Lessons On Overcoming Fear I Learned At A Porsche World Roadshow

Late Saturday night I received a text message from my brother-in-law Patrick.  “Do you want to go to the Porsche World Roadshow?  It could possibly be one of the best days of your life!”  He went on to describe how we would be test driving five 2014 Porsches on a racetrack at high speeds. My internal reaction?  Fear.  Coming in a close second was intrigue. My external response?  Yes. In the course my life I’ve come to understand fear is often an obstacle to opportunity.

Maybe you can relate. 

  • You want to do something new but you fear you may fail.
  • A new position is posted and you think you can do the job, but you’re afraid to pursue it for fear you might be passed over.
  • You want a deeper relationship but resist opening up because you fear rejection.

Consider this.  A greater version of you remains hidden because fear stands in the way.

Consider this also.  A greater version of you is only one “yes” decision away.

When I received the invitation to test drive Porsches I knew this was an opportunity to experience something dynamic outside my comfort zone.  Fear and intrigue did a war dance in my mind.  Intrigue won the battle.  I said “yes” to the request.

On the racetrack I learned 4 valuable lessons about conquering fear.

If you avoid the thing you fear you have relief without reward

I could have caved into my fear.  Relief would follow.  However, that meant being an observer on the sidelines watching others experience the thrill of the ride.  Relief without reward?  I would not let that happen. There are two responses to anxiety I share with my clients: avoid or approach.  Avoiding a decision gives temporary relief.  It also leaves the individual peering through the window of opportunity as an observer.

If you approach the thing you fear expect a positive shift

On the racecourse I chose to approach my fear and get in the driver’s seat.  Fear shifted into focused adrenaline.  I was alert and in control.  The ride was thrilling!

As I stated earlier, “approach” is a second and more effective response to anxiety.  Facing your fears head on causes them to shrink.  The brain kicks into opportunity mode.  Think David vs Goliath.  That dude was not afraid.

Trust your instincts and abilities

One of the first things we were taught by the instructors was the design and ability of the Porsche cars to handle speed and agility with ease.  We were told that fear will limit our experience of the ride.  So I decided to put my faith in the car’s ability.  I was not disappointed!

I think a Porsche lays within many of us.  What I mean is, we have opportunities to achieve great things if we will simply trust our instincts and abilities.  Fear inhibits greatness.  Confidence unleashes it.  Give your abilities a test drive.  Dare to do something out of the norm that you’ve always wanted to experience.  What do your instincts speak?

A year ago I dared to self-publish a book to the general public.  I shared this dream with graduate students I taught two years ago.  On Tuesday I was invited to lecture on my book to students in their internship program.  It was on their required list for reading. These happened to be the same students with whom I shared my ambition to write a book.    The feedback was incredible.  One intern told me she has assigned the book to her client to read.

Follow the lead of an expert

On the racecourse, a professional driver was in the lead car.  We were instructed to follow closely behind him.  On another track with several winding bends, the professional was seated next to me in the car.  He would tell me when to punch the gas hard, hit the brakes and nail the turn.  I listened to everything he said and was able to experience the full power and agility of the Porsche.  He pushed me past my limitations and it was exhilarating! If you are restrained by fear you may need the help of an expert.  Counseling and/or coaching are two effective resources to help you not only be able to conquer fear, but also activate your untapped abilities.  This is true whether your challenges are on a professional or personal level.

Now it’s your turn

Sitting in a conquered fear. 2014 Porsche Macan Turbo.
Is fear holding you back?  Are you on the sidelines watching others enjoying the thrill of experiences you want but are afraid to try?  If you are avoiding doing something for fear of failure or disappointment now is your time to act.  To do nothing is already failure.  However, to make a “yes” decision is a step toward a positive outcome.  Find one area to start.  What will it be for you?  I’d love to read your action step in the comment section below. If you are an overcomer of fear, I’d love to hear you share your ideas that work.  Perhaps you have a great quote that inspires you.  Add your comments as well. Finally, if you think you would benefit from having an expert coach you in the area of overcoming fear, feel free to contact me.  I or one my pit crew (code for counselors/coaches) will be happy to assist you.  Simply click here.