Why the piranhas didn’t eat Big Al.I am in the Amazon with a group of people. Hot, humid, and uncomfortable. No breeze. Everyone is sweating. The solution?
I said to the group, let’s take a quick swim here in the Amazon. Something we can tell everyone back home. Their faces turn pale. Their eyes dilate. I don’t think they had the energy to respond. So as they stood there in a lifeless pool of sweat, I jumped into the river.
A couple of gasps. Someone yelled, “Get out!” More panic among the group. “The piranhas will eat you!”
Oh. So that was their concern. No wonder the frenzy.
But their fears never materialized. The piranhas scattered in fear after my “cannonball” river entry. I didn’t worry at all.
This is the confidence that comes with a little knowledge. We don’t have to be an expert to overcome our fears. We only have to know enough to be confident. Since I read books, I knew a bit about piranha behavior and wasn’t worried. So why didn’t the piranhas eat me?
- It wasn’t the dry season. Lots of water and plenty of food. There were no starving piranhas.
- I jumped into a river, not an isolated little pond where the trapped piranhas had already eaten the available food.
- I wasn’t bleeding like in the movies. I refused to cut my wrists before diving in.
- Piranhas prefer smaller prey. I was huge.
- Piranhas prefer eating fish and cayman tails. They have their favorite food.
- Piranhas are healthy. They don’t eat overweight tourists filled with saturated pizza fat. They prefer eating lean protein from fish who exercise. Piranhas religiously attend their nutrition classes.
And … I noticed that the local village children happily played in the river a hundred meters away. So based upon this knowledge, my fear of becoming a piranha meal disappeared.
And then … I was attacked by an African crocodile. Just kidding. Wrong continent.
“Fear of the unknown.”One of the many sources of fear is lack of knowledge. Our survival program paralyzes us from moving forward in the face of fear. And like my group of Amazon tourists, network marketers let their “fear of the unknown” keep them from talking to prospects.
What are their fears?
- “I don’t know what to say.”
- “What if they don’t like me?”
- “Won’t I be rejected?”
- “They will think I am a sleazy salesman.”
- “I don’t want my friends to think I am trying to make money off of them.”
- “What if this prospect asks a question I can’t answer?”
- “How will I know where to start?”
If we have fears, a little bit of knowledge can help.
What fears make our lives miserable?
Fear of asking our boss for a raise.
Fear of asking someone we like for a date.
Fear of looking foolish on the dance floor.
Fear that success will change us for the worse.
Fear that others will think less of us.
Fear that we will fail if our goals are too high.
Fear of speaking in public.
And if we are like most people, we have a lot of these fears. But, we don’t have to live with these fears. We don’t have to allow these fears to ruin our lives. We can do something about it.
When I started network marketing, I feared speaking in public. At an early meeting, the speaker summoned me to the front of the room and asked me to introduce myself. My face turned bright red. My lips moved. No sounds came out. Failure on steroids.
The leader pointed out to me, “If you are going to become a network marketing leader, you will have to learn to speak in public and to strangers. Now is a good time to learn.”
I paid half a month’s salary to take a public speaking course. And then, I retook the course. What happened?
After finishing the course the second time, I was able to speak in public. Was I nervous? Yes. But no more trauma. I no longer sat in meetings with the constant fear that someone might ask me to say something.
Was it worth it? Yes! Eventually, I started to enjoy public speaking. Fears dissipate with knowledge and practice.
But what about your dancing?
Okay. I still have that fear. My rare attempts at dancing look like an amphetamine-crazed, drunk engineer, trying to do mental calculus while fighting off a swarm of mosquitos. Not pretty.
Have I learned anything new about dancing to remove my fear of embarrassment? No. And as of now, I don’t dance. Onlookers cheer my decision to avoid the dance floor.
The point is this. Fears hold us back. They make our journey miserable. But we have the power to overcome our fears with knowledge.
So what should we do?
Look at any part of our network marketing business that gives us stress and fear. Tell ourselves, “I can overcome this. I can learn. I can make every part of my journey a pleasurable experience.”