The Real Function of Fear

Posted on January 27, 2021

Ryan Stewman



Look, it’s common sense to run away from things that scare the shit out of you.

It’s programmed into our DNA to either run away or fight when something is a perceived threat. Truth be told, we’re probably mostly descended from people who chose to go back and hide in the cave instead of the drunk guy running to piss on the sabertooth tiger just to see if it can be done. Fear is nothing to be ashamed of because you literally can’t stop the response, no matter how seasoned a fighter you are.
There’s also a big difference between surviving and thriving.ย 
With generations of programming teaching us to run away from our fears, it’s uncommon to see people stand, face, and conquer them too. I have a good buddy who’s job is to actually punch his clients in the nose when they start working together. He owns many martial arts studios, so don’t get any bright ideas…and the reason he does it is the initial response when you get punched in the nose (assuming it’s never happened before) is to freeze. His clients hired him to teach them to be victorious when fighting, and all it takes is a split-second of “WTF” to have things go south really quickly. By punching them in the nose, he’s giving them the experience to feel, learn, and override the natural response everyone has when processing new information.
There are also levels to this getting punched in the nose too. Just ask anyone of Mike Tyson’s victims in the ring. You gotta’ be ready for your opponent…you gotta’ have a strategy if you aim to win. Mohammed Ali chose a bold approach against young George Foreman. It’s where the term “rope-a-dope” came from. Ali went round after round, back against the ropes, letting big ol’ Foreman chop away at him like a giant redwood tree.
The fight didn’t start in the ring, though. Ali was in Africa weeks before the Rumble in the Jungle began.ย  Taunting Foreman, getting into his head. On the night of the fight, at the opening bell of the second round, 60,000 African fans started chanting, “Ali, boombayah,” or “Ali, kill him.” Ali was looking for one thing, the dawning of doubt or fear in his opponent’s eyes. In round 8, Ali turned on the “sting” and put Foreman on his ass to win the match.
You can’t tell me that Ali didn’t feel fear. You can’t tell me that my friend’s clients, seeing the mentee next to them take a punch to the nose without flinching, didn’t feel the fear. The difference between them and everyone who freezes, recoils, or runs from fear is their ability to take it and keep moving forward. They’re able to do it because they have a strategy in place for doing so.

The Real Function of Fear


See, if you’re going to live a life you’re proud of living, you’re going to have to rise above your fears too. You’re going to have to be willing to call your shots, take a few in return, and stick to the plan even when you’re quaking in your boots.
You’re going to have to shut down your doubts and find reasons to keep on the path. You’re going to have to be so committed to your goal that you’re willing to sacrifice your fears to achieve it. It’s just how winning is done.
You’re going to have to understand that the only limit out there is the one you place on yourself…and far too many people are “playing” at life, neither hot nor cold.
THAT’S NOT YOU! You’re better than that, and it’s time to get what you’re worth.
It’s time to start using fear to your advantage, and as a barometer, to know you’re taking on challenges worthy of your destiny.
It’s time to stop looking for the easy way out.
It’s time to stop flinching and freezing every time you’re stunned by fear.
It’s time to stop shrinking back into the cave because it’s “safer” there.
We’re all going to die. My question to you is…DO YOU WANT TO LIVE?
If so, it’s time to begin to master your fears by facing them and knowing WHEN to turn on the gas.
See ya’ in the trenches!

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