More than a wildly successful tagline and advertising campaign for Nike, this popular slogan holds the key to unlocking us from the fear that keeps us in chains. The beauty of this sage advice can be found both in the simplicity of the message and its potency if heeded. So often in my own life I have let fear and uncertainty keep me from getting in the game of life. I relegated myself to the sidelines out of fear of failure and effectively missed out on opportunities for growth and expansion in an effort to play it safe.
What I eventually came to realize is that fear and confidence weren’t opposing traits – where some lucky candidates got blessed or born with one over the other. They were traits that existed simultaneously and were essentially connected. The mistake I made for years was waiting for the fear to be gone before I acted. Confidence is cultivated by taking action in the midst of fear. I recently saw a great example of this while watching an episode of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.
In this particular episode, Jerry Seinfeld spoke with Eddie Murphy about their early days as new comedians on the scene. Each complimented the other on their confidence and fearlessness while on stage, only to then have each one admit they felt anything other than that at the time. In fact, they talked about how the fear of knowing you might bomb up there is actually still present and is a vital part of the whole process. They said that fear and failure are essential ingredients for success.
It is a story heard time and again from successful people in all genres. They felt the fear and did it anyway. They failed, were told no, faced insurmountable setbacks and pushed forward anyway. It seems Nike knew what they were doing all those years ago in 1988 when they crafted this slogan. So, take this advice to heart…Just Do It – go on ahead and push forward in the face of fear, you’ll be so glad you did.