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.