“Travel in the direction of your fear,” my grandfather used to say. “Where you feel frightened, enter,” my aikido teacher suggested. “Move inside his power,” my boxing coach repeated. “When he kicks you, step in and grab it,” my MMA coach accurately advised.
The insight crystallized for me when my yoga guru guided, “as you turn inward, and courageously face your fears, you become truly free.”
I have spent a lifetime externally running forward into so many objects of my fears that I have neglected to realize that they all projected outward from within me.
After twenty years of practice, my martial art practice truly began, at the same moment my yoga practice started, and I journeyed to confront the internal source of my fears. Ironically, only when I turned inward, did my external performance gain poise under pressure.
Fear healthily signals us to where we need to focus. But we so often mistake the external messenger for the internal message. Fearlessness does not mean to live without fear, but to live without confusion of its true inward source.