When I was a kid, the logo to have on your clothing was “No Fear” or “Fear Nothing.”

You hear people in an attempt to salvage their fragile egos say they are afraid of nothing. But I have never understood why being afraid of something is a bad thing. I have encountered great people who are honest about their deep-seated fears. Oftentimes we grow up with these fears, and the more we learn about the things we fear, the further away from these things we get until we seldom think about them. If we took a moment to do some pondering, most of us could analyze how our fears have sculpted some of our valuable traits.

The kid who feared being beaten up in school found a barbell. In the barbell, he found physical size and confidence. As his confidence and size grew, so did the fear that led him to be who he was.

The firefighter who feared not being able to help people when called upon found a barbell. As his ability to help another grew, the further away that fear became.

The felon who feared going back to prison found a barbell. The felon became consumed with it, and the fear of prison was left in the distance.

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The middle-aged, obese 9-5 disc jockey who feared not seeing his grandkids but found a barbell will likely see his grandchildren.

The child reared in poverty grew to fear a lifetime of poverty but found a path that led him as far from poverty as a person could become.

The child reared by a drunk learned to fear drunks and therefore does not drink, will never fear drunkenness.

Personally, I believe that a barbell is the best teacher you can have and that fear can be the most valuable motivator. If a person puts his or her fragile ego aside and is honest about his or her fears, this self-honesty has the power to eliminate these fears and to propel the individual to new heights.

“Don’t be afraid to fail.” I fucking hate that phrase. It is used in every setting from sports to business and relationships. The truth is, you should be afraid to fail. Of course, that shouldn’t keep you from trying. This is what people really mean when they say the above phrase. Nonetheless, YOU SHOULD BE AFRAID TO FAIL. You should fear failing to the point that you put in all of the necessary studying, research, time, and effort to accomplish your goals. You should fear it to the point that you do EVERYTHING POSSIBLE to be successful so that when the time comes, you know you have a 99% chance of getting it done. Sure, if you fail after that, it simply means you missed something, and because you are afraid to fail, you will know that you will not miss that something again.

Seth Collins lives in Prescott, AZ, where he works as a firefighter and is currently going through paramedic school. He got into strength and conditioning when he first entertained the thought of going into the fire service, and it has become a powerlifting hobby for him.

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