.

As fate would have it, a couple days before I published this blog post, the email below appeared in my inbox from the remarkable Seth Godin.

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ACTION ITEM: Don’t let $90 keep you from your idea, concept, or business plan.  I promise you, It’s not the money you’re worried about.  The sooner you understand this, the closer you are to launch.

PS – When you do launch, I encourage you to scream “SHOW ME THE MONEY!”  It feels awesome.