Almost everyone is interested in overcoming fear – or should be.
Whether you want to speak in public, open a new business, talk to potential dates, do stand-up comedy, climb a mountain — or anything you haven’t done before — you’re bound to feel fear and want help in overcoming fear.
Well, how do you do it?
After recording six albums of songs, my Band of Legends politely nudged me to perform live.
While I’ve spoken on stage numerous times over the decades, I never sang on stage.
Thinking about it brought up serious fears.
A friend remembers me saying I would NEVER sing in public.
I had to overcome panic attacks, anxiety ambushes, and near nervous breakdowns to overcome the fear of public speaking.
But public singing?
I didn’t even sing in the shower.
Childhood memories of being humiliated when I tried to speak or sing stayed with me.
I overcame the speaking one.
But I refused to even touch singing.
It felt too vulnerable.
I managed to do it in the studio for my six albums, by basically managing my adrenaline, but I couldn’t accept ever singing on stage live.
But I did it.
I did it!
And it was a huge success.
I was strong and confident, owned the stage, and led my Band of Legends into a triumphant performance.
It was a historic moment.
It was a personal breakthrough.
And it will live forever in my mind as a moment of greatness for me.
So, how did I go from terrified to terrific?
I’ll share my own process, as it will illustrate the art of overcoming fear. I’m sure you can be inspired by this adventure.
I of course did all the standard things that I teach, from practicing ho’oponopono (as I wrote about in my books, Zero Limits and AT Zero) to rehearsing in the studio and in my mind.
But two months before the show, I also —
A basic rule of self-improvement is this:
You can accomplish more if you have someone who believes in you almost more than you believe in yourself.
I first saw that insight in the home of Jerry and Esther Hicks, of Abraham fame, decades ago. Jerry (who has passed on and I greatly miss) told me he first heard it in an early television western. I don’t recall the name of the show, but I do remember the impact the principle had on me.
I started Miracles Coaching more than a decade ago for that reason – to give people someone who could believe in them.
To help them overcome fear.
To help them attract miracles.
I’ve had a lot of people support me and coach me in performing:
Jen Sincero is a badass author of two NY Times bestselling books, You Are A Badass and the recent You Are A Badass at Making Money. I discovered her first book years ago, knew it would be a hit, and interviewed her. We stayed in touch.
I had lunch with Jen when she came to Austin for a book signing. I knew she had been in a band at one point, so I told her my dilemma. She told me that I had already done the hard part of singing.
“You sang for Melissa Etheridge,” she explained, referring to when I had a private songwriting lesson with the rock icon last November. “Singing one on one is harder than singing on stage, and you sang for an icon you idolize and adore.”
The last time I saw Melissa Etheridge, just for a moment after her show in San Antonio in June, she told me she loves my latest album, The Great Something.
She said to “Keep at it.”
I dedicated that album to her. There’s a song on it I wrote for her.
Her encouragement helped me stay motivated.
She once told me, “Feel the fear and do it anyway.”
Sarah McSweeney is a singer-songwriter who is on my first album, Blue Healer. She was the first person I sang for.
We met and she told me she always feels nervous before getting on stage. But she thinks of herself as a messenger, not a singer.
That reframe made the idea of singing easier.
“I am a messenger,” she said. “I focus on the song’s message.”
That insight helped me drop the idea of being a singer and adopt the idea of being a messenger. It helped me relax a little.
Meghan Sandau is a new friend. She has promoted big music events. She wanted to see me do a concert. She said she likes my music.
Her belief in me helped make me more secure.
In fact, none of this would happen without her.
She set up the event for my Band of Legends to perform.
She held my hand and encouraged me.
Meghan also suggested I do an energy clearing session with Nicole Pigeault of Los Angeles. I love energy work and do clearings for others so I leaped at the chance to hire Nicole.
Turned out to be one of the most powerful esoteric washes ever.
The hour session helped me release fears and settle into confidence.
But she wasn’t the only person to support me.
Guitar Monk Mathew Dixon has been coaching me for years now. We’ve made numerous instrumental albums together, such as Invoking Divinity.
He stayed in my corner, listening to me rehearse, listening to me confide my fears, and urging me to hang in there.
Then there’s Patrick Stark in Canada. He’s a filmmaker making a movie about overcoming fear.
It’s called “One Life: No Regrets.”
He interviewed me for it. He plans to sing on stage with the band U2. But it will be the first time he’ll sing on stage EVER.
The first time you sing in public anywhere is on stage with U2 and thousands watching.
Well, if Patrick can drum up that kind of courage, then so can I.
I found preparing for the event mainly a battle with my mind. Most of my thinking was negative. It was all, What if it goes bad?
But Mindy Audlin came to visit. She teaches what if up thinking.
She wrote the book What If it All Goes Right?
She coached me in other ways to think: what if it is a breeze? What if I love it?
It also helps to see people successful in one field try their hand in a completely different field.
James Altucher tried stand-up-comedy. He’s a writer. He’s doing something out of his comfort zone.
But he’s willing to do it for the experience, and he’s sharing his learning curve to inspire others.
Though I haven’t met him, knowing he was stepping out beyond his fear fortified me to do it, too.
Of course, my beautiful Nerissa (above) believed in me, too.
She and I practiced “The Remembering Process” that Daniel Barrett taught me: we talked about the live show as if it had happened in the past and we were remembering how great it went. (See the book Daniel and I wrote: The Remembering Process.)
So the first thing I did was gather people who could coach and inspire me.
To prepare for my show, I attended an online Masterclass with David Mamet, and another with Usher.
Both were astoundingly good.
Mamet is a Pulitzer prize-winning playwright and screenwriter. I think he is a genius.
He said most people are afraid to be bad to be good.
You have to be bad first to start being good.
You have to start someplace.
I reminded myself of this as I prepared for the live event.
While I wanted to step out on stage and be “perfect,” Mamet reminded me that I will probably step out and be bad.
But bad is where you start. You can’t get to great without starting at bad.
Usher said to prepare, to be confident, but to expect something to go wrong.
Don’t expect perfection.
He told a story of a performance where he injured himself at the beginning of a two-hour show, and had to keep dancing and singing despite the pain.
His insights and pointers were priceless in helping me create a mindset for success.
And I bought a set of audios called The Relaxed Musician. It’s a 14-day course in exploring limiting beliefs.
It helped me realize I had a big belief that if I looked bad as a performer, it would hurt my reputation in other areas, such as an author or speaker.
But like most beliefs, it didn’t hold up.
I could forget all my lyrics and totally wash out on stage and it wouldn’t even dent my image anywhere else. Most people forgive and forget.
In fact, a miss on stage could give me a terrific story about how I bombed and lived.
But I didn’t stop there.
I read a terrific book on how to deliver an unforgettable live performance. I liked the book so much, I read it twice.
It was called, The Musician’s Guide to a Great Live Performance.
It became my bible. I read it on planes, took it with me on my iPad, and shared it with singer-songwriter friends.
And I read a wonderful book on overcoming fear and panic, titled You 1, Anxiety 0.
Author Jodi Aman helped take the mask off of fear so I could see what it really was: an illusion. I soaked up the wisdom in this book. It really helped me.
I also read a 1950 book by Vernon Howard called Word Power.
It was about how you talk to yourself, as well as to others, effects your behavior and your results. It’s not so much affirmations but self-talk.
Pretending you are fearless by saying “I am a fearless performer” is a way to begin being a fearless performer.
And I read a recent book, called Succeed.
It explained that just visualizing success is a plan for failure unless you also visualize planning for setbacks.
In other words, thinking the show will go without a flaw is not realistic, as Usher pointed out. There is no such thing as perfection.
But visualizing success, and understanding there is work to do to get there, can almost guarantee the result you want.
That was a mind-spinning insight.
I did more, too.
With Meghan’s urging, I wrote out a script of how I wanted the show to go.
I focused on my feelings, not anyone else’s, so I could focus on what I could control.
The script was a type of Nevillizing (which I write about in my book, The Attractor Factor): feeling as if the event already happened, and happened the way I envisioned it.
I wrote the script from the point of view of the next day, after I performed on stage.
I read and re-read it every day for a week before the show.
I got massages, I got plenty of rest, I drank lots of water, and I went into a flotation tank at The Zero Gravity Institute for 90 minutes the day before the show.
I was doing whatever I could to be at peak form when I stepped on stage.
I was taking care of my body and mind.
I was getting ready for my moment.
Faith doesn’t always mean something religious.
Faith in yourself, faith in other people, faith in my practice and prep, faith in my Band of Legends – all of it gives a level of confidence that allows the best to surface.
As a slogan I coined says, “It is what you accept.”
I accepted that the moment would be perfect, even in any imperfections.
It would be “perfectly imperfect.”
And, after two months of preparing, what happened?
My Band of Legends and myself performed on July 21st at The Townsend in Austin.
I’m the luckiest musician alive to have a band of this caliber: Drummer Joe Vitale (yes, same name as mine), bass man Glenn Fukunaga and lead guitarist Daniel Barrett.
These incredible musicians encouraged me, supported me, and brought my songs to life.
We raised the roof and tore down the walls.
We shook the earth and wowed the crowd.
Talk about overcoming fear!!!
I gave everything I had in me, delivering my messages with energy, enthusiasm, electricity, and a sense of fearlessness and fun.
At the end of our set, we got a standing ovation.
A standing ovation!
I did it.
And I loved it!
Now, what do you fear that is time for you to do?
Isn’t today a good day to begin overcoming fear?
Happy New Year!
Today is January 1, 2017.
Whether you used the Law of Attraction — or some goal-setting or self-help method — to make your 2016 great, you got through it.
We both made it here so we should stand up and do a happy dance.
I’ll pause while you do it…
And now to the million-dollar questions –
What are you going to do differently in 2017 to make it outstanding?
How will you make 2017 breathtaking and full of success?
What do you want to have, do, or be in this New Year?
Whatever you did in 2016 brought you to this moment.
Are you happy with your results?
Did you achieve all you wanted?
And that’s okay.
After all, as Robert Browning asked, “Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?”
If you want to achieve noteworthy success in 2017, I have three suggestions:
Achieving a fantastic 2017 is like planning a cross-country road trip:
Making the New Year spectacular is like planning a meal with friends:
Now apply this simple formula to 2017:
Here’s wishing you a glorious and unforgettably wonderful New Year!
When the world’s strongest man, Dennis Rogers, came to visit me recently, he explained that most people give up just seconds before they are going to reach their goal.
“I’ve seen it hundreds if not thousands of times,” Dennis explained. “Right before the steel is going to bend, the person stops.”
He was referring to bending nails, horseshoes and steel bars, but his observation is true for any goal you’re seeking.
While some people procrastinate in getting started, still others stop too soon.
They give up on their goal because it’s “taking too long” or “it’s too hard” or they feel “it’s never going to happen.”
But the curious thing is, they were only moments away from the achievement.
In the movie Bending Steel, which is about upcoming strongman Chris “Wonder” Schoeck, the star explains how he finally bent a stubborn piece of steel: “I didn’t want to give up five minutes before the miracle.”
At the of the movie, he is on stage explaining that the metal he wanted to bend had haunted him for months.
On stage, he persisted and the metal bent.
The operative word here is persisted.
I’ve seen this in my own life, in countless areas, but most recently in learning feats of strength from strongmen Dennis Rogers and David Whitley.
After they teach me how to do a feat, I try it on my own.
When they are in front of me, encouraging me, I keep going, using will power, muscle power, strength and endurance until the steel melts in my hands.
But I also noticed that I had great difficulty bending anything when I was alone in my gym.
I tried to bend a horseshoe every day for two weeks.
I tried to bend one in front of two visiting friends.
It perplexed me until I wrote David Whitley for advice.
He replied, saying it could only be one of or a combination of three things:
1: The horseshoe is beyond your current strength level
2: Your technique is off
3: You lack confidence/desire
That really made me think.
Did I not believe I could do it?
Was my technique off?
Was I trying to bend too hard of a horseshoe?
I went back into my gym, looked at the horseshoes I had bent, and the ones I couldn’t budge, and realized I was trying to bend at a level I wasn’t ready to accomplish yet.
So I dropped back to a slightly easier horseshoe, got my mind and body in position, and — bent the horseshoe!
This story is relevant to you and whatever you are trying to accomplish.
Ask yourself –
1. Are you trying something beyond your current level of skill?
2. Are you using the wrong method or technique to get it done?
3. Are you fully believing in yourself and your ability to do it?
As with me reaching out to Dennis and David for personal coaching, very often you need expert help in achieving and attracting your goals. That’s where Miracles Coaching might be useful to you.
Whatever you decide, remember, most of us give up right before the miracle.
Remind yourself to hang in there and your “horseshoe” will give.
PS – Inside Secret: Because I know having a crowd cheer me on will trigger more motivation in me – much like cheerleaders at a football game get the crowd and team energized – I bought an applause app called Rent-A-Crowd. It’s exactly what you think: you open it and tap it to hear applause. It can be a small group of people applauding or an entire stadium of raving fans. Your choice. Now, when I attempt to bend a nail or horseshoe, I play the Rent-A-Crowd applause app and pretend a crowd is cheering me on. Another app I use is called Applause. It works, too. I sometimes play it for friends when they do something good for themselves. Go ahead. Applaud me for giving you this tip.
When I was conducting my Rolls-Royce Phantom Masterminds, I met already successful people who knew they wanted more – more money, more success, more insight, more spirituality, more of the full life experience.
Many were millionaires or multi-millionaires.
Quite a few had widespread recognition, but only in relatively narrow niches.
In short, most of these people were already highly successful by anyone’s standards. But many wanted worldwide success. They were truly ready for “the major leagues” – they wanted to play the bigger game and make more of a difference for more people, in a much bigger way.
You could say, they wanted to become “household names”
I loved helping these wonderful people attain widespread fame and new levels of financial success. Some were surprised, but I never was. I knew in advance what was possible for each person. Even so, I learned something new as I helped so many of them move to their own personal next levels.
Here is what I found: There was a surefire way to predict whether or not they would get where they said they wanted to go.
It all boiled down to seven major blocks to worldwide success.
Take a look at these and see how many of them could be holding you back from reaching your next level.
In no particular order, here they are:
#1 Your Dream Just Isn’t Big Enough
It’s gotta be BIG. OUTRAGEOUSLY BIG. Because if you don’t have a clear, powerful enough vision – one that really excites you a lot (and even scares you a little) – then you JUST aren’t going to do what it takes to get where you want to go.
You see, to achieve worldwide fame, you need a big, bold dream to propel you into living that dream.
You need a vision to turn on the radar in your mind to seek and find opportunities and connections. Without a big dream – a goal, a desire, a vision – you will survive but not thrive; you will exist but not exhilarate.
How this worked in my own life: When I decided to become a musician at age 57, it was a scary yet exciting dream. But it was my big dream – that “humongous” vision – that gave me the energy and confidence to create 15 albums in less than five years. Which made more than enough money to buy some of the most expensive guitars in the world.
And most important of all: It was my “humongous” vision, ultimately, that got my music in the hands (and ears) of more people around the world than even I dreamed of!
#2 You’re Not Taking Consistent Action
Willingness to take action, and keep taking action, is a major factor. You don’t need an entire step-by-step plan, as you might have to create it as you go. But you do need to take action.
Any action, even a baby step, is moving in the right direction. Because you have to keep moving forward for the path to unfold.
The rest of the road will become clear as you do. It’s like driving your car at night. You can only see the road as far as your headlights shine, but you can make the whole trip if you keep driving.
Personal example: Whenever I write a new book, I begin with the same blank page. But by typing words on it, I end up building what becomes a book. Many of them are worldwide bestsellers, such as Zero Limits and The Key.
#3 You Aren’t Congruent Enough In Your Beliefs
People who obtain worldwide success have an unreasonably strong – even stubborn – belief in themselves. If you don’t believe in yourself, or in your dream, you probably won’t take any action, or last very long. Limiting beliefs about money, success, yourself, and more, could limit your vision and curb your enthusiasm.
Your beliefs create your reality. Supportive beliefs can attract the massive success you want.
Again, my decision to become a musician is relevant. I had no prior experience in singing, writing songs, recording them or much else. As I systematically erased the limiting beliefs, using what I teach in my Miracles Coaching program, I freed myself to pursue my dream.
#4 You Lack the Necessary Courage
“No guts, no glory.” It’s true! It takes courage to face your fears and come from faith and make a massive worldwide impact. You don’t have to be flamboyant or showy, but you do have to be willing to step into the limelight. This is more about being willing to gamble on your dream than it is about being an extrovert.
You can be shy and successful. But you have to have the inner faith in yourself to pursue your dream.
I’ve often said that whenever you go for a dream bigger than what you’ve attempted before, you will feel fear. It’s natural. You are leaving your comfort zone. But as you take a deep breath and just do it, you find the inner power to get going, and the movement forward creates a momentum that is virtually unstoppable.
#5 You’re Not Willing To Do the Marketing
“Build it and they will come” works great in fictional stories, but face it: Nothing gets noticed unless somebody is marketing it (including the movie where the phrase “Build it and they will come” comes from!). The visionaries who are making a long-term difference on a worldwide scale all either conducted noteworthy marketing, or hired someone to do it.
Take Freud. While his ideas and books were being published and considered, they weren’t reaching a wide audience. It took a marketer to do that. Edward L. Bernays, the father of modern public relations, was the nephew of Freud. He saw his uncle struggle and did something about it. Today, largely thanks to the marketing work of Bernays, Freud is a worldwide name.
#6 You Didn’t Launch the Skyrockets
Getting worldwide success means standing out in the crowd. Doing big things in a big way is how you send a “skyrocket” into the world and get people to turn your way.
Consider Trump. Love him or hate him, vote for him or not, he is getting his name and brand increasingly recognized around the world.
Same goes for Branson. His daredevil exploits and well-promoted adventures, from ballooning to space flights, get his name locked into the mind of the world.
#7 You Haven’t Vastly Exceeded Expectations
Ultimately, you need to surprise people with what you deliver. Your product or service has to be way more than promised or expected. It needs to WOW them.
Zappos is known for this. So are many other companies that have worldwide recognition. They go beyond what is expected to deliver a “wow” service experience. Barnum in the 1800s did the same by offering tens of thousands of oddities in his museum. We still know his name today.
So, that is my list of the seven major blocks to worldwide success.
Any one of them can stop you.
All of them would have kept you from even reading this blog post.
But if you are here, and you’ve read this far, than you probably want more, too.
And here’s some encouraging news:
I have the personal experience and proven techniques at my disposal to help you get past every single block and onto the Worldwide Stage.
If you want to overcome these blocks and achieve the level of success others write about, then consider my one year Gullwing Mastermind.
There’s nothing else even remotely like it.
And, to be fair, it’s not for everybody; it requires a serious commitment of time, money, and willingness to grow.
But if you’re ready to fly, I have the vehicle for you.
You can get details right here.
PS – Remember to check out Miracles Coaching, too.
From time to time I hear from someone who asks a sincere question along the lines of —
“I read your books and loved them. But I seem to be missing something. The bills are piling up and I don’t feel happy. I’m starting to doubt that this stuff actually works. Can you help?”
I’ve been there.
I used to read all the self-help books — going to the public library while homeless and later in poverty — and wondered why nothing worked.
After all, even after reading success classics like Think and Grow Rich, I was still broke.
What was I doing wrong?
Were the books lying?
Was Napoleon Hill missing a step?
It took me decades to realize that I can read all I want and not change on a deeper level.
The books all addressed my conscious thoughts, not my sub-conscious ones.
As I learned later, the unconscious/subconscious part of our mind contains the largest database of programming.
IT is running the show, not our conscious mind.
As long as I just read self-help books, all I was doing was entertaining my conscious mind.
I still had my subconscious to contend with.
While it’s true that you can read enough books on the same line of thought and actually “brainwash” your unconscious into a new way of thinking, it’s also true that that is a long process that might take years.
What would be a faster way to change?
What would be a more reliable one?
What would be more fun?
Until you get someone skilled at listening to you, reflecting back to you your own beliefs, and holding you accountable for taking right action, you will probably keep thinking, believing, doing, and experiencing the same results.
No wonder you will begin to doubt.
No wonder you will begin to question.
No wonder you may become a critic who blames everyone else for your rough road through life.
Until you go deeper into your own belief system, just reading may not be enough.
You CAN change on your own.
You CAN change from reading the right book.
Happens all the time.
But it’s an uphill gamble.
I want to help you get the results you want faster.
Here are some resources to help you sort this out:
The Missing Secret is my bestselling audio program revealing how your mind works, why you need to go deeper than just reading, and it delivers tools you can use today to make lasting changes. See it at http://www.nightingale.com/missing-secret.html
Miracles Coaching is the program I developed years ago which has been helping hundreds to thousands of people. You can see evidence that it works at http://www.miraclescoachingproof.com
Napoleon Hill and the other classic self-help authors weren’t wrong or misleading or incomplete.
Their books work.
But you may need some help in implementing what they teach.
Anyone can change.
You just need a little help.
Don’t give up.
PS — I realize hiring a coach can be a big, scary and bold step, especially when you may be doubting, low on funds, and unsure about the future. But if everything was working fine in your life, you wouldn’t even be reading this post. It’s time to shock your system. I strongly suggest you take a leap of faith, do something dramatically different to rock your world, and sign up at http://www.miraclescoaching.com