Fear is the killer of dreams.
Fear is what holds you back in life.
Fear is why you haven’t achieved your goals.
Fear is an assassin, hiding in plain sight and ready to strike at any moment.
It’s time we do something about that.
I am very in-tune with my body.
This means I can tell whenever something is different. Or off. You can attribute that to bodybuilding.
At my body fat level (currently fluctuating between 8 and 9%), I can see the differences in my body each day, simply based on what I ate the day before.
Back during August, I noticed something different about my lower abdomen on the right side.
Right along the crease of my groin, I noticed a slight bulge whenever I increased intra-abdominal pressure (i.e. coughing or flexing abs).
I’ve had an umbilical hernia in the past. This new abnormality looked and felt almost completely identical. No pain, just a slight bulge.
I kept an eye on this daily for around three weeks. By the end of August, I was 99% certain that this was an inguinal hernia. For nearly a month, I let this thought eat away at me. I flipped back and forth between denying that there was a problem and worrying that I would have to stop training for 8+ painful weeks.
So many negative thoughts raced through my mind. Not being able to follow my passion, losing muscle mass, being bedridden, dealing with weeks of pain in a sensitive area, trying to function and think clearly while popping prescription pain killers… all of these nasty thoughts played over and over.
Until I stopped being a little bitch and decided to get out of my head. Until I decided to ACT!
I made the decision to go to the doctor for a physical examination. And guess what.
I was wrong. No hernia.
— Masculinity Rising (@MRNickHagood) September 4, 2015
What I had noticed wasn’t a hernia. I was simply seeing a blood vessel and my inguinal ligament pressed against the skin. Completely harmless.
My doctor explained that he didn’t feel any tears or abnormalities in the fascia of my abdominal wall. He said that I was simply very lean and able to see more definition around my groin from the lack of body fat.
This is the leanest I’ve been in my entire life, so I’ve never been able to see this much definition in my lower abdominals. Instead of freaking out, I should have gone to the doctor immediately, for the simple reason of having peace of mind.
I hate thinking about all of the mental energy I wasted worrying about a problem that didn’t even exist. I even scaled back my training intensity because I was worried about making this non-existent hernia larger.
Despite this small, self-imposed setback, I’ve learned that every negative experience or problem can be reframed into a positive, productive force… like me writing this article in order to help you.
Regardless, deciding to take action would have saved me a lot of time and mental energy which I could have utilized elsewhere. Which brings me to my next point…
Vegeta, What Does the Scouter Say About His Power Level?
You only have so much energy. Both mental and physical.
It’s easy to push yourself further physically. When you have a strong mind, your body will follow it to amazing lengths.
But when you have a weak mind, your mental energy is easily sapped away by the stresses and distractions of daily life.
If you want to operate at 120% — to have a power level over 9,000 — you have to do things differently than the average members of society.
Don’t focus on negativity and worry throughout the day or it will drain you of your vital energy to be a producer, to be creative.
Stop hanging out with loser friends. Stop listening to people whine and complain. Stop putting up with bullshit.
How can you respect yourself and your time when you allow others to leech away at you?
Always remember you have a finite amount of energy and focus. Apply it towards your goals, not mental self-torture or dealing with idiots.
Losers waste their time and energy. Act like a loser and attract more losers into your life.
Become a winner and you’ll attract more winners into your life.
Fear Masquerading As Procrastination
I’ve found that procrastination is usually attributed to laziness, but oftentimes it is a direct product of fear.
Fear to make a decision. Fear to commit. Fear to act.
People want a guarantee for everything in life. Well guess what, buddy. Life doesn’t work that way.
Not everything will work out. Some things will come back to bite you. You will fail often. Probably even a majority of the time.
The successful keep pushing. They keep grinding along, keep working towards their goals. One small day of progress at a time.
I want you to recognize when you’re putting something off, especially if it makes you nervous or anxious. You’re not procrastinating; you’re in fear.
As Mike Rashid preaches, “breathe in” that fear and use it. Feel that heavy weight of fear down in your chest, take a deep breath in, and then exhale. Feel yourself feeding off your fear, growing more powerful with each breath. Then act!
Stop putting things off until tomorrow. For your sanity’s sake.
Make a decision, then act on it. This will put your mind at ease.
Too many people get bogged down in thinking, in collecting information, in gathering just one more piece of the puzzle before making a decision. Don’t be one of those people.
As Brian Tracy mentions in The Luck Factor, there are two types of people: Those who nod along in complete agreement when they hear valuable, life-changing information, but never apply it; and those who will actually go home and put that information to practice.
When you are reading/listening to a book and they tell you to perform a particular brain exercise or to physically write down your goals… DO IT! They are telling you for a reason. Listen.
You can sit around all day, thinking about your goals and how to achieve them. Or you can take action, solving one problem at a time until you actualize those visualizations.
Death Smiles At Us All
Death is the greatest fear in life.
So much of the human experience revolves around extending life and cheating death.
However, Death will come for us all. There is no escaping him.
You can either live your life in fear, or strive each day to look fear dead in the eyes and say, “Fuck you.” You can either cower away from the possibility of failure and death, or stride confidently towards the life you want to live.
And with that, I’d like to close with one of my favorite quotes from one of the most masculine movies of all time: Gladiator.
Death smiles at us all, but all a man can do is smile back.
— Marcus Aurelius
I’m smiling at Death. Are you?