Don’t let your fear engulf you

Fear is like a fire, left unkept it can engulf you. But if you harness
it, it can do powerful things.” – Mike Tyson

What scares you? I’m not talking about being afraid of spiders or
snakes or the people who come on Maury Povich and act like they are
terrified of pickles and balloons. What are the things that keep you
awake at night and cause you to worry about future events? The funny
thing about fear is that regardless of the business you are in or what
sport you play, the moment that fear creeps into your mind, it can be
completely crippling.

Most athletes have a certain amount of fear that they play with each
time they step into a competitive situation. Early in
my career, I would constantly worry about what was going to happen in my
upcoming games. Would I even get in the game? Would I play well? What
if I made a mistake and Coach Izzo lost his faith in me? Was my
opponent better than I was? Could I guard him? These types of thoughts
were never productive or helpful to my game and only led to me playing
uptight. The older I got, the more I learned how to control those fears
that would creep into my head and stay in the moment.

“Why would I worry about a shot I haven’t taken yet.” That was a quote
from Michael Jordan when a reporter asked him about whether or not he
worried about the possibility of missing a last second shot. That is
the attitude that set him apart from every other player in the NBA and
from most people in the world. Most people worry about what could
happen in the future and have a preconceived fear of failure. The great
ones, regardless of sport or business, have an unreal way of harnessing
their fear and turning into something positive.

It is a challenge that we all have to face every day. How do you stay
focused on what is currently happening and not get caught up with
possible outcomes or future events? I truly believe that the moment you
are in right now is a gift and that it is called the present. Attack
whatever you are doing with all your passion and focus with less regard
for what’s coming down the pipeline. Never be afraid to go for it!

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