How you feel is far less important than what you DO. Feeling scared, nervous and uncomfortable when you’re rappelling off that symbolic cliff of changing your life, starting a business, going for a big goal is just a GIVEN. It’s the price of admission for an exceptional life! The only difference between you and the girl or guy who is living her dream is that he or she felt the fear and ‘did it anyway’. Back in the day, I played Judo. I was only a brown belt, not a black belt yet, but I was lucky enough to do a little bit of traveling and competing on the US National Team. We were at the Hungarian National Championships, and I was totally overwhelmed and scared to death in my first big international meet. And then I saw the brackets for competition and had to literally sit down on the floor because I felt nauseous. My very first and quite possibly ONLY match given the single elimination nature of the event, was with the current Hungarian National Champion. When I told my coach that I had never been so afraid in a competition in my entire life he said, “yeah… aaaand…so what? If they gave a gold medal for being afraid, everyone would have one. You can only get a gold medal if you get onto the mat and fight anyway.” When my turn came to fight, I had no other though than “I want to disappear right now”. I couldn’t bear the thought that both my coach and the national team coach were about to watch me get obliterated by one of the best in the sport. As I bowed onto the mat, I hoped it would be over quickly. And it was. Because I was SO afraid, I walked right toward her, and without hesitation, closed my eyes and went for the only throw I knew she probably hadn’t seen on the mat at the international level–the Benincasa Pile Driver. I reached high for her collar to distract her attention, and then immediately ducked and grabbed both of her legs, driving my shoulder into her stomach…and then her body onto the mat. The referee raised one arm straight over his head immediately, indicating a full point–and the win. It was over in 10 seconds. I had beaten the Hungarian National Champion. I didn’t get any further in the competition, because frankly I was’t great, only good, but I learned a valuable lesson about fortune favoring the bold. Fear is an ever present factor when we face times of challenge and risk. In fact, fear is such a big part of my life that I’ve come to embrace it in a way, as the vigilant guardian and trusted friend that gives me a “heads up” to be at my best. But we just can’t let our emotions affect our locomotion. In other words, being a winner isn’t based on what you FEEL it’s based on what you DO. So when you’re faced with that next big leap in life, it’s ok to let fear whisper in your ear, but let COURAGE rule your actions.