There are many today who believe they have a constitutional right to not be offended—a right like free speech, freedom of religion, and freedom from unreasonable government searches.
Colleges are creating “safe spaces” to protect weak minded students from being exposed to uncomfortable ideas. When the safe spaces are inadequate, colleges are banning speakers who disagree with the facility’s ideology.
But when a threatening idea slips through the cracks, university students are being issued Play-Doh, coloring books, bubbles, and puppies to cope with their hurt feelings.
I wish I were joking, but all of this is real. I’ve seen it firsthand.
To be fair, colleges do not have a monopoly on this madness. While helicopter parents hover to protect their kiddos from scrapes, bruises, and hurt feelings, the state of Utah had to pass the “free-range parenting law” to prevent overzealous child welfare agents from prosecuting parents who still allow their kids to play outside unattended.
My generation did not have the safeguards that kids have today. We did not have child safety seats with five-point race car harnesses; we had mothers who desperately reached their arm across the child’s chest as she slammed on the brakes.
We roamed the streets all day without GPS cell phone leashes. Parents had no idea where their kids were until the ghetto streetlights came on and we headed home.
We did not have supercharged alkaline bottled water. If we got thirsty, we snuck up and drank from a stranger’s cancer-causing garden hose that had been decomposing in the sweltering sun. But even without adult supervision, somehow we knew to let it run to rinse out the spiders.
The city was our playground, and we ran amok getting into all sorts of dangerous trouble.
Obviously some good has come with progress, but we’ve reached a point where we’re causing more harm than good.
While trying to insulate kids from discomfort, we’re setting them up for a lifetime of failure and depression. To thrive in the real world, we must be exposed to more discomfort, not less.
When I prepare police officers for violent confrontations, I teach them about stress inoculation—small, progressive doses of discomfort to develop tolerance. With proper exposure, the effects of fear, anxiety, and stress can disappear.
I understood this from a very young age, so I’ve spent my entire life subjecting myself to ever-increasing amounts of stress and risk.
Virtually everything I’ve done has been motivated by my dire need to reach a state of fearlessness.
An example stems from my love of the ocean; but growing up among the Jaws generation contributed to an unreasonable fear of sharks.
In high school, I used to go surfing before class, and in between sets, it was easy to ponder what lurked in the dark waters beneath the surface.
I could have avoided my fear of the ocean by finding a “safe space,” but running from fears always amplifies the control they have.
The only way to thrive is to metaphorically walk into the fire.
Instead of avoiding the ocean, I took a scuba class. Then I took every advanced diving course offered in California. But that wasn’t enough, so I spent a summer on an island in Mexico, training to become a scuba instructor.
Eventually, I was teaching new scuba divers on weekends. I became a confident diver, but I still feared that a shark would rip me apart. I needed more exposure. So I flew to a small island in Honduras to dive in the open ocean with sharks.
It was frightening, but it was one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life. You can watch the video I shot here.
Do you see the pattern of subjecting myself to small, progressive doses of discomfort until I became virtually fearless?
If I had followed the path of the masses, I would have avoided the ocean. Instead, I followed the path of those who live extraordinary lives.
I inoculated myself by incrementally increasing the discomfort until I was no longer afraid.
Regardless of what you desire in life, fear is the only thing standing between you and your goal. There is a next step you must take to reach your goal, but you’re avoiding it because of fear.
Ignore society’s indoctrination by moving toward the discomfort. Pain is good. Stress precedes opportunity, and fear is a puzzle to be solved.
Walk into the fire, and soon you will begin breaking through barriers and reaching new summits.
Would you like me to help you do this in your life?
If you’re an ambitious, success-driven person but not using a coach, you’re radically limiting your potential.
You will be hard-pressed to find anyone who has achieved ambitious levels without a coach to help them get there.
It’s impossible for us to see our own unconscious limitations, which makes it essential to have someone who can help you break through to the next level in your business, career, wealth, and other life goals.
Click here to schedule your complimentary 30-minute strategy session with Chuck to determine whether you’re ready to reach your next level.