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Scared of something? Calling that angry customer, having that difficult conversation with an employee or perhaps cold calling a new client. They can all slow us down, make us change direction or worse stop us in our tracks. We all experience this fear at some stage. The impact is the longer you leave it the less chance there is of making it happen. Why? Because fears favourite food is time.

The more time you give to that thing you’re scared of the bigger and stronger it gets, it’s prime muscle building food that consumes minutes, hours and days of our life. It can leave you feeling choked, as it grows so big , it wraps its hand around your throat and restricts your breath. You've felt that right?

On my record breaking run along Australia's 5,330km Bicentennial National Trail, I had to cross the Daintree River on foot. If you know anything about this river in far north Queensland, then you know it's full of crocodiles! I didn't plan to swim across it , I'm a risk taker, but I'm not stupid. I assumed there was a bridge or boat or something, naturally. Assumption incorrect! Crossing the river was a track that dipped into one side of the bank and popped back up over the other side. The challenge was I had to cross it, if I was to create a world record of being the first to run the trail. My mistake wasn't crossing it, my biggest mistake was sleeping on the idea of crossing it. That entire night I tossed and turned, thinking about the terrible outcomes on crossing the river. It wasn't helped by the crocodile tour along the river banks I did that night, where 6 meter crocs lurked at every turn in the river. I had asked the guide about the crossing, he just smiled and gave me the typical Australian response "she'll be right mate". I'm not sure who “she” is but what about me? Next morning after no sleep and a complete 20 chapter story in my head, I eventually crossed the river that was less than waist deep and no crocodiles in sight!

There is a famous saying that is “feel the fear and do it anyway” what they failed to tell you is, doing it anyway means doing at the very point it scared you at. If you don’t commit to it then, you’ll feed it. You’ll prepare it a meal of made up ideas and terrifying outcomes, you’ll create whole scenarios of what might happen. The longer the time line the more creative you become.

Don’t become a Master Chief in scared based dishes. Stop feeding your fears and understand that closing the time gap, makes it a hell of a lot easier to conquer than those scary situations in the first place.

I must note though, fear and danger are two different things. Tackle fears, but don't take unnecessary risks like crocodile infested rivers!

Richard Bowles works in the field of Sustained Progress. He has an extensive and unique background when it comes to how leaders, their teams and entrepreneurs push through problems, challenges and difficulties to gain and sustain results.

To find out more and to see how Richard may help your business or team.richardbowles.com.au | @runpreneur