Discover One Simple Tool To Break Free Into Fearlessness
Are you sometimes held back by fear or self-doubt? Perhaps you don’t think you can do something, or that you might fail or get rejected.
Join Dr. Aziz in the gripping second half of his interview with world-renowned coach Steve Chandler as they dive into how to become fearless in all areas of your life.
Click below to hear this episode!
Get Outside Your Comfort Zone
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Today, we are going to be picking back up with the second half of my interview with Steve Chandler. One of the world’s premiere coaches has been doing it for decades and just really understands how to help people radically move forward in their lives, get out of their own way, move forward faster. And today in the interview we are diving into this idea of getting outside your comfort zone which is something you are familiar with if you listened to any of these shows or come across my work online or elsewhere. But there is a distinction that Steve offers today that was really profound for me which he calls 1-inch outside your comfort zone.
And I think when you learn this you are going to feel hot of relief and feel a lot of hopefulness and be inspired about what is possible for you one step at a time.
So, without further ado let us jump back into that guest expert interview with Steve Chandler, one of the world’s top coaches and grab a sheet of paper, get ready to take some notes, and prepare to learn some powerful stuff to learn you get to the next level in your life. Here we go.
But it is so safe in that cage. It is so safe. What would you say to someone who you know not consciously but sort of unconsciously there is that desire to remain safe in the moment. I have been fascinated by this as I have been studying it more and more myself and others and I have been calling it the safety police where there is whole variety of voices that we will have whether it is telling us that something really bad is going to happen out there or that sort of dismisses us a sort of cynical mockery of our desire to do something different, or just a straight up, the policeman who sort of just beats you down and tells you that you suck and you are not good enough.
So it is all these elaborate ways that we stay in that little safe zone and then, so courage as we are describing it is just the action. It is not a state. It is not who you are. It is just the action you can take, the act of courage. There is that moment, there is that precipice where they want to take the act of courage and there is these voices, “You cannot do that. You suck,” and all that stuff is getting built up inside of them. How do they just take the plunge? How would you guide someone through that?
STEVE CHANDLER: Well, just such a small step it does not take a great amount of courage. So that is how we do it and keep increasing that so you are not scaring yourself to death and you are not not doing it because you are so afraid. The state I really want is not really courage so much as fearlessness.
So, if somebody says, “Do you have the courage to eat a potato chip?” I say, “Well, no. I do not have to call in courage to eat a potato chip. I just eat a potato chip. I am fearless doing that because I do not feel a threat.” Maybe I should say that because the nutrition police would tell you that there might be a threat to eating a potato chip.
So what I really want is fearlessness more than profound repeated acts of courage. I want a fearless state. So something that used to take a little bit of courage, if I do it enough time s it no longer does. So it took courage let us say to get in the water when I was learning to swim or jumping to the deep end. But it no longer does. I look forward to jumping in the deep end on a hot day. I am in a fearless state.
Take a book from the shelf. How much courage does that take? Nothing. You are fearless when you do it. So fearlessness has nothing to do with courage. I do this in a naturally feeling way. Feels natural.
So, for example, right now for me talking to a group, I gave a talk to 2000 people in an arts center, and it did not take courage to walk out on the stage but in the past it did. But now, I have done it so many times, I have tested the universe and realize that there is no threat to me in doing this and because there is no threat there is no call for courage and it is just fearless. I feel a little excitement. I feel butterflies in my tummy but that they are not fear. They are excitement, excited butterflies same kind of things that I feel when Jennifer Lopez knocks at my front door.
DR. AZIZ: Is that a common occurrence?
STEVE CHANDLER: No. No, no. It does not happen at all.
DR. AZIZ: I loved that what you are saying is that it takes courage until we do it enough to where it does not and it is just that massive repetition in that condition. I would love that to. I often encourage people that I am working with to say, “If I go to ___ (whatever it is, some social thing) then it’s going to happen. They are going to reject me.” Prediction after prediction and it is like, well let us just go test it out and see and when they do they find that you are right. There is no real threat.
Even a “negative outcome” of a person saying no to them becomes something that they can handle and no longer becomes this painfully tragic event. So I think that repetition is such an important piece of that fearless state.
STEVE CHANDLER: Yes. Absolutely true. I agree. And I do not even use the word massive anymore although you are accurate. I use the word general repetition. Sometimes with a client you say massive repetition they think, “Oh, I am going to have to do this for 10 years. Oh, I am going to do this a hundred times a day,” and then that is intimidating. So I want to take all the intimidation out of anything I wanted to. I want to eliminate it any way I can because I really want to be doing this thing. That is really y objective.
I had to sing in a concert for charity and I do not sing for a living and it is not my profession and I have done it years ago in the past in bars and wait until people were drunk enough in the bar for me to step up to the microphone and sing. But rehearsals, this general repetition, my rehearsal I would sing in front of a few small groups of people as I was rehearsing for this large concert and by the time I got to the concert it was really easier. There was not fear at all because I snuck up on it and I was willing to do tiny versions of it. Small gentle repetitions. Micro versions.
If you have a talk to give, same thing if you are not used to speaking. The more you rehearse to talk the lesser in front of the room.
DR. AZIZ: Absolutely. If it is a bigger talk I still do a lot of repetition because I am in a phase you are describing where I have done a lot and it still takes courage. It is like a mixture of excitement and fear it no longer stops me. It is sort of like a curtain where you can just push right through it but I do realize that, “Oh, I have not done enough repetition for it to be totally fearless but I like the idea of gentle repetition. As you said, it takes all the pressure, all the fear, all the charge out of it. Sound like stepping into a path.
STEVE CHANDLER: And it gives you that feeling that anybody can do that. You do not have to be a certain courageous person to do that. You can be a fearful person and do some general repetition of something that is only an inch outside of your comfort zone.
DR. AZIZ: And so what about this. I am curious. Because sometimes I have seen people and I used to do this a lot in my own head where I would do something. I would take an act of courage, take a small step, and for the most part it would probably objectively if you could observe it from the outside have gone well and yet there is that tendency in people to kind of focus on how it did not go as well as they wanted and those people in the back of the room were not as interested in my talk and there is this tendency to kind of snatch defeat from the jaws of victory really sort of soil the whole thing.
What are your thoughts on how to manage that pattern?
We are going to pause for just one quick moment right now, take a break, and jump back into the interview with Steve right after this.
STEVE CHANDLER: Well, one thing I want to start observing with my clients myself is that these disappointments, these judgments, these failures are human things that happen to absolutely everybody and it is not about me.
So if I give a talk that falls flat or people get bored or somebody leaves the room while I am talking that happens to everybody. That is a human experience. That is humanity itself experiencing itself. It is not me. It is not just like this is happening, I am the target of this situation. It is not true. And the more I see that this is a universal occurrence the more I can be okay with it and say, “How will I make it better? What kind of talk I would give that nobody would leave?”
And so it is good feedback to me. It is just something I can build on, something I can learn from. And I would like to use the phrase “game film” that when you have something that goes wrong, let us say you make a proposal to somebody, a sales proposal, and they say no you start to interpret it as rejection or judgment of you and all that.
I want to change the context of what just happened and say, “What is good about this? What if I viewed it as a learning experience? What can I learn from this? How can I build on what occurred? If I can roll back time going on a time machine would I have done this any differently? What do I need to improve on here?
Failures give you wonderful feedback. When a team, the lady softball team at the university, I watched a game film of the last game they played and they see that certain situations they were out of position. And in certain situations this was happening, the pitcher sees that she was telegraphing when she was going to throw a fastball and this is wonderful because, wow, I see the corrections I need to make. I see the adjustments I need to make and when we win big or when people approve of this you feel just euphoria and we celebrate and we get higher than a kite and then we begin to doubt whether it is really real or whether it is going to last. So it is not as useful to us to have a success.
So I want to start looking for the gold, looking for the real value.
When he started Microsoft, Bill Gates used to say, “We built company on customer complaints that we took every complaint really, really seriously and we studied it and we had meetings about and we adjusted what we were creating as a product based on these complaints, based on people who hated us or who thought our product was terrible. We used that to create a great company.” Now, he has got 50 billion dollars in personal wealth both you and I could live on half of that.
DR. AZIZ: It would certainly last me at least 20 years. And what I love about that is that again what you are describing when we have an experience and it does not go the way we want it to and we label it as bad or even worse, I live with myself as bad then again it fixes it and it makes some permanent deficit rather. The way you are talking about it is that it brings it back into the realm of action. “What actions did I take? What actions could I take next time?”
STEVE CHANDLER: It is not about you. See, that is the thing. When I started labeling myself or making this be about me that is when I get in trouble. That is when my self-esteem goes down, that is when I take fewer actions, I take myself out of the game of life, and I became a concept freak and everything was conceptual.
DR. AZIZ: I like that term. A concept freak.
And so what I like is, what I hear you are saying as a reoccurring theme in our conversation is that there is something you want to do out there. Just come up with a series of actions that would get you there. Starting very small and then proceed to taking those actions. And it seems so simple and yet we have so many ways. In fact I want to get your thoughts on this.
I know that sometimes you will be working with someone and they will have a big vision of something want to do. I want to create this type of business but I do not have the capital for it and I do not where I would get it or I do not know where the clientele would come from and then they basically just stall out. Because it is like well maybe I will wait a few years and then I will be able to start.
And so, say someone has got a big vision. They want to create this certain kind of company or invent something but they need venture capital it is just this big far-off dream. How to bring that into the realm of action now?
STEVE CHANDLER: There is a solution to that. Go get the venture capital. Go get it. What do you need? What do you need to have this happen? What are you doing that is keeping this from happening?
“All I would need is venture capital.” “Great. Let us create an action plan for that. Let us go get some.”
You see, people, they have a negative imaginary future that is created out of all these disempowering thoughts about what is not possible. “I could do that. I would need that. I do not have enough money to do this. I do not have this.” “Go get the money.” “I do not know who to ask.” “Make a list of who to ask.”
See if somebody really, really wants to do something they are doing it. They are not coming to you and giving you this big vision that they cannot do. That is a person whose intention is to tell you a big vision of something they cannot do. So it is like infantile complaining about the universe. It is like, “Mommy I want to be a cowboy but I cannot because we live in New York.” It is like, “Maybe someday you can move to Arizona.”
When you bring someone a big vision and then you bring your complaints of how you cannot execute that vision because you do not have the things you need you are like a child. You want to be a child and you want that person to comfort you. You do not want that vision to be a reality.
DR. AZIZ: And then the interesting question is, I love that you said “What are you doing that is getting in the way of that?” and it really brings back in the realm of choice of being a cause in life rather than an effect. I have learned a lot from you about you teach really well is that distinction of being an owner in your life versus being a victim at the mercy of the world around you.
And when it comes to this idea of general social confidence, being able to interact with people with confidence take action in the world just briefly how someone could identify if they are being more of a victim stance and then how they can shift it to more of that owner being a cause in the world.
STEVE CHANDLER: Well, for me it took time. I worked with my coach and he would call me out when I started selling my self-victim stories and telling the world of my victim stories about how powerless I was, how I had lack of resources, how I did not know the right people, how I did not know how to do certain things. These are all victim stories and they designed to keep people out of the game in the stands or on the sidelines or on the injury cart going back to the locker room. And when you are ready to play you are just going to play. You are going to get out there in the field and play when you are ready to.
And so the first step in seeing that I can be playful and I can experiment and I can go on into the world and ask the world for what I want is to play with it, to dance with it and experiment with it and be willing to do that and also willing to get help to do that, be willing to talk to people who have done it and then figure out and then do what they did.
So it is moving into a more active role in my destiny instead of a passive role where I am fascinated with who my personality and who I am and what my limitations are.
DR. AZIZ: Yeah. And there is something in one of your books I was reading, I think it is reinventing yourself where you see someone doing something that you want to be able to do and in a really common thought and I used to do this all this time and I was really stuck in shyness was you see someone doing something being very confident and you think, “Oh man. Look at them. I am so different than that. I cannot do anything like that.”
And I love in your book you say, well when you notice that stuff just start saying to yourself, “I can do that. Yeah. I could do that.” And I love the idea of actually, when I learned this maybe the first mentor I had was sort of accidental. We ended up being in the same workplace environment with a lot of downtime and he was maybe 15 years older than I was and it was amazing how much you can learn from someone’s experience if they are open and willing to share and you are willing to ask for that guidance and receive it.
Ever since then I was hooked where I was like, “Wow. You can find someone who has like done what you want to do and talk to them and then you can do it.”
STEVE CHANDLER: Yes. Absolutely true. Yeah. And I used to do that too. I would see people, “I could never do that.” “Wow! Look at that. Isn’t that amazing? That is so unlike me.” That is not really what these people are here for. Those people are to show you what is possible. They are not to intimidate you and make you think you are from a different species than they are. They are here to show us what humans can do. These people we say, “Wow!” when we see. So I can do that or at least my version of it or move closer to that.
So I watch somebody sing on The Voice and they do this performance and I think that inspires me. I want to learn that song, I want to sing that way. Instead of, “Oh, wow! Look at the talent that guy has got. Oh my gosh! I cannot sing myself.” And that is how most people do it. They compare themselves, they shake their heads. That is why none of us are artists anymore because in class there were a few kinds who could really draw and the teacher, “Oh, look. Look at Julia. She is such a good artist,” and, “Oh, Steve. That is a good try. What is that, a dog?” “No. That is a table.” “Oh.”
And then I compare myself to Julia and say, “I am not a good artist. I cannot draw.” And somebody stands up and sings, “Oh. That is what good singing is. I guess I am not a singer.” And all the things I thought I was get eliminated by when I compare to other people.
Pretty soon I am nobody. I am a loser. I do not look like a movie star. I do not sing like a rock star. I do not play football like a pro football player. I am a loser. And that is the absolute opposite in the wrong way to interact with these people who do inspiring things.
DR. AZIZ: Yeah. It is so interesting you said that it gave me a flashback back to high school and one of my best friends, Chris, very athletic and he was an amazing artist he did a lot of pencil art with graphite and it was phenomenal. And I have had distinct memories of like sitting at home or in the shower just thinking about the people in my class and just going through the roster and comparing myself to each person.
Chris is better at drawing, Adams is better at this, this guy has got better clothes and I am not as good at anything as that person that is at drawing. And I was like, “Well, I am a loser. Okay. Time to get out of the shower and go seize the day.” But the thing is as you are talking I realized do you know how many hours a day at that age, whatever 15 or 16 years old Chris spent drawing. I mean he would draw throughout class and he was constantly drawing in his notes, he was drawing at home. I mean, he spent hours a day doing that and it is like that was invisible to me at that age.
And now that sort of myth has been dispelled the sort of talented overrated idea and there was a lot of more recent books that showed this that it is just a matter of putting in that time.
STEVE CHANDLER: Yup. It is.
DR. AZIZ: That is exciting.
So, one other question I am curious, we might have touched on it but I want to make sure there is not any missing components. Let us say someone is listening and they are just like, “I want to build *0:26:22 I do not want to just have a moment of euphoria when everything goes way but I want to create a deep sense of confidence o myself. I want to look at the world and say, ‘yes, I want to do those things. I am going to create what I want. I want to be an owner in my life’”
What lasting, any tip or suggestion that you have it could be something you have already shared in our conversation or something different, but what would be guidance for that person?
STEVE CHANDLER: Well, the guidance would be to allow yourself to be inspired and allow yourself to be back in the mindset when you were younger and you had great curiosity about life and life was exciting and you loved life and everything was possible. And coming from that approach, it is not that hard to get back there. Just allow yourself to relax and get back there and then do small experiments. And find a good teacher, find a good coach, find a good as if you really want to have amazing radical change in how you live life and how you see life. You will have someone help you.
It is just like if you want to learn to play tennis and be a great tennis player you are going to have coaches. If you want to have a great life you are going to have a coach. And maybe you can afford a coach like Aziz or me but maybe you can read a book, watch some YouTube of some of the great coaches. So that is another way to get coached. I coached myself through books for a long time until I could afford real coaches.
So that would be what I would tell people.
DR. AZIZ: That is phenomenal advice and I have been applying that similarly starting with sort of mentorship and a lot of reading and as I have been able to generate more income to then immediately reinvest that into the next level of coaching. Because I have seen just how rapidly it can accelerate progress and sort of compressing something that you can learn a decade of someone’s experience over a handful of conversations with them and then apply that and it is pretty remarkable and I feel have just only scratched the surface of what you can offer.
But thank you so much for sharing your insights and what you have learned from your own experience, from your own failures.
Oh! There is one last question I want to ask you if you have a moment. I have been so curious about this and I want to see if I can relate it to this topic which is, I know it mentions in a section in your website that you studied language and you were in the military and you studies psychological warfare for a number of years. I am going to see if I can try to relate this to confidence but what is one interesting, I think the whole area is so fascinating but, what is one interesting thing you learned about people or about confidence that has helped inform you in your life from some of those studies.
STEVE CHANDLER: You know, in psychological warfare the main lesson I learned there is that the way we think and the language we use to think with and to communicate with has a profound effect on our whole biological system. And it is the same thing that has been discovered in medicine and pharmaceuticals with placebo effect that the doctor tells you, “I am going to give you a pill and it has a chance of really helping you with your breathing problems,” and this is just a placebo.
The very fact that the doctor used those words can affect your whole biological system and it has been proven over and over. For example, if I have a problem and I convert it and I start to refer to it as a project instead of a problem and I look at this it is the payment project I have got going on. It takes on a different nature. It takes on a different context with me and so it is easier to jump into it.
When I send somebody an action plan for being trained or coached it is easier for me to send it and easier for them to get into it and want to do it than if I send them a proposal because a proposal suggests that I am trying to get paid money by them. I am proposing this and if you fall for it or agree with it you will send me money.
If I send you an action plan this is my action plan for you and your life and your people they read it in a different way and all I have done is change the word. So that is the primary thing I learned in psychological warfare is that you can send words and messages to people that change how they saw things, change their whole belief system around things and that was the lesson I learned there.
So it became of mine in my earlier books was keep upgrading the language you use when you talk to yourself and others about what is going on and it will change the nature of what is going on.
DR. AZIZ: Absolutely. From something as simple, from problem to project or problem to challenge and it is amazing how that orients our whole attitude towards it, our body towards it. And even like subtle thinks like someone says I have social anxiety I will explore it and help them see that. In that moment you were doing social anxiety. And in just that subtle shift in a word all of a sudden doors start to open up left and right.
STEVE CHANDLER: Yeah. And that particular person I want to say that, “All human beings have social anxiety so what is your problem.” “Well mine is severe.” “Oh, okay. Then let us see if I can help you.”
DR. AZIZ: Mine is more severe than anyone else’s and therefore I am significant. But that is a whole other interesting…
STEVE CHANDLER: Social anxiety comes with trying to socialize and fit in. Of course that is social anxiety.
So let us not label it as some profound disorder. Let us work with it. Let us relax it. Let us stop demonizing it and making it a profound disorder. Let us see it as an opportunity to relate to people in a more relax way.
DR. AZIZ: Absolutely. I love that. That phrasing. Because that is what it is really all about. It is about being able to relate to people in a more relaxed way in a more open way just being more comfortable in who you are and sharing that.
STEVE CHANDLER: And remove the threat from the situation. It is all in my mind.
DR. AZIZ: Absolutely. There are so many more different angles we can go down but I am going to wrap up given our time for today.
Thank you so much for joining us for the interview and if people want to, I know you have a lot of ways that people can learn from you, what would be the best place for someone to start if they want to learn about your books or listen to some of your audios, or learn about some of your trainings in speaking. Where could they do that?
STEVE CHANDLER: Well, we have got lots of free audios, e-books, and things. I recommend they not spend any money on me but go to the website and tell me you listened to the show with Aziz and we will send you access to audios and e-books that would not cost you anything.
DR. AZIZ: How fantastic. And what we will do is I will have a link to your website below the post of this podcast so people can just click that and reach out to you.
And thank you so much again for coming on, Steve.
STEVE CHANDLER: You are quite welcome, Aziz, and thank you for the work you do in the world.
DR. AZIZ: I appreciate that.
STEVE CHANDLER: Bye, bye.
DR. AZIZ: That brings us to all the time that we have together. We need to wrap up.
But before we go you cannot go anywhere without taking all these conceptual stuff and doing what with it? That is right. Turning it into action because that is where the transformation occurs. You do not want to be as Steve said, a concept freak, where you just listen to it and say, “Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. Those are good ideas.”
No. We want to turn those ideas into action because that is what is going to change your life, how you feel about yourself, what you are capable of, your confidence, the results you get, your finances, your career, your relationships, everything only changes when we take that action.
So that brings us to your action step.
Today’s action step is to go one inch outside your comfort zone. One inch. So do not look at the big thing. I have to make 50 cold calls today or I have to storm into my office in a different way, or talk to 50 people, or I have to walk up to that person that I am really attracted to and just make magic happen.
No. That is too much. That is too scary. We get overwhelmed, we get discouraged, we stop. Apply what Steve is sharing and just go one small inch. What would that be for you? Just think about that it is 1 inch outside your comfort zone. A little thing. What would be 5% more confident for you today? Just 5%.
Would you greet maybe a few people in your office as you walk in? Nothing big, just a quick, “Hi.” Would you make eye contact with more people when you walk down the street? Would you have that conversation with someone that you have been avoiding a conversation with?
Again, if it is 100% outside your comfort zone, if it is too much do not it. Hold off on that. Just find that 1 inch. You know what it is as I am talking. I am pretty sure you do and if you do not keep thinking or keep digging you would not find it. Do not let your mind say, “Well, I do not know. Nothing. I cannot think of anything so I guess I will not do it.” That is not going to help you change your life.
If you really want to take these concepts, the words that you are hearing right now and convert it transmute it into powerful life-changing experience that is going to bring you more of what you want in your life. More joy, more confidence, more fulfillment, more income, more love. Whatever you want. That is only going to come from getting outside your comfort zone and start by going just 1 inch.
So, I will look forward to hearing how it goes. Please share. Go to facebook.com/shrinkfortheshyguy. Share your experiences. I would love to hear about those. And until we speak again.
May you have the courage to be who you are and to know that you are awesome.
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