When it comes to “fear”, I’ve been having a hard time really identifying what I’m afraid of. This isn’t to sound macho or brave, but I know what the feeling of fear is, my tolerance of fear has just increased enormously. Death can be a scary thing, but it doesn’t frighten me at all. Unfortunately – I’ve been around it since I was younger, I’ve dealt with it in my adulthood, and I understand that mortality is a part of life. Failure used to be a big one I was afraid of, but I’ve failed so many times that it doesn’t even feel like a failing anymore, just a new way to learn something. Loneliness was a past fear, but going through deep depression and on a complete journey of soul searching and self development had brought me to a place of peace. I’m one of the few people that enjoy peace and quiet alone in a room. I’m the weirdo that would rather eat lunch out by myself rather than the company of others just for the sake of having company. There are some extremes that I can go to as far as things I really wouldn’t want to happen in life, but that would bring my mindset to a very dark and negative space, so why would I even go there?
There are things that I have been avoiding though. It may be fear, my confidence, or maybe both. Networking. One of my affirmations that I say every morning and read every evening is that I surround myself with my idols and peers that I share positive advice with and receive mentorship from. I do have a few mentors that I work with now, but only one of them I was really nervous to ask to be my mentor. When I talk about networking, I don’t mean just meeting new people and saying what I do hoping for future business. I mean meeting my idols and developing a relationship with them. If I saw Kobe Bryant at the gym, I would definitely freeze up and be nervous about how to approach him and spark a conversation. If I was in an elevator with Gary Vee, I would be intimidated by his fast speaking and over the top energy. If I met Elon Musk, I would be nervous to ask for a picture for the gram.
If it’s truly a fear that is blocking my blessings, here’s how I would get over it:
There is definitely a feeling of unease when meeting a celebrity or idol. Some people just demand that presence and have mastered it as an art. If Will Smith had walked into the room, I’m sure everyone’s jaws would drop. Knowing that it does cause a sense of awkwardness, I will be proactive in human interaction. I will treat every single person that I meet as a normal human being that has the same 24 hours a day as me and everyone else. From the janitor, to the child, to the elderly, to the famous – everyone will get the same level of respect from me. Doing this will tone down the level of anxiety when I actually do meet my idols, because I will better understand that we are all created equal and no one is better than anyone else. One day, someone will want to meet me, and will find out I’m as flawed as the rest of them.
I will live my elevator pitch. I know exactly who I am and the intentions that I have in this world. If someone can’t relate to who I really am and my authentic self, then I shouldn’t even be around these types of people. With one of my affirmations focused on surroundings, this also means subtracting negativity or low empathetic crowds. By continuing to be the best, true version of my self on a daily basis, I’ll be able to relate to my idols as I’ve taken a little piece of each of their playbooks.
Practice makes perfect. If I bumped into Kendrick Lamar tomorrow, I can’t lie, I would feel some type of way. But I also know that I wouldn’t treat him with a different amount of respect then I would a no-namer. I’m going to put myself out there and meet the right people. Some will get what I’m about, some won’t. As long as I can continue to practice understanding and learn more about people in general, I will know how to engage in a meaningful conversation with a superstar.
When I meet Jay-Z, I will tell him how he inspired me through his music but much more through his actions. How he created his own label and pioneered ownership and business and rap culture motivates me to this day. When I meet Kobe Bryant, again, I’ll confidently tell him how much of a joy it was to watch his 20 years of artistry and how I see the elements of his game and how they translate into his new ventures in media. When I meet Elon Musk, I will thank him for his innovation. Most people think he’s cool because he has a lot of businesses, but I truly understand his goals to change the world. PayPal changed financial transactions, Tesla changed the electric automotive industry, and SpaceX changed even NASA’s view of outer space. I will tell Gary Vee how much I’ve learned about emotional intelligence and empathy through his media channels. When I meet Will Smith, I’ll let him know how his story of near bankruptcy forcing him to start in “The Fresh Prince”, inspired me to never give up. I’ll tell Kendrick how much his music got me through very dark places in my life and how we really hear and feel what he’s saying about the streets.
And when they meet me, they’ll never know I ever had a “fear” of meeting them in the first place.