Confronting the Fear Factor


An excerpt from my new book The Dimensional Leader:

Football

My son was an outstanding football player who played first-string positions in offense, defense and special teams on his High School prep football team. He played so often, he rarely got a break on the sidelines to catch a breath of fresh air. The joke around our house posed in question form was, “Man, are they ever going to allow you a breather between plays?”

His genesis in football, however, was dismal at best. I wondered if he would ever play the game well, until one day he had a metamorphosis of his own. Prior to his high school years he played in the Nevada Youth Football League. He had never played the game before but passionately desired to do so. However, he had one small problem; he was timid when it came to tackling others, which is a major part of playing the game. Whenever he would face an oncoming tackle, he would grab on and wait for some of his teammates to join in on the tackle. It was obvious to the casual observer that my son was fearful of hurting someone or being hurt himself. This was a personal constraint line he imposed upon himself. In my best estimation, the line of resistance in his life was probably fear due to a lack of knowledge and experience.

One day there was an option play taking the running back around the side and down the sidelines. My son was playing the defensive end position and followed the play well. He ran toward the sidelines, gaining so much momentum along the way, that he just happened to meet the running back on the sideline at the right angle, at the right time and with the right amount of speed and force. He had no other option but to plow him over by his shear momentum. It was a great site for any father to see as both of them went crashing down, kicking up dirt and grass as they tumbled together on the green turf. As he got off the ground I knew something had shifted; there was a monumental change in his stride, as he strutted back to the huddle with a newfound identity. It was during this time, I discerned his fear for tackling his opponents had lifted, and he had gained a new level of confidence as a gridiron man. He had crossed over the line of demarcation between fear and reality. When he got back into the huddle, the team celebrated by smacking his helmet with their hands, a sign of acceptance into an elite fraternity of gridiron men.

In ensuing plays, I noticed he was not intimidated anymore. For him tackling was not a bad thing after all. He had tasted the experience of a tackle and liked it; therefore, he crossed the line of demarcation, separating himself from his fear of tackling others. My son had broken through a line of resistance in his life. From that noticeable event, he went on to have many more successful prep football seasons as an all around team player.

The fear factor is probably the most debilitating line of resistance for many people. However, with the right words of encouragement coupled with commitment, anyone can break the fear barrier. This treatise shows you how you can do it.

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