Mark: Back in 1992, I was competing in the Nice Triathlon in France. I was running along a beautiful route by the Mediterranean Sea with less than ten miles to go, and I was a dismal seven minutes behind the leader. I wanted to give up. I felt like I could never catch him. If ever there was a tough moment, it was this one.
I realized that I had forgotten to focus on joy, hope, or gratitude -- the teachings that Brant emphasized as a simple tool to rise out of extremely tough moments. Here I was, faced with an impossible comeback. The only way to rediscover my strength was to go into that place of the heart that is naturally calm and alert. I was lucky to have practiced this over and over under Brant's tutelage. Now I would have to do it under pressure.
I concentrated my focus on the circle in front of my heart that is a place of silence and calm. It worked! The negative thoughts and discouragement melted away. With less than four hundred meters to go, still in that place of calm and enthusiasm, I passed the leader -- all thanks to a Fit Soul.
Are You Out of Shape?
Are you overweight? Out of shape? In order to make great strides forward in transforming your health, you may need to give up a lot of old habits and stop making unhealthy decisions. You'll need to clear away the old patterns that feed doubt, and start building new ones. Look inward, and rebuild from the soul outward. Develop ways to clear out negative emotions by replacing them with empowering ones. Then, you can become healthy, and happy. You can become fit in soul and body. You can become complete.
What Are You Focusing On?
Ask yourself: What do you focus on? Is your focus on fear, frustration and doubt, or on possibilities, and positive outcomes? Positive thoughts feed your energy, trust, and hope for change. They bring peace to your soul and confidence in life. They starve out negative thoughts such as fear, doubt, anger, frustration and boredom.
Athletes know that first-hand. They know it's important to feel "up" when the starting gun goes off. But we all have personal "Olympic moments" -- when we have a large task ahead, and know we need to be at a hundred percent as we launch into it. Fear, doubt and frustration are not emotions that help us in these important moments. Fear alone can erode our motivation and enthusiasm -- just when we need the opposite.
Brant: The Huichol have a way to shift the mind away from fear and doubt. They focus instead on a positive event in the natural world, such as a brilliant, colorful sunrise, that will continue to happen whether you face your own fears or not. As fear creeps in, the Huichol may recall the colors of the last sunrise they witnessed. With that image in their head, they remind themselves that we are all part of something larger than ourselves.
So let an image like that -- a sunrise, a sunset -- remind you that we are all part of something big and grand. Let fear take a back seat and let trust take over. This is what we call being fearless in the face of fear.
Here are six tips for being fearless in the face of fear:
Bite off a smaller chunk. Fear feeds on the feeling of being overwhelmed. If the job seems too big, break it down into the smallest steps you can imagine, ones you can see yourself doing.
Take the first step. Fear of the unknown can be paralyzing. Take the first step, then the next, and you may find that your fears are easier to deal with in the real world than in your imagination.
Accept that challenge is normal. Realizing this will help you manage obstacles. Seeing challenge as a tool for learning can propel you forward in your search for a healthy soul.
Don't let yourself be held back. Even if you feel fear in the moment, don't let it hold you back. Once you get started, keep going. Most likely, the outcome will be something wonderful.
Let nature transform your fear. Seek out a place in nature where you will be surrounded by beauty, connected to all life, and not afraid of it. Embrace the silence, and let it wash away fear and anxiety. Then, at night, go somewhere lit only by the stars, and embrace the darkness as part of who you are.
Use the light of the sun. Go outside and honor the rising sun, bringing light and warmth into your body and your soul and spirit. Open your heart and let a feeling of love for the sun overtake your fears. Witness the transformation, as the sun brings courage into your soul, and brightness into your being.