Fear and courage

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Why You Need To Toss Your Resolutions To Create Space

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I remember watching Oprah a few years back. The show that particular day was about making the best use of a small apartment. As a New Yorker, I was intrigued. One couple lived here in New York in a small one bedroom in the West Villlage. When I say small, I mean the space could not have been more than like 400 square feet max. But they loved the neighborhood. They loved the community. And they loved their apartment, tiny closet and all. They’d learned how to make an uber confined space work for them (and their new baby if I recall correctly!)

Towards the end of the segment, the woman shared her wardrobe secret. She said, “I always leave space for new and fabulous items to come my way. Her rule was that 10% of her closet must always remain empty in order to call these new things in. If a piece of clothing came in, another item she no longer enjoyed went out to be sold, donated or simply tossed in the trash if it was in terrible shape and couldn’t benefit someone else. Pretty smart right?

What if we adopted her wardrobe secret for ourselves? What if we applied this technique to our businesses and lives? I personally believe this kind of thought process is mandatory to enable real change, to create space for new and fabulous things to enter our lives.

Most of us know that New Year’s resolutions don’t work yet we make them year after year anyway. They don’t work because they don’t dig deep enough. They don’t address the overarching why. Learning how to coach yourself to see what lies beneath the surface is difficult, and often painful, so we skip it. We say things like, this year I’ll loose 20 pounds or earn another 10K or just be nicer to people.

It’s not any of those resolutions are bad or wrong. It’s just that they are very surface. They don’t actually mean or address all that much.

If you’ve made these kinds of resolutions for 2015, I suggest you toss them. They are going to remain in your way and may even make you feel bad or guilty if you’re not in action around them. Get rid of them, and let’s start over. Let’s clear some stuff out of our lives so we can really start to see what needs to change.

A few days ago I cleaned out my closet, so to speak. I unsubscribed a significant number of people from this newsletter.

Why?

They weren’t reading it. Getting emails in their probably already cluttered inbox was not serving them, and it certainly was not serving me. It’s not much fun to write to someone who doesn’t read your stuff or speak to people who don’t listen. Yet, we all do it sometimes—in our jobs, our personal lives … We think it’s just business as usual. This is the job. This is the relationship. This is the way it is.

NO IT’S NOT!

I’m writing because I want to, because I hope to impart some value and because I want to create the possibility of connecting now or in the future about your business and life. I don’t have to do it. I choose to do it.

So I want you to let go of (or make a plan to let go of) everything that doesn’t serve you. Job. Boyfriend. Girlfriend. Friend. Apartment. Clients. That bag of potato chips. Whatever! Just do it.

Trust me you will feel super empowered after you let these things go and open up the space for better things and people to enter your life.

Right now let go of one thing. Even if you’re at the office and it’s the pen that just kinda sorta works, throw it in the trash! I will give you a minute to complete this task …

Ok. Great job!

I wish so much for you this year. May you go after and get everything your heart desires. Happy 2015. It’s gonna be a great one!

 

Turkey, Tea, McKenna and Me

Here it is again. I love this holiday, not because I love turkey, although I do love me some fried turkey (and the ginger tea that comes after eating too much fried turkey!) I love Thanksgiving because I love the power of gratitude. If you’ve read any of my writing, you know that. This day is the perfect day to give thanks, to share your gratitude and to reflect on what you’ve given to others as well.

In that very same spirit, I want to share with you. This year, I’ve been given a lot of great and not so great opportunities. In the great, I’ve rejoiced both silently and out loud with friends and family. In the not so great, I’ve done my best to move forward trusting I would learn yet another important life lesson and then be granted the clarity and wisdom to share my learnings powerfully with others.

Not listening to my intuition, taking a job I wasn’t sure about and then seeing that spiral into suffering and regret—to put it bluntly—sucked. Mainly because I had been in that precarious position before so I was pissed at myself for being there again. BUT, if that hadn’t happened, if I hadn’t made the choice I made to take that job, I don’t know that I’d be in the position I’m in today.

Today, I’m an honest to goodness entrepreneur. I’m building something that is mine. I’m the boss. If I succeed, it’s on me. If I fail, it’s on me. I like that. I respect it. I thank it for toughening me up and pushing me. I’m grateful to it for knocking me down sometimes so that I can practice getting back up.

I’ve had success publishing a handful of articles in kickass publications. I’ve worked with and continue to work with amazing and creative entrepreneurs who inspire me with their work and devotion to uncovering their purpose and building a brand based on meaning and passion. I’ve been granted research and strategy projects that paid thousands of dollars but more importantly allowed me to speak with people from all over the country. I’m so grateful for all of this. But to tell you the truth, the one thing I’m most grateful for didn’t earn me either of the two crucial things every entrepreneur seeks—exposure and money.

Back in October, I found myself declaring my desire for a dog. So I signed up with a few organizations that look for short term foster parents and replied to an email from one of them a few days later. Fostering seemed like a good solution for a never before dog owner. I could test it out, see how it went and then make a decision from there. You know, the same kind of approach we often take with starting a new business or relationship. This approach is totally safe and comfortable and lacks any commitment, so it gives you a great excuse to get out. “I was just trying it!”

You can definitely try out a business or a relationship. You can keep your options open and wait for something better to come along or just go ahead and nix the whole thing.

Two days after picking up McKenna, I learned you cannot do that with a dog. I fell in love quickly and without much debate. All of a sudden, there was this living, breathing thing that was scared and shaky and counting on me to make everything OK. I had to come up with solutions to problems, super uncomfortable and borderline gross problems I might add, like fleas, worms and digestive issues. Yet, I still loved her, likely from the very first time I saw her. I wasn’t going to give her back and essentially throw her away. So I adopted her. I committed to her for the rest of her life. It only took two days.

I’m not telling you this to gross you out with her poop issues. I’m sharing this experience so that you (and I) can learn the lesson here and apply it to our businesses.

Your business is also manifested from a desire and it too comes with numerous challenges and issues. They are probably far less gross than those associated with a rescue dog yet just as uncomfortable and maddening.

So often in business and life we give up too soon. We avoid going “all in” and doing what we must to make it work because commitment is scary. I’ll go as far as to say commitment can be absolutely terrifying.

I have no idea what I’m doing with my new little girl. But I’m learning as I go, and I’m making choices for her based on love, not fear.

I wish you so much love on this holiday. Be good to yourself today. Do one thing to nurture your life and business and then give thanks to yourself for all that you do for others.

Oh, one last thing. This is McKenna just in case you were wondering …

Thanksgiving gratitude

 

Why We Must Let Go of Expectations

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You may have remembered from my post earlier this year that I was planning a month-long trip to Australia, Bali and Hong Kong. I’d mentioned that this trip was a long, long time coming—something I’ve wanted to do for over a decade.

For a few weeks after I booked my flights, the excitement was intense. I couldn’t wait to plan what I would do, where I would stay and have friends connect me to their friends in the cities I would be visiting. I envisioned a fabulous, relaxing trip full of fun, adventure and maybe even a little romance. However, my expectations were high, and I didn’t account for the fact that real life doesn’t take a vacation.

The thing about expectations is that they rarely lead to happiness. In fact, more often than not, our expectations deliver nothing but disappointment. {Tweet it!}

So when my back went out, I lost my credit card and I encountered let’s just say some not so nice people, I got REALLY upset. All of a sudden the “bad” overtook the good, and it became very difficult to turn it around. My attachment to the way I had expected my trip to go sent me into survival mode, and I spent a good majority of the trip simply surviving until I could make it back to the states.

Sometimes you don’t even know you’re setting absurd expectations. You may mistake them for clarity on what your want, or high standards or whatever, but honestly expectations are just a set of arbitrary guidelines you made up in your head.

I don’t think expectations are entirely bad or useless, but we have to be willing to let go of them at a moment’s notice and deal with the present moment powerfully. Most of us, myself included, aren’t always so good at that.

Despite everything that went “wrong” I don’t want you to think that the trip was a waste. I admit I slipped into that thought from time to time along the way, but each time I did something would happen—I’d meet a kind and beautiful person, I’d experience something I never had before (like surfing in Byron Bay or the hospitality of the Indonesian people or the infamous and quite hilariously random mouse on the plane incident on my first flight over to Hong Kong).

When these things would happen, they would remind me that sometimes reality can exceed your expectations. I didn’t plan for any of those awesome experiences and yet they ended up being the highlights of my trip.

Practice letting go, especially of expectations. Because when you start to master letting go, you will see there is so much to be gained.

Is eBook Theft The New Identity Theft?

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A few weeks ago I found out someone had stolen my eBook and placed it on Amazon for sale. How did they do that, you ask? They pretended to be me. Brooke Rothman was selling Brooke Rothman’s book—only it clearly was not me.

The next 12 hours were rough. I barely slept. I cried. I felt massively violated. If you’ve read my book, you know it’s quite personal. It contains my stories, excerpts from interviews I conducted and my creative exercises. Better yet, the eBook didn’t just show up on Amazon US. It showed up on Amazon Canada, UK, India, Denmark, and Japan. Yep. Japan.

You can only imagine what I dealt with in those first few hours of this eBook theft awareness. It was a bit of shock mixed with thoughts like the following, “I want to find this person and smash a frying pan in his face.”  (Sorry if that’s violent, but it’s honestly what I thought at the time.)

Then I got over my disappointment in humanity or whatever that was and got to work. When something “bad” happens, you have to turn it around. You have to find the humor. (My book was global!) And you have to help and inform other people. I truly believe this happened to me for a reason. {Tweet it!}

This next part is important so if you read nothing else in this blog post I want you to read this. If it can happen to me, it can happen to you.

How to Protect Your Work

  1. The first thing I did was to start the process of officially registering my book with the US Copyright office. Some people will say that your work is copyrighted the moment it’s created. Maybe that’s true but after speaking to a copyright lawyer, I don’t think it can ever hurt to have official documentation. In my opinion, the $35 is worth the peace of mind. Register your property here. http://www.copyright.gov/eco  (Quick disclaimer: I am still in the process of getting my copyright approved. In my opinion, the system is a bit archaic and the communication is poor to non-existent. However, I have faith the road blocks I’m encountering will be dealt with and this will be resolved soon.)
  1. Register your book with Amazon and get an ASIN. ASIN stands for Amazon Standard Identification Number. It is unique to every book so if you have this, it will most likely be harder for people to steal your work. The person who stole my book had an ASIN number so I’m still waiting to see what will happen once I repost the book myself on Amazon. Don’t make the same mistake I did and allow someone else to get there first.
  1. After your property is launched, scan the web for illegal distribution frequently. I happened to have googled my name and the name of my book. Otherwise, I might never have known this was happening.
  1. If you find something amiss, write a DMCA takedown notice to the publication where your work has been illegally posted. Companies should comply with this request as part of United States copyright law.

To be clear, this should not stop you from creating and putting your stuff out there, but I wanted to give you the heads up to be vigilant with your work. Do a little more research than I did when I put my book out there and follow the points outlined above. I can’t promise this will keep your work completely safe, but I do believe it will help make the process smoother.

 

How to Reawaken Your Inner Child

How to Reawaken Your Inner Child | Levo | Inner Child

Photo via Serendipitous Wanderings

I live in New York City and although I love my city, sometimes the hustle can get to me. You can see it in my face when it happens. I’m annoyed, insecure, distracted or all of the above trying to “make it” or just get to my next destination. 

But when I see a child smiling at me, my mood transforms. All of a sudden, I’m playing hide and seek on the street or the subway with kids I don’t even know. I’ll say, “I see you!” They’ll giggle and I’ll instantly feel a sense of love. Because when I see them, I also see myself, or at least the part of myself that possesses the qualities I love about children.

The older we get the harder it can become to remember and recognize our inner child. But it’s important for all of us who want to live a remarkable life and create amazing businesses to connect to who we were in our youth.

Here are a few reasons why.

Play is essential to making something out of nothing.

For the most part, children will play with and enjoy whatever is in front of them. Hand them a pile of blocks and they will build you a skyscraper. They’ll try it one way and if that doesn’t work they’ll try it another—without judgment or guilt. Children are masters of creation.

Fear doesn’t have to stop you.

Children attempt things regardless of fear. This is because they are focused on their goals. Children don’t spend time concentrating on what will happen if they fall off the monkey bars. They just climb. It’s only as we grow that our mentality shifts. We become more cautious. We take fewer chances. In doing so, we actually limit our potential for success.

You already know what your purpose is.

My clients often ask, how do I find my purpose and how will I know when I find it? I encounter surprise, sometimes bordering on shock, when I tell them they don’t have to look for it because it‘s already there. Last year I found a picture I drew when I was six. The drawing shows people holding hands and smiling while the sun shines above them. I had titled it, “The Whole World.” It’s clear to me now that at the tender age of six, I knew my purpose. I wanted to support people and show them that one day the whole world could be happy and connected. We all have a purpose, and I believe that purpose appeared when we were young. Our job now is simply to rediscover it.

It really is OK to cry.

Kids get upset. They cry. Then they get over it. As a woman in business, I’ve often had concerns about being too emotional, but the act of crying can help release tension and stress, stabilize feelings and connect to the underlying upsets. It doesn’t mean you should break into a temper tantrum, but it is alright to find a quiet space, connect to your heart, free yourself of restrictions and have a good cry.

Magic exists and anything actually is possible. You just have to believe.

Granted the above sounds like a commercial for Disney World—and for good reason. Remember when the world you lived in was big, miraculous and full of wonder? As children we think we can do and have anything we want. But most of us lose that confidence as we grow up. Maybe someone told us once that we couldn’t do something. We didn’t realize at the time that what that person said was not the truth. We started to make choices, live our lives and change our beliefs based on other people’s opinions. Today we can make the choice to look at our lives through a fresh lens and see that world of wonder and magic we loved as children still exists.

I wish we could all be kids forever, that we could trade coloring books, play in sandboxes and wait for the tooth fairy. In many ways, I think we can. All of those magical qualities we had in our youth are still there. Perhaps we’re just a bit out of practice.

Click here to read the original article on Levo League.

 

Saying Goodbye to Old Friends

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Photo via Elephant Archives

“It is easy to see the beginning of things, and harder to see the ends.” ~Joan Didion

15 was a good age, one of the best for me. It was the age of adventure, dreams, and above all, friendship.

When I was a teenager, I had a few close girlfriends who made up—basically—my whole world. They were slightly older than I was and in my mind they were bad asses—I tried to emulate them.

They taught me to stick up for myself and to question authority. They taught me that life wasn’t all about getting good grades and creating a resume for college applications. They brought me to my first parties and skip days.

I saw them as family, as the big sisters I’d wished for as a little girl. They were there to listen to the excitement of my first kiss, my first crush, and the stories of every hope and heartbreak a girl has at 15.

They were there for everything.

Then, in what seemed like an instant, they were gone. Each graduated high school and went off to college, leaving me alone in my small town to fend for myself and figure out my own way. This was my first real experience coping with loss.

For a long time—more than 10 years—I thought they would return. I thought that even though we’d lost touch quite quickly after they left, memories of the times we’d shared together would bring them back to me. I knew one day I would find them or they would find me.

Then over a decade after I lost them, one day the magic of the Internet brought them back to me.

Now that we were in our 20s and free to do whatever we wanted, I imagined we would relive all the crazy things we did as girls—as women—and do the things we’d always dreamed of together. I expected to feel that same connection we shared as teens.

But expectations rarely lead to happiness, and the reunion I’d hoped for did not come to pass.

My friends were not the same as I’d remembered. They each had a family, cars, and houses in the suburbs while I was single and living in New York City, still chasing my dreams and buying metro cards. My world didn’t mesh with theirs anymore. I remember thinking we didn’t have that much to say to each other.

“It was good to see you,” I told them after a few hours together.

It was good—and now it was over. Actually it had ended all those years before but I couldn’t see that. I didn’t want to see because if I saw it, I’d have to accept that those friendships had run their course. I had not been ready to let go of the past quite yet.

Saying goodbye to those friendships meant saying goodbye to 15.

Intrinsically I know goodbyes are a part of life, but I still hate to say them. More than anything else, I hate it when people go away. Even though I know it’s not the truth, it always feels like those people are leaving me. Oddly enough, I rarely think about the times I’ve left people—physically or mentally. I wonder if those people felt the same sadness at the end.

Now, I understand that this is the way it goes. The universe places people in our lives for a period of time and eventually it takes them out. I truly believe we are meant to learn from each relationship, and when we stop learning from it the relationship ends.

Sometimes we actually need it to end in order to grow up and move on.

I’m grateful for the friendships I had as a teenager. They were real, powerful and in many ways unlike any I’ve had since. They helped shape the woman I would become and taught me how I wanted to show up for the friendships I’d create in my future. But I know that I don’t need them to be happy anymore. I don’t need them to be me.

Turns out the thing I was most afraid of saying goodbye to wasn’t worth worrying about after all. That 15 year-old girl never really went away. She’s still there pushing me forward, helping me find the strength to be vulnerable, and reminding me to go out in the world and have fun.

Click here to read the original article on Elephant Journal.

 

I Do Not Want To Wait Anymore (You Shouldn’t Either)

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I do not want to wait anymore. Seriously, I don’t. I’ve had dreams to go to Australia, specifically Sydney, since I was 20. For those of you who don’t know, that’s—well—over a decade. I can’t explain why Australia, other than there has always been this sort of gravitational pull calling out to me and over the years that call kept getting louder. I’ve had opportunities to go, and stay for free, and yet I never took the plunge.

There are many reasons for this, excuses really, and they have kept me from doing this thing I want to do. During the holidays, I revisited the idea of this trip again, and when I discovered how close Australia and Bali are to each other, I thought to myself, Now, that could be an interesting trip—part fun and sun, part adventure and spiritual discovery. And just as I was “full on” (as they say in Australia) getting beyond excited about the trip, BAM!, all the fears from the past came creeping back up.

Is this too expensive? What if I can’t sleep on the 15+ hour flight? What if I get sick? Where will I stay? Will this trip be as fun if I do it alone? Should I wait for a more perfect time?

For days I was confronted by the fears of what could go wrong, which totally took my focus off everything that could make this trip amazing. Until finally, I realized I didn’t want to wait anymore.

Waiting for the right time, the perfect time, is like trying to time the stock market. Good luck. {Tweet it!}

So the conversation I started having with myself shifted and eventually became something like this:

My Cautious Self: Can you put a price tag on seeing the world? On exposure to other views, other ways of life?

The Wise Me: No

My Cautious Self: Is it really the end of the world if you don’t sleep for a day?

The Wise Me: No

My Cautious Self: Doesn’t everything always just sort of fall into place anyway?

The Wise Me: Why, yes. Actually it does, Self. Thank you for reminding us of that.

And with that, all of the uncertainty and fear fell away—at least for the time being. Ultimately it is more important that I stand for courage and help inspire it in others than take the easy and more comfortable way out of something that scares me. That is how I want to live my life and to make choices as they come my way.

What will you stand for? What dreams will you refuse to give away even in the face of extreme fear and uncertainty?

What are the things you have wanted to do all your life? Whatever they are, do them. Do not wait. Stop thinking about it and just go for it.

 

Putting Yourself Out There is Scary. Do it anyway.

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I was thinking about how many ideas never meet the light of day. How many books never get written and published? How many companies never get created? How many potential relationships never get the chance to ignite? I can’t even imagine.

Of course there are many reasons for this—fear of failure, fear of success, fear of rejection, fear of the unknown … Yet the common relevance is always fear.

What sort of people publish the books, create the companies, and speak to the strangers on the street? Are these the people of have no fear? I think not. I believe they are, as researcher and storyteller Brene Brown says, the most “wholehearted.” They are the people who take the risks despite the fear they feel. They understand the value of putting yourself out there.

The people who put themselves out there are the ones who have learned that vulnerability and courage are the keys to living a life of which you are proud. {Tweet it!}

These people understand opportunity costs. They get that if they don’t put their ideas and their work out into the world, the world will never benefit from their unique gifts. A perfectly crafted sentence is shit if nobody reads it. So they write the sentence as best they can and then they share it—imperfections and all.

I can’t think of a better group of people to emulate than the wholehearted. Today, I’m taking a lesson from them and officially announcing my new blog. Also, in a few weeks I’ll release my free guide that will help you learn to really love your life and tackle the negative thoughts that create a less than ideal reality.

You can sign up to receive my free guide that is chock full of wisdom from the people I admire most as well as creative exercises that will help you dig deep and breakthrough the things that hold you back. (To sign up just enter your name and email into the blue bar at the top of this page or below in the green box.)

 

Things to Think About When You Just Want to Hide

Jane Rahmy

Photo by Jane Rahmy

From time to time we all get that feeling. You know the one where you just want to crawl in bed into the fetal position or sprawl out on the couch and watch 12 hours of some mildly entertaining yet concurrently mind-numbing show like The Bachelor rather than having to go out into the world and face your problems head on. Moments like that can feel self-defeating, frustrating, and downright depressing.

I get it. I basically hid for nearly two years when I lived in Los Angels and refused to face my fears as I became increasingly aware my career as an actress was not working out, and I may have indeed made a huge mistake moving to the west coast. Eventually I wised up and got the hell out of Dodge.

But you don’t have to move across the country or even to another city to start feeling better and more motivated. You just need to remember a few truths when you just want to hide that will help you come out to play in the world again.

Fear is a Friend

A few years ago John Mayer wrote the lyric, “Fear is a friend who’s misunderstood” in his song, The Heart of Life. I have to concur with Mr. Mayer and say thanks. I hadn’t thought about fear that way before I heard his song.

Fear has a habit of creeping in and  screaming demands your face. “Who do you think you are? You should stop now and play it safe!” These kinds of thoughts don’t seem very “friendly” and if you take them to heart without actually digging into the context behind them, they can stop you. Fear becomes your enemy and then your enemy wins. But if you think of fear as a friend, or a coach, who is there to push you and motivate you to get out of your comfort zone and into the world of the unknown, you can embrace fear and use it to work towards your goals.

You Can Change Your State in a Heartbeat

Last week I wrote about my time at Tony Robbin’s seminar Unleash the Power Within. I mentioned that one of the biggest takeaways for me from my weekend with him in Chicago was the idea that we can change our state in a second. This was indeed new news for someone who tends to air on the side of emotion. In other words, I cannot, nor have I ever been able to hide my emotions. Knowing this about myself, the thought that I could go from a negative, disempowering mood to a positive, energized one in an instant was a big deal.

If you are feeling down, do something different. Go for a walk, take yourself out for yummy meal, or start dancing in the middle of your living room (my personal favorite). The point is to do something other than what you do when you sulk and listen to the thoughts in your head that are making you feel like poop.

This, Too, Will Pass

In chapter 8 of his book, A New Earth, Eckhart Tolle tells us that all moments are fleeting. Bad or good they are here for a second, and then they are gone. I tend to say this, too, will pass to myself now whenever I find that I’m feeling extraordinary happy or intensely sad. Not because I don’t want to enjoy the good times or ignore the bad times but because I want to train myself to be unattached to situations. This way I can enjoy the good moments without expectation and remind myself that the bad moments won’t last forever.

The World is Waiting for You

I know from personal experience that when you start following your dreams and you get so clear on your purpose that you can’t imagine doing anything else, life can be really scary. The idea of creating something big, something that could impact hundreds or even thousands of people can become overwhelming and leave you paralyzed.

When this happens, remind yourself that your talents and your purpose are not yours alone. They belong to the world. {Tweet it!}

If you do not follow through with what you are creating, the world will not have it. You will cut off your chance to help people and you will not be a part of benevolent change. 

Hiding from your dreams is just plain selfish and mean. Do you want to be selfish and mean with your gifts? Me neither. So the next time you feel like you can’t do it, whatever it is, remember I told you you can.

 

How to Confront Fear & Take a Firewalk

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My partner Bud and I making “our move.”

A few weeks ago I attended Tony Robbin’s four day seminar, Unleash the Power Within. My ticket was gifted to me by my dear friend, Cherie, who had already been twice and knew I would enjoy it.

In the months leading up to the seminar, Cherie and I spoke every couple of weeks. I would ask her about her experiences at UTPW, and we would talk about the business I had just begun to create. Cherie would listen excitedly often stopping me to say, “That’s something Tony would say!”

The fact that I was saying the same kinds of things Tony Robbins would say, even though I had never read a book of his or watched his videos, was my first sign my business was on the right track. The second sign was the manifest of the actual ticket. “That ticket was meant for you, Brooke. You were always supposed to have it!” she told me. Once it was offered to me, all I needed to do was accept.

One thing I was struggling to accept? The Firewalk.

I am not a fan of excruciating pain and the thought of it on my feet wasn’t exactly motivating. As the start of the seminar approached, I became more and more nervous. Then I made the mistake of telling my mom about it. (Quick piece of advice—Don’t tell your parents you are about to walk across hot coals or skydive or whatever. 99% of the time, unless you have the most open and adventurous parents in the world, this is a bad idea.) As expected my mom flipped out. Then she flipped me out. The fear was now palpable. Could I actually confront fear this time?

However, I subscribe to the notion that courage isn’t the absence of fear. Courage is taking action in spite of our fears. {Tweet it!}

As it turned out, Tony spent a great deal of time on this very topic. And as he prepared us to Firewalk that first evening, he reminded us to focus on what we want (getting to the other side of those coals) rather than what we don’t want (to end up in the hospital with third or even second degree burns).

A large part of this preparation dealt with our state. Are you in a state of paralysis and dread or a state of excitement and power? We learned that night, and over the next three days, that you can change your state, “in a heartbeat.” The other piece of the preparation, which I think is just as important, was the pairing of each participant in the seminar with a partner. Each partner encouraged the other every step of the way. I’ll admit I drew a lucky card. My partner, Bud, had done the Firewalk four times. There was no way he was letting me get out of doing it. And even as I walked up to the coals, still scared and shaking a bit, I heard his voice behind me along with the others who had already completed the walk, cheering me on. Before I knew it I was across! That night, I went back up to my hotel room invigorated and ready to take on whatever fear presented itself to me next.

The Tony Robbins Firewalk is just one method to allow you to confront your fear. You don’t have to go to a Tony Robbin’s event or set up hot coals in your backyard to Firewalk. You can Firewalk at your job, or in another country, or with your partner or family—you can Firewalk anywhere or in any situation where you are afraid.

We all should take a Firewalk once and a while, if only to remind us that we still fear something, can confront fear and are therefore still alive.

The following are four simple components to help you confront fear. Take them with you wherever and whenever you need a little courage.

Talk to someone who has confronted fear before.

The fear of the unknown is often more powerful than the actual thing you think you fear. When you talk it through with someone who has gone before you, you begin to realize it is not as impossible or scary as you thought.

Visualize what you want, not what you don’t want.

I used to think visualization was absurd until I actually tried it. When you visualize something you want, your confidence increases dramatically. Allow yourself the see what it will look like after you confront your fear. Feel what you will feel. Think what you will think.

Change your state.

Practice managing your thoughts and emotions. Figure out the things that put you in a happy state and the things that put you in a sad state. Overtime you’ll learn to instantly shift yourself into a higher, more powerful state of consciousness, which will allow you to effectively confront your fears.

Get a partner or coach.

Accountability and support partners can help you overcome any last minute doubt and confirm you are indeed in the right state and frame of mind. A good partner won’t let you go until you are ready but also won’t let you pretend you are not ready.

Practice these four things and I promise you’ll start to see just how very courageous and resilient you really are. Here’s to kicking some major fear based ass.