Mike Tyson was a Fearsome warrior in the ring. Other fighters feared him. As a Leader, you need to overcome your fears and lead – sometimes without knowing what the results will look like.
This is an extract taken from Mike Tysons autobiography (Mike Tyson, Undisputed Truth) on Fear and how to overcome it, is a great Learning Point for any aspiring Leader.
“Fear is the greatest obstacle to learning. But fear is your best friend. Fear is like fire. If you learn to control it, you let it work for you. If you don’t learn to control it, it’ll destroy you and everything around you. Like a snowball on a hill, you can pick it up and throw it or do anything you want with it before it starts rolling down, but once it rolls down and gets so big, it’ll crush you to death.”
“So one must never allow fear to develop and build up without having control over it, because if you don’t you won’t be able to achieve your objective or save your life.”
“Consider a deer crossing an open field. On approaching the forest, suddenly instinct tells it there’s danger there, might be a mountain lion there. Once this happens nature begins its survival function where the adrenal glands inject into the bloodstream, causes the heart to beat faster, which in turn enables the body to perform extraordinary feats of agility and strength. Where normally the deer can leap fifteen feet, the adrenaline enables the first leap to be forty or fifty feet, enough to escape from the present danger.”
“The human being is no different. When confronted with a situation of fear of getting hurt or intimidation, the adrenaline speeds up the heart.”
“Under the influence of adrenal glands people can perform extraordinary feats of strength. “You think you know the difference between a hero and a coward, Mike? Well, there is no difference between a hero and a coward in what they feel. It’s what they do that makes them different. The hero and the coward feel exactly the same but you have to have the discipline to do what a hero does and to keep yourself from doing what the coward does.”
“Your mind is not your friend, Mike. I hope you know that. You have to fight with your mind, control it, put it in its place. You have to control your emotions. Fatigue in the ring is ninety percent psychological. It’s just the excuse of a man who wants to quit.”
“The night before a fight, you won’t sleep. Don’t worry, the other guy didn’t either. You’ll go to the weigh-in, he’ll look much bigger than you and calmer, like ice, but he’s burning up with fear inside. Your imagination is going to credit him with abilities he doesn’t have. Remember, motion relieves tension. The moment the bell rings, and you come in contact with each other, suddenly your opponent seems like everybody else, because now your imagination has dissipated. The fight itself is the only reality that matters. You have to learn to impose your will and take control over that reality.”
If you wanted to be heavyweight champion of the world, you had to start living the life of a heavyweight champion.
I was only fourteen, but I was a true believer in Cus’s philosophy. Always training, thinking like a Roman gladiator, being in a perpetual state of war in your mind, yet on the outside seeming calm and relaxed. He was practicing and teaching me the law of attraction without even knowing it.
Cus was also big on affirmations. He had a book called Self Mastery Through Conscious Autosuggestion by a French pharmacist/ psychologist named Emile Coué. Coué would tell his patients to repeat to themselves, “Every day in every way, I am getting better and better” over and over again.
The goal of all these techniques was to build confidence in the fighter. Confidence was everything. But in order to possess that confidence, you had to test yourself and put yourself on the line. It doesn’t come from osmosis, out of the air. It comes from consistently going over the visualisation in your mind to help you develop the confidence that you want to possess.
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I’m Pete O’Keeffe.
I’ve been mentoring Business owners, Leaders & Professionals for over 23 years.
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