“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”
― Dale Carnegie
In both my Hapkido classes and self-defense/active shooter programs, lessons about doubt and fear are very important. In times of crisis, you must act. You must overcome the freeze response that comes with fear and act. That is why “Move!” is in the center of my active shooter triangle. You must move! You must act! Action will breed confidence and courage. Many people will jump in and follow the person who acts first. Make that person you! There are circumstances in active shooter events where the only option is to attack back and take the shooter out. Many times, people will help the person who initiates the attacking back.
But this lesson from self-defense and martial arts goes much farther than that battlefield or the ring. It is a general principle of life, and that is what Dale Carnegie was talking about when he said the quote above. Fear does not just paralyze people during extreme situations. Too many people don’t follow their dreams because they are afraid of failure, ridicule, and uncertainty. Too many people sit at home, inactive, watching television instead of working on the life they want, the goals they want to achieve, and the adventures they want to experience. The longer you sit, the scarier the world seems. Doubt and fear creep in with thoughts such as, “I wouldn’t make it anyway,” or the worst, “I can’t.”
Like Carnegie said, you must go out and get busy. As Gary Vaynerchuck says, “Do shit!” Don’t wait for things to happen, make things happen. Will you succeed? I don’t know. Will you fail? I don’t know. But I do know this, if you never try, you won’t do anything. And failure is just a learning experience to help you next time. Will it be easy? I sure hope not! Because if it is easy, your dreams are not big enough. Will it be worth it? You bet! Even if you don’t make it, the person you will become striving for worthy goals will be a better person than if you stay inactive due to fear and doubt.
People ask when the best time to start martial arts or self-defense training. The answer is always now. Sure, if you would have started as a kid, you would be much better now. But if you didn’t start then, the best time to start is now. That is all we have. Now. Start training now. Start learning now. Start the work toward achieving your goals and dreams now.
Think it. Plan it. Make it happen!