As I sit down to watch American Idol Gives Back 2010, I remember when I tried out for American Idol. I was so nervous I gave back the steak sandwich I ate before the tryout.
How could Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson, Ellen Degeneres, and Kara DioGuardi strike so much fear into one person?
The truth is, they didn’t. I did. When I stepped out onto the stage with the lights, cameras, and those judges I started to sing and it felt like I had strep throat. My heart was pounding and my ears started to sweat (I didn’t even know that was possible.)
Honestly I never tried to make it on American Idol but I can imagine that’s how it would go for so many people including myself.
When fear enters our thought process it can physically affect us which then creates more fear and it creates a vicious cycle. It ultimately leads us to the failure we were so desparately trying to avoid.
Recently I learned two lessons about fear. I was able to drive a Formula 1 car at 150mph and my friend Jim Jackson, a Las Vegas Motivational speaker, rode along with a professional driver at 170mph.
Jim said to me, “We were coming up on that first turn at 170mph and I didn’t know if we were going to be able to make the turn. I was nervous. Then I thought what can I do now? Just let it go and enjoy the ride.”
After Jim said that I thought about just “letting go.” (Not the wheel while driving) but letting go mentally when feeling the nervousness. Just let it go. It can’t be that bad. Enjoy the ride or it will all be over and the only thing I will have experienced will be anxiousness and nervousness.
So the point for me is once the committment has been made to do something…let go of the fear and enjoy the moment.
The second point I took from racing that day was right after my driving experience. I drove two times before and reached 143mph and 149mph respectively. Just one more mile per hour was a milestone for me. Partially because it’s a nice round number but also because my Dad hit 150mph previously.
Each time I drove I was nervous, including the last time. Getting into the car I think I screamed NO FEAR but that was just talk. After about 3 laps I realized I was breathing heavy and my heart was pounding but I didn’t slow up. I was determined to hit 150mph and since the car does not have a speedometer I had to keep the pedal to floor and make sure it happened.
Afterwards it hit me. My determination to reach my goal helped me push through the fear.
Check out the video and see my results. I think you’ll enjoy the music.
You may also enjoy my previous article, Five Key Points To Overcome Fear.