Category Archives: Fear

Do You Keep Falling Down?

Do You Keep Falling Over?

I was watching a friend of mine with her kid the other day.

They were having a conversation. Sort of.

My friend was talking, but the kid was only sort of talking.

Half sounds, half words. It was clear the mom didn’t really understand the words themselves, but she just kind of rolled with it.

Now, I don’t remember being that young, but I doubt the kid was too worried about making any mistakes.

If you’ve ever seen kids running on the grass, and they trip over their feet, most of the time they think it’s pretty funny.

Once I had this mountain bike. I rode it quite often, on the street, and decided to get those special pedals with special shoes so they can clip in.

First ride was going fine until I forgot I’d switched my pedals. It seems that getting out of them requires some practice.

I rode up to the top of this hill, during heavy traffic, to a big intersection. The light was red, and I coasted to a stop.

Only as I started to fall over did I realize my feet were stuck in the pedals.

And right next to me, was a car filled with cute girls.

Boy oh boy was that embarrassing!

On the other hand, it was valuable feedback. I spent the next ten minutes or so practicing how to get in and out of those pedals, in a parking lot without many cars.

I could have just as easily gone home and never ridden again.

This is the difference between how we “label” events that happen to us.

They can be valuable feedback, which can help us. (I ended up riding about 200 miles a week for a year or so after that.)

Or we can give up, thinking that “event” MEANS “failure.”

But nothing really means anything.

Sure, we have some instinctive, “go-to” meanings.

But if we depended on our instincts ALL THE TIME, we’d weigh a million pounds and we’d start bashing people in the head with rocks whenever we got into an argument.

How we label events plays a large part in how “scary” the events are, either as they happen, or as we imagine them BEFORE they happen.

If we imagine them the wrong way, we’ll IMAGINE something we call “fear” and that will keep us stuck.

But with some practice, you can learn how to imagine future events differently. So they’ll seem less scary.

You’ll be more likely to take action, which means you’ll get more good stuff.

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Secret Social Proof

Has Your Data Been Rigged?

There’s a collection of language patterns called “sleight of mouth” that can pretty much destroy any argument.

Most people are kind of shocked to believe that almost ALL of what we “believe” is true really isn’t.

It’s really only one way of looking at things.

Bottom line is humans a pretty simple creatures. Our minds are hard wired to be very quick, or not very accurate.

One of the many ways this shows up in how we “link” two things out in “reality.”

And unless that linkage is based on exhaustive scientific studies with rigorous double blind testing (something that’s almost NEVER done, btw) we really don’t know for sure.

Since most “studies” are VERY EXPENSIVE, they need to be paid for. And then tend to come out to “verify” whatever the money source wanted to verify.

Anyhow, back to those language patterns. One of them is called the “Model of the World” pattern.

Somebody tells you a limiting belief. Instead of disagreeing with them, or flat out telling them they are wrong (which most people do and only makes them dig in more) you can say, “Hmm, that’s an interesting way of looking at things.”

Then you can conversationally bring up other “interesting ways of looking at things” and let your friend or conversation partner, ON THEIR OWN, realize that there really are MANY models of the world.

However, as humans, this is pretty tough to do on your own.

If you’ve ever seen those goofy hypnotist shows where they convince people there are tiny people in their watch, or the number three has vanished, it’s clear that we are VERY GOOD at ignoring stuff we don’t want to see.

So often times our “models of the world” are really only to protect our egos, or keep us “safe” even though there’s really no danger.

Most people are ruled by fear, but at the same time won’t ever admit they feel ANY fear.

Simply admitting that irrational fear is standing between where you are and what you want makes you feel like you’re destroying your own ego.

When was the last time you heard a friend say, “Well, I’d like to do that but I’m afraid, so I won’t.”

Rarely, if ever.

They usually have some kind of logical sounding reason. Something that makes perfect sense. And keeps them safely in their protective comfort zone.

Of course, you know that the ONLY WAY to get the good stuff in life is to get outside your comfort zone.

And the EASIEST way to do that is to simply admit to yourself that you’re afraid. And then proceed to dismantle that fear, piece by piece.

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Don't Steal Cable

What Are You Waiting For?

There’s a pretty funny set of commercials for cable TV.

It’s a string of nonsensical “if then” statements, that end up giving you a crazy reason to buy cable.

Or maybe it’s to get rid of cable and get satellite, or something.

Like if you can’t afford cable, you’ll steal from your neighbor. If you steal from you’re neighbor you’ll end up in prison. If you end up in prison you’ll become a gang leader. If you become a gang leader, you’ll eventually overthrow the government.

So don’t overthrow the government, buy satellite TV instead!

One of the persuasive patters in the Milton Model is the “if then” statement.

Especially if it’s combined or stated as a “time” statement.

When you see how easy it is to learn hypnosis, you’ll earn a lot more money.

You like money? Right? (If you agree that you like money, you’ll also sort of agree that you can learn hypnosis).

After you realize how fun it is to dance in public, you’ll become a sex symbol. That would be fun, wouldn’t it!

The idea is to take something people don’t usually want to do (dance in public, learn hypnosis, etc) and connect in a time based “if then” statement, to something that they WANT to do.

Of course, this can work backwards. Especially when we do it to ourselves.

After all, the greatest hypnotist in the world is YOU. Because YOU are keeping YOU hypnotized all of the time.

When we say things like, “I’ll start dating after I lose weight.” We’re really TERRIFIED of dating, so we “pretend” that “as soon as” we lose weight (something we won’t likely do), we’ll start dating. This keeps us safe, and gives a logical sounding reason for our safety.

I’ll start my business as soon as I learn accounting. I’ll go back to school as soon as I finish this project at work. I’ll start X (something we’re terrified of doing) as soon as Y (something that’s conveniently just a little bit out in the future).

Seriously, I’m REALLY going to Y as soon as I do Z!

Most people kid themselves like this their entire lives.

The secret is that what we fear, is just in our heads. There’s really nothing to be afraid of. It’s about as logical as those goofy commercials.

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Face Your Fears

The High Price of Fear

Long time ago I went to Toastmasters regularly.

No matter who you are, what you want out of life, or where you’re going, becoming comfortable speaking in front of others is a very, very powerful way to clear out a lot of cobwebs in your brain.

I saw this movie called “Dodgeball,” which was a pretty goofy comedy about a dodgeball tournament. As it was based on a standarch archetype, you had this team of misfits who had to work together to become champions to beat the evil owner of the gym across the street.

So they hired an old “dodgeball” guru, who would teach them the ancient secrets of the game.

They showed up, and he started throwing wrenches at them. Big, heavy, metal wrenches.

His theory was that “if you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball.”

Public speaking is the same way. If you can get up and talk in front of others, it will give you the self confidence to do a LOT other stuff.

Anyhow, this one night I was giving a speech on fear. Now, when you give a speech, they say it’s a good idea to start off with a bang. One it will get the audience’s attention. Two it will blast away all trepidation from your brain.

So that’s what I did. I calmly walked up to the podium, looked down at my notes, looked up like I was preparing to make an opening statement, but then I screamed my lungs out.

It was pretty fricking funny!

In economics they have this saying, “the cure for high prices is high prices. The cure for low prices is low prices.”

Meaning if something is really expensive, a lot of people that can make that “something” will figure they can make some easy cash, so more people make it, and it gets cheaper, since there’s more of it.

If prices are super low, more people buy it, which drives up demand, which drives up prices.

You can say the solution to fear is the fear itself.

If you spend your life running away from what you fear, it will always be right around the corner.

But if you walk smack dab into the middle of what you fear, it will vanish.


When I gave that speech, I was REALLY nervous before, but as soon as I let loose that howl, it was pretty fun. Everybody was laughing, including me.

Take that, fear!

Of course, if you want to walk across the room to talk to somebody, or ask your boss for a raise, screaming your lungs out might not be a good idea.

But there ARE plenty of tricks to outwit fear and get rid of that imaginary monster for good.

Learn How:


Magic Cats

Magic Cats

I saw an article in the news the other day about Diet Coke.

Somebody in Europe did a study and they found a “link” between people who drank diet coke (or other drinks sweetened with fake sugar) and those who had heart attacks.

The way it was presented though, made it sound like if you took a sip of diet coke you were immediately going to drop dead from a heart attack.

The thing about us humans is that there is usually TONS of variables going on at once.

And from a scientific standpoint, PROVING that A causes B is very, very difficult.

In fact, it’s nearly impossible.

So why are we so likely to believe one thing CAUSES something else when they are merely “linked”?

Some evolutionary psychologists believe it was a shortcut in thinking. Like most of our “triggers,” seeing all sorts of “cause-effect” relationships where none exist simply made it easier on the brain.

Now, this type of thinking didn’t do much damage back in the days when life was simple.

But now there is SO MUCH data flying every which way you can “link” some pretty interesting things.

Like certain marketing studies have found that “cat people” tend to like a certain brand of salsa.


Who knows.

But it certainly doesn’t mean if you EAT that particular salsa a bunch of cats would magically appear.

That would be just silly.

But strangely enough, a lot of us live our lives according to such silly notions.

That girl didn’t smile back at me MEANS that I suck.

The teacher didn’t call on me when I raised my hand MEANS I’m an idiot.

My first attempt didn’t make any money MEANS I’m destined to be homeless.

The truth is that reality is much, much more open to interpretation then we believe.

Which means (lol) that if you only take action consistently, and are open to all the feedback you get, you’ll get a lot more than most people.

Who are PARALYZED by the fear that all of those imaginary “cause-effect” relationships create in their brains.

She didn’t laugh at your joke doesn’t MEAN that she doesn’t like you. It could mean that she’s nervous. It could mean that she didn’t get it. It could mean that she didn’t hear you. It could mean a lot of things.

Unfortunately, one aspect of our brains is that we often and AUTOMATICALLY choose the WORST possible meaning.


Because those that did so in our ancient history were the most likely to survive.

Luckily, most things you are “afraid” of aren’t going to kill you.

Not even close.

So long as you LEAVE the meaning to anything open to interpretation, and RE-interpretation later, it can mean anything.

Which means you can do anything, get anything, be anything.

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Memorizing Lines?

Are You Memorizing Lines?

A long time ago I took this improv acting class.

Somebody recommended it to me, and I thought it was about telling jokes.

But it was about something much, much deeper.

Most of us think of improv as comedy. Guy up on stage telling a bunch of random stories.

Even that isn’t really improv. The reason it sounds so natural is those comedians spend plenty of time coming up all kinds of jokes on all kinds of topics.

So no matter what idea or topic comes up, they’ve got a ready stream of prepackaged jokes and stories to roll with.

Kind of like studying all kinds of martial arts moves. The more moves you know, and can reproduce unconsciously, the better you’ll be able to fight. No matter WHAT your opponent throws at you, you’ll be able to come up with an appropriate counter move.

In that improv class we did a lot of “trust” exercises. A lot of stuff where we had to make up stuff on the spot, and “trust” our acting partners not to leave us hanging.

If you are up on stage, and you mess up, and all the other actors just stare at you like you’re some goof, it’s not a good situation.

On the other hand, if ALL actors are practiced in the “art” of responding congruently to ANYTHING that comes up, you can put on a pretty good show.

One that is organic and evolving and nobody, even the actors, know what’s going to happen next.

It’s almost like some “story” floats down from the heavens and the actors simply “hear” their lines microseconds before they speak them.

Some actors are TERRIFIED of doing improv, especially in front of strangers. They would much rather have somebody else write their lines, have somebody else tell them where to stand when they say them, and even HOW to say them.

Even then they feel the need to practice over and over until they are SURE everything will go according to plan.

Unfortunately, a lot of people live their lives according to the “classically trained actor” strategy instead of the “improv actor” strategy.

They want to be told what to do, how to do it, what to happen if X, Y and Z occurs, and they need an entire support crew so that if something goes wrong, nobody will ever blame anybody.

However, with most people on Earth acting like that (lol), is it any wonder most people live lives that can be called “quiet desperation”?

The secret is to go boldly out into your future. Take action, even when you aren’t sure what’s going to happen. Just believe in yourself enough to know what to do.

Scary? Yes. Guaranteed success? Nope.

But you’ll see and experience a world few know exist.

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Slip Right In

Slowly Or All At Once?

I was playing golf a long while ago.

I was sitting in the cart, waiting for my friend to t-off.

I looked up, and written on the ceiling of the cart was this:

“This is why your game sucks. You can’t keep your head down!”

I thought that was pretty funny. Because you have to look up to see that writing.

One of the reasons people can’t “keep their head down” in golf is they want to look up before they are done swinging.

For most people, it’s because they are worried about messing up, so they can’t wait to check.

Kind of like in school, after a difficult test, when the teacher hands them back face down.

You turn them over slowly, thinking that maybe if you “sneak up” on your score, it won’t be so bad.

Some people, when they start conversations with new people, are very hesitant.

Even their movements are jerky. If you could imagine the other person’s “frame” and your “frame” it’s like you sort of “bounce off” their frame a few times before entering, because of the fear of what may happen.

Kind of like jumping into a swimming pool. Some people jump right in. Others take their sweet time.

Those that jump right in get acclimated much quicker. Those that take their sweet time take about a minute with every inch they further submerse themselves.

Then there are those that neither jump or go slowly. They walk right in. They don’t make a big splash, but they don’t standing their with their hands out above the water acting like they are walking into a pool of carbonite.

They walk in, get about to waist or chest level, take a deep breath and purposely submerse their body.

They don’t fear the cold, they embrace it.

Imagine walking up to another person like that.

Some people go timidly, back and forth, taking forever to break the ice.

Others do the opposite. They walk up with some extremely blatant “line” that supposedly makes them stand out as super alpha.

Then there are those that just walk up and start talking. Completely open, and relaxed.

Which works the best?

Imagine you’re the person being talked to. Which do you prefer? Some super timid person? Some super aggressive alpha-type that needs to blow all resistance out of the water?

Or somebody that just walks up and starts talking?

And not just “talking” but “communicating.” Back and forth. Interactive. Not passive, and not aggressive.

How would that feel?

Pretty good.

How do YOU be that person?

Here’s How:


False Fears

Going Swimming With Snakes?

Imagine going on a diet.

You read a couple of books and came up with a plan.

You went shopping and carefully bought the right foods.

So you knew that when you ate the right things, in the right amounts, it would be physically impossible to not lose weight.

Only when you ate your food, you didn’t do it at home.

You ate it at the food court in the mall. Or at your favorite restaurant.

Surrounded by friends who were chowing down like no tomorrow.

Could you do it?

I know I couldn’t!

This is the problem with a lot of our instincts. When they are fired up, it’s pretty impossible to ignore them.

That’s why humans have survived all these years.

If our instincts were super easy to ignore (meaning that losing weight was super easy and didn’t require a lot of willpower) then we would have died out a long time ago.

There’s even a few disease that somehow “turn off” the eating instinct.

They don’t feel compelled to eat, so they don’t. And they starve to death. Or they would without medical intervention.

Quickly pulling back from pain is another instinct. Yet there are a few unlucky people who don’t feel pain. Which means they can get an infection, and die before they know something’s wrong.

One of the drawbacks to our instincts is that societies evolve MUCH FASTER than our instincts do.

It’s like we’ve got this caveman brain that still thinks we need to chase after food, and eat as much as we can whenever we see some.

This is one of the primary causes of “self sabotage,” the mis-match between our conscious desires, chosen by living rationally in a modern society, and our primitive instincts.

Social fear is a prime example of this.

You want to walk over there and start a conversation, but your caveman brain thinks you’re about to go wrestle a dinosaur or something.

You’d like to give a speech, but you feel like you’re about to jump into a pit of piranhas.

You want to pitch an idea to your boss, one you’re sure will make you a lot of money, but you feel like you’re sticking your head in a tiger’s mouth.

Now, some say you should “feel the fear and do it anyway.”

Some say the only way is to FORCE yourself through those situations.

Sure, that will work. But it takes a LOT of willpower, and some very uncomfortable feelings.

Or you could use some mental techniques.

Practice doing it while FORCING your brain to think good thoughts.

Re-Training that ancient part of you that thinks there’s danger behind every shadow.

When you do that, you’ll notice how much easier life becomes.

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What Are You Afraid Of?

Break False Fears

Destroy False Enemies

​There’s a pretty cool movie called “Coach Carter.”

It’s based on a true story of a guy who took over a high school basketball program, and turned a bunch of failing hooligans into a group of self respecting young men.

When they would practice, usually doing drills, he would lean in close and ask, “What is your greatest fear?”

The idea being that if they could confront their greatest fear, they could do anything.

I watched a documentary on the life of Bruce Lee, and in it he kept having this dream of some dragon that he needed to fight.

He couldn’t accomplish his life’s purpose until he fought this metaphorical dragon.

All the classic stories and myths since the dawn of language involves some kind of conflict.

Man vs. Man.

Man vs. Nature.

Man vs. Himself.

All of these are stories to help US go inside and face OUR biggest fears.

Because until you DO face your biggest fear, it’s got a funny way of popping up everywhere.

Back when I was in sales and starting to learn all about NLP, I did an interesting exercise.

I practiced, alone, with some of my most feared sales objections, from the scariest people, according to my own imagination.

I would practice, out loud, overcoming my biggest, scariest objections.

Once I did that, they stopped coming in the real world.

Fear has a way of doing that.

Even if you don’t acknowledge you’ve got any fear, it’s still there.

And it will keep popping up, everywhere you look.

Only because you don’t look inside to confront it, it SEEMS like the “world” is against you.

But that’s really just a projection.

A quick subconscious Jedi mind trick you play on yourself to “protect” your ego.

It’s safe to blame the world.

It’s easy to pretend it’s not your fault.

It’s TERRIFYING to admit that you’ve some unresolved issues.

It’s even MORE TERRIFYING to confront them.

But as Yoda would say, “Confront them you must.”


There are many ways.

Actually going out and facing them, again and again.

Practice facing them in your imagination, until you’re ready for the real world. Kind of like shadow boxing.

Bottom line?

Face them ANY WAY YOU CAN, and defeat them.

Because on the other side of your greatest fears, are life’s greatest pleasures.

Just waiting.

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How To Guarantee Your Success

Don't Blow It

Can You Do What Most People Can’t?

​I had a friend once two took a piano class when he was a kid.

He told me that one day, they had a recital. He was up, and they were recording his “performance.”

Only he got really nervous halfway through, and had to restart a bunch of times.

He said it was horrible, and made him fear doing anything in public. What made it so bad was his teacher became very angry, instead of being supportive.

Something like that can really stick in your mind.

Most normal humans have a deep fear of messing up in public. Whenever the idea pops up of us doing something in the public eye, we immediately fear the worst.

That’s our ancient brains at work, trying to keep us safe.

Back in the old days, when we had to hunt for food, this was OK. If we saw a nice orchard with a bunch of juicy apples, part of us would want to eat the apple. But another part may be afraid of hidden snakes.

Even if there was only hidden snakes one time out of a hundred, that one time would be enough to slowly weed those “go ahead despite the fear” genes from the gene pool. 

Unfortunately, when we’re giving a speech, or walking across the room to talk to somebody, or pitching an idea to our boss, there is ZERO chance of hidden snakes. But our ancient brains don’t know that.

This is why it’s so hard to just “tough it out” or “feel the fear and do it anyway.” 

However, if you take some time to practice MENTALLY, you will SLOWLY obliterate all your false fears.

This takes time. Not just randomly thinking about it whenever you get a chance.

World class athletes know this. They know that visualization practice is JUST as important as real practice.

They schedule time, and do it every single day.

This is why they can perform well, when MILLIONS of people are watching them.

They’ve practiced so much in their mind, literally hundreds of thousands of times, it seems familiar.

This takes time. This takes effort. It’s HARD to sit and visualize something for ten or twenty minutes every single day.

Which is why most people don’t do it.

The truth is that you CAN get anything you want. If you are willing to do what it takes.

Most people aren’t.

Are you?

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