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?
When it comes to using the Law of Attraction to manifest a miracle, or to attract anything you’ve been wanting, a few key principles are essential.
I explain this in-depth in my forthcoming new book, The Miracle: Six Steps to Enlightenment, which launches December 6 as a paperback, Kindle e-book, and on audio.
A few of the keys are –
You get what you expect. Expectation is built on belief.
Your beliefs filter reality so you only see what matches your beliefs.
Your actions will stem from your beliefs and expectations.
In short –
If you don’t act, you reduce your chances to create anything.
If you don’t believe, you won’t even try.
If you don’t expect, you will attract a match to your lack of belief.
You can use these insights on anything you want to attract or achieve.
Want a better job?
Want to attract your soulmate?
Want enlightenment or spiritual awakening?
Ask yourself –
Do you believe it’s possible?
Do you expect to succeed?
Are you taking inspired action to attract it?
If you answered “yes” to all the questions, then go forth and congrats on your new job, soulmate, or awakening.
But if you answered “no” to any of the questions, then you have some inner work to do.
And that’s where my new book The Miracle will help you.
It’s packed with processes, exercises, stories, tips, techniques, principles and more.
It covers everything from the basics to advanced law of attraction, mind power, activating your brain, goals, clearing, intentions, counter-intentions, beginning and advanced ho’oponopono, Neville manifestation, the secret prayer, and so much more.
You will also get more than $5,000 worth of bonuses when you go get The Miracle from Amazon on Tuesday, December 6, 2016.
One of the gifts is my brand new online video training called “A Beginner’s Guide to Miracles.”
I am very excited as this is my most definitive book on how to attract what you want and achieve spiritual enlightenment along the way.
Bestselling author Susan Shumsky said, “In The Miracle, Joe helps us unearth the cause behind our deepest unconscious beliefs and shows us how to transform them…He helps us create and live miracles every day.”
You can learn more at http://www.TheMiracleBook.info
Meanwhile, Expect Miracles!
PS – Mark your calendar. Everything happens on Tuesday, December 6, 2016. See http://www.TheMiracleBook.info for details.
I know you might be one of those people who feel like the Law of Attraction just doesn’t work for you.
I understand and I want to help.
So let’s begin…
Have you ever had one of those days where gravity wasn’t working for you?
Where you can’t seem to keep your feet planted on the ground and you wind up floating around in the atmosphere?
Of course not.
Because gravity is a LAW.
It doesn’t work some days and not work other days.
It’s *always* working, and you are experiencing the effects of it all the time, at every moment.
Even right now.
But you probably never spilled a cup of coffee and said, “Darn that Law of Gravity!”
Instead, you realized it was your actions coupled with the existing law that caused the accident.
Well, the Law of Attraction is exactly the same.
It’s a LAW – not a feel-good principle or some kind of new-age voodoo flake-out.
You can’t “do” the Law of Attraction wrong.
It doesn’t turn off and on, like a light switch.
It’s not subject to fate or fancy.
It is a powerful but neutral force that is constantly operating.
Just like gravity.
And that means something extremely important –
It means that what you have right now (or don’t have right now) is – on some level – exactly what you want.
The good stuff and the bad stuff.
The abundance and the lack.
You’ve attracted all of it.
Because your conscious thoughts aren’t all there is.
Below the surface, a complex and deep-seated collection of beliefs are exerting an extremely powerful force in your life.
When these subconscious thoughts are in harmony with what you consciously intend, you attract it.
But if there are “counter-intentions” present within you – that is, thoughts and beliefs that run contrary to your conscious wishes – you will not achieve the results you want, no matter how much you want them on the surface.
This is not cause for blame or guilt.
After all, you weren’t aware of the unconscious beliefs working.
What this is all about is awakening.
I’m probably the only teacher in the movie The Secret that has stood my ground about this.
I’ve taken heat for it, too.
I feel like Freud when he introduced his idea of the unconscious mind in the late 1800s and was booed off stage.
He didn’t back down.
Neither have I.
So how do you get clear of those contrary beliefs within your unconscious mind?
How do you get rid of the inner roadblocks and go warp speed ahead, right to whatever it is you’re trying to achieve or attract?
It took me some time to figure out the answer to that question.
But once I did, it was as if all the limits in and around me shattered.
I thought life was good before – I had no idea it could be THIS good.
I thought I’d achieved a pretty high level of personal and professional success – but the success I experienced once I got clear absolutely blew me away.
I had finally discovered –
“The Missing Secret” that makes the Law of Attraction work the way you want it to – 100% of the time.
There are two ways you can learn this “Missing Secret.”
1 – Get my Nightingale-Conant bestselling audio program. http://www.nightingale.com/missing-secret.html
2. – Get in my famous Miracles Coaching program. http://www.MiraclesCoaching.com
Obviously, the coaching program will require a bigger investment, but the results will be dramatic and fast.
But I understand if you’d rather invest in the audios and listen and awaken at your own pace.
Either way, the choice is yours.
Which will you choose?
PS – Consider: If the Law of Attraction is already working but you aren’t seeing the results you want because you don’t understand it yet, how much more incredible will your life be once you use the Law with conscious intention and crystal clarity? As I often say, “Expect Miracles.”
Here’s your choice:
1 – Get my Nightingale-Conant bestselling audio program. http://www.nightingale.com/missing-secret.html
2. – Get in my famous Miracles Coaching program. http://www.MiraclesCoaching.com
If I handed you a horseshoe and said “Bend it,” what would you do?
Probably nothing, right?
Same thing if I offered you a metal bar.
You’d hold the cold steel and wouldn’t know where to begin.
Your mind wouldn’t have any idea how to start.
It would seem impossible.
But the other day I came home and handed Nerissa a bent horseshoe and a twisted metal bar.
“You bent these?” she asked in amazement.
“Yep,” I replied. “And I also drove a nail through a board with my hand.”
“How is that even possible?” she asked.
And that’s where I had an “aha” about how we can more easily and quickly change beliefs.
Let me explain…
I attended the Strongman University seminar with the legendary Dennis Rogers and strongman David Whitley. You may recall their names because I wrote about them on a previous blog post.
Both guys are powerfully strong, and prove it by ripping thick phone books, decks of playing cards, bending nails and spikes and steel bars and horseshoes, breaking out of chains, holding people high in the air with one hand, and more.
They come from a long history of strongmen (and women) who do feats of strength for a living.
I attended the event to find out their tricks of the trade.
Turns out, there aren’t any tricks.
These strongmen are actually doing what you see them do.
While there may be magic trick approaches to getting similar results, Dennis and David and the old school authentic strongmen don’t use tricks.
They are using intent, will power, knowledge of technique, and a tremendous amount of focused sheer strength.
I know because it took everything in my body and mind to bend a horseshoe.
My muscles ached, my breathing was hard, my face was flushed, my neck veins were popping, and I groaned and struggled as my entire body and mind were focused on bending that horseshoe.
And I did it, too.
But when I first held it, it seemed impossible.
After all, a horseshoe is hard steel and made for a horse.
It’s not designed to give.
How was I going to bend it?
But here’s what happened:
I saw David do it.
Then I saw a few other people in the event – including two petite but strong women – do it.
And then I knew it was possible for me, too.
In other words, seeing living proof of it being done convinced me – it changed my belief system – and I realized it was now possible for me, too.
This insight made me realize that when you want to change something in your life, you might need to read, see, or meet someone who has already done it.
Once your mind accepts the reality of change, it then becomes possible for you, too.
You still have to take action, of course.
The horseshoe will not bend by itself.
I have to pick it up.
I have to see it in my mind bending.
And I have to collect all the muscle and energy and focus possible within me and aim it at that horseshoe.
But because I know it can be done, I’m more inclined to give it my all.
And when the horseshoe bends, you feel like superman.
Same is true for all your goals.
Once you achieve one, the rest become doable.
You don’t have to pick up a horseshoe and bend it, but wouldn’t it be cool if you took on a daring challenge and completed it?
And if it’s a big challenge – like bending a horseshoe or steel bar was for me – then read about or watch a film about someone who already achieved the goal you want to achieve.
Their success will teach you and inspire you and let you know that what you want to do is possible.
And then, go do it.
PS – What if you try and fail? Truth is, I wasn’t able to do all the feats of strength that David and Dennis taught. I couldn’t rip a phone book, tear a deck of cards, or bend a metal spike. I tried so hard that my muscles still ache today. So, did I fail? Not at all. As long as I keep trying, and remind myself that it is possible for me to do, then I will succeed. The “failure” was simply feedback that my grip needs to be stronger. And that means my “failed” attempts were actually part of my training. Just trying to rip or tear or bend was building my muscle. You never fail as long as you keep moving forward.
When I was in Kuwait, speaking on positive thinking and happiness, a skeptical man in the audience politely asked, “Where is the evidence that happiness will make a positive difference in my life?”
Even though two other speakers at the same event were recognized psychologists on happiness (one a Harvard graduate), and had already delivered compelling evidence for the benefits of positive thinking and positive psychology, this man wanted something more.
Well, I had an answer for him.
“You can find evidence for whatever you want to believe,” I replied.
“If you want to believe happiness works, then research online and you’ll find evidence to support your belief,” I continued.
“If you want to believe unhappiness is better, then research online and you can find evidence to support that belief,” I added.
And then I delivered the punch line.
“If there is evidence for both happiness and unhappiness as ways of life, which are you going to choose?”
The crowd applauded.
I don’t know if the man got the point or not. The crowd seemed to. But the polite skeptic was coming from a mindset that was arguing for his own limitations.
After all, why ask for proof that happiness is better unless you want to remain unhappy?
And why would anyone want to remain unhappy?
Author Richard Bach famously wrote, “Argue for your limitations and sure enough, they’re yours.”
Many people want to stay unhappy because they believe it serves them.
They believe it keeps them “real.”
They believe if they get happy, they may not do anything, or may be denying “reality.”
What they don’t seem to understand is unhappy people are less productive, practical, realistic, healthy, humorous or social.
I learned this back in the 1980s, when I studied with Barry Neil Kaufman, author of such books as To Love Is to Be Happy With.
Barry explained there are myths around unhappiness.
One of them is the belief that unhappiness will motivate you while happiness will not.
As Barry explained it, the truth is that unhappiness will keep you stuck, while happiness will propel you forward by the simple joy of living.
My understanding of limiting beliefs went even deeper when I started working with Mandy Evans, who I often call the original Miracles Coach.
Mandy says some of our top limiting beliefs are —
1. I should be able to make lots of money, but I can’t.
2. I do not deserve success and happiness.
3. I need to think positive every day to change my limiting beliefs.
4. If someone cheats me or betrays me I have to get even or live with resentment.
5. If I were happy, I wouldn’t do anything.
6. Feeling bad motivates me to change things.
7. If I do not give people what they want, I will end up all alone.
8. I should have worked this out by now.
9. I cannot earn a living doing something I like.
10. Better stop wanting; if you get your hopes up, you’ll just get hurt.
Mandy says for each belief that seems true, ask yourself three questions:
1. Why do I believe that?
2. What might happen if I didn’t believe that?
3. Is that true?
To better grasp all of this, read Mandy’s books, Emotional Options and Travelling Free, available from Amazon, bookstores, or http://mandyevans.com/the-breakout-store
As I’ve often said, we live in a belief driven universe; change your beliefs and you get a different universe.
You are welcome to argue for your limitations, of course, or to delete them and believe something better.