You'll be surprised how many people doubt you and try to use fear tactics on you to stop you from achieving your dreams.
It’s been four years since I last played football and I miss it almost everyday. The only time I don’t miss it is when I’m having knee problems due to my knee injury in 2010.
In fact, as I’m writing this, I have a terrible knee that needs a total knee replacement due to an infection that I got on Oct 7, 2018. I still hobble around and need one crutch to this day. That’s not related to football but it happened to the very knee that got injured and it completely obliterated an already bad knee.
When I decided to play football, EVERYONE had an opinion of why I should NOT play. Everyone told me of ALLLLLLLLLLLL THE BAD THINGS THAT COULD HAPPEN.
Messed up body from the absorption of all the hits.
I may never work again because of a specific injury.
I had a family (wife and kids).
It’s not that serious.
And on and on and on. A funny thing happened along this period of time. My wife never questioned me. And all of the failure minded people all had something negative to say but they could never tell me anything positive that could come out of playing or any success stories.
That experience taught me one thing about being an entrepreneur. It taught me that failure minded people will always project their fears onto you and they will only see obstacles when it comes to pushing yourself outside of your limits.
Can You See Right? Are You Focused Correctly?
Most people are sharply focused on what can go wrong. And I get it. It’s easy to focus on what you don’t have and why you don't have it. The harder part is to shift your focus to get exactly what you want.
When you’re focused on the negative outcome of things, that’s exactly what you’ll get. That’s why most people don’t take risks. They only see where they can fail. Then they “avoid” (said) risk and act like they missed the biggest event that could’ve killed them. What they don’t understand is that you’re only strengthening the muscle of fear.
The more times you run away, the more your mind gets used to you running away from what you don’t like. You’re strengthening the muscle of fear and your emotional and ultimately physical response to how you act when you’re challenged. That’s why people feel like they’re going to physically die when they’re challenged - especially as an entrepreneur.
In football, they had a saying: if you think you’re going to get injured, then you’re going to get injured.
In other words, you have to play with speed and you have to execute and high speeds on the field. You can’t be worried about getting hit or ‘what if this’ and ‘how come that.’ You will most certainly get injured if you stop to think about what you’re doing. That doesn’t mean that you must become a mindless drone of the football field. It means that you don’t have time to be in this game at this rate of speed to be worried about what could happen to you.
If you’re not focused on how to defeat your challenges, you will succumb to all of your defeats.
Injuries and All Types of Things WILL Happen
Did I get injured? Of course I did. Did I sit out a number of games due to injury, you bet your ass I did. Did I have a hell of a lot of fun? You damn right I did. And guess what, I wouldn't change a damn thing.
When I was in high school, I had a lot of pent up anger because my dad wasn’t around for me. My mom divorced my dad and rightfully so. He was a verbal and physical abuser of us and he was a alcoholic. It made for tumultuous times in the house so he needed to go.
When he finally left, I knew what I wanted to do. That was play football! I wanted to play defense where I could hit people and knock them out. I wanted to let out my aggression and tear people up on the gridiron. I was fast - 4.4 40 fast. I was going to play Cornerback (ala Deion Sanders) or Safety (ala Ronnie Lott). I was no joke. I could play.
My problem is that my mom didn’t want me to play for fear of injury. She spooked me out so badly that I didn't play at all in high school and even in college when I had a chance to play at Eastern Illinois University with Tony Romo.
All I had were regrets of why I didn't pull the trigger until finally a guy sought me out and wanted me to play for a semi pro men’s league. That’s when EVERYBODY all of a sudden became pro football experts and pro football doctors and they could tell me of ALLLLLLLLL THE WAYS I COULD BE INJURED. But I shunned them all. I didn't care. I was tired of being chased by the demon of regret.
Regret ain’t no joke. You may think you’ve “avoided” a risk and saved your life from some potential ruin but what you don’t understand is that at the moment you were probably really fucking scared. And instead of confronting your fear, you ran away from it and now you look back and constantly ask yourself, why didn’t I just go for it. Hence why people have mid-life crisis.
I played a handful of years in a few leagues. I got the chance to play in a championship game in my last season of play in 2015. That last season was super special because I went all-out and gave it my all at 37. I was able to hold my own. I was proud. Now that I’m removed, I don't have to worry about the demon of regret. That demon is gone. I know longer question why or how I’m going to do something, I just do it.
Let this be a lesson to any of you that are contemplating being an entrepreneur or doing something out of the ordinary: IT’S YOUR LIFE.
Most people are scared and they like to push their fears onto you. You cannot allow people to push their fears and shortcomings onto you. You cannot absorb their fears and make them your own. Fear is a healthy and natural notification to your brain for you to take action.
If you allow others to give you their fears to be inactive, then you will invite the demon of regret. And trust me… that is something you can NEVER run away from.