I remember watching Kevin Costner in “The Bodyguard” many years ago. There were 2 scenes that have stuck with me over that time. The first was when Costner’s father in the film, described how “Frank”, if he was ever frightened of anything, would do it and then keep on doing it, until he was wasn’t afraid anymore, “…he’s always been like that”.
When it came to physical challenges, that was me. I took this philosophy everywhere. I tried everything. It gave me a little personal rush and a sense of pride. These achievements can last a while, but sooner or later they would fade, and I’d look to find another challenge.
As I got older I tried different things over time. Here are some examples: Rowing replaced football; Triathlons; Marathons; Photography; Fishing (always did that); Woodwork; Life Coaching (more mental, but a challenge)…and the list goes on. Some stuck, some didn’t.
But what I found was by keeping myself busy and trying new things, focusing on the physical, that way I didn’t have to take any notice of the emotional stuff. It kept me and my mind busy. It was one big diversion.
You just can’t keep hiding the emotional baggage behind the physical wall. The wall will crumble eventually and expose that raw baggage. But we will get back to that in a minute, lets get back to the movie.
The second scene was watching “Frank” chasing an assailant at night through the bush. At one point he stops, closes his eyes, listens, hears the assailant, turns and fires his gun (still with his eyes closed), narrowly misses the assailant as the bullet hits the tree he is standing next to for cover. I thought, WOW, wouldn’t it be great to be that good at something.
Even now I watch and admire certain people and marvel at their talent (and all the hard work to get to that point). Elite athletes, the best of the best, like Usain Bolt, Ian Thorpe, Shane Warne, Dennis Lillee, Michael Jordan and Hayley Lewis, just to name a few.
But I also love watching the TV shows promoting talent like the “X-Factor” & “Idol”. I love seeing people coming out, especially those who you don’t expect much from, blow you away with their talent. The most famous one is probably Susan Boyle, but she is no where near my favourite in this category.
I also have a couple of Chiropractors who I look at and again marvel at their skill and knowledge. I have been lucky enough to not only call them mentors, but also friends. I won’t mention names but most of my colleagues will know who they are.
All these people, and many more, inspire me.
So, when it came to my physical challenges, I would face my fears, my self-doubt, my lack of skills and just get in and do it. I would keep doing it until I became less and less fearful. My self-doubt would slowly fade. My skills would slowly improve. Over time I felt less like an uncoordinated goofball.
My rowing technique, skills and stamina improved (I describe rowing as a cross between the balance and precision of ballet and the power of weightlifting), my wood working skills improved, my running distances increased until I could run 42km.
This for me was easy.
Now back to my wall.
When it came crashing down and the baggage was expose. That was not so easy for me.
That’s when I had to take “Frank Farmer’s” philosophy and use it on my emotional challenges. I just had to keep doing it until I wasn’t afraid anymore. The first time you face your biggest emotional challenge (issue), as I have mentioned past blogs, is the hardest. Then just like practicing my rowing technique, or increasing my distances when running, or using different woodworking techniques, you gradually improve. It became easier. It started to feel natural. And, after a while, I no longer feel like an uncoordinated emotional goofball.
Just like your physical training, you must also practice your emotional training. And that’s what it is – training. The more you train. The better you get at it. The easier it becomes. Until it just feels natural.
Now when I have an issue that I must deal with, I can face it without any fear. That’s because I have practiced it. It is natural for me to do it now. It has only taken about 6-7 months, which at time has felt like a long time coming, but it is really no time at all. And the more I do it, the easier it becomes.
If you have any emotional issue or issues that you are afraid of facing. Be like “Frank”. Face it. Keep on facing it. You will get to the point when it becomes very comfortable and natural to do so. It will be at that point when, like “Frank”, you can close your eyes, hear (& feel) where it is coming from, then shoot that emotional issue (metaphorically), straight between the eyes.
issue (metaphorically) straight between the eyes.