Pull No Punches

Can you name your biggest fears? Personally, the biggest fear I ever dealt with was the fear of conflict. I personally loathed it with all my might. I liked to side step, avoid, and rearrange everything in my power to avoid getting into conflict. And if you think about it, why would any rational human being thrive in conflict right? That’s always asking for trouble. But I learned when I was 12 years old, maybe that’s not entirely the truth.

There comes a point in your life when you realize, the things you truly desire. The things you crave, yearn, and thirst for. These things, cannot be sidestepped, dabbled, or avoided. No, some things come from you moving into the conflict. Moving into the spotlight, where the crowds stare you down, and critique your every motion. And when it’s your time, you have to be ready to perform.

Can you think of a time when you pull your punches? Hesitated? Didn’t really say or do exactly what you felt was needed out of fear or judgment?

I can. And I am sure you can as well. I have yet to meet a person who doesn’t think of the time that they held back, or really didn’t say exactly what they wanted to say. It’s human nature. For me, the times I remember most fondly was school football.

Now, I know you're thinking, why some childhood sport? Well it’s not very often in life that being hesitant to act causes you to get physically pushed to the ground. Over, and over, and over again until you learn your lesson. Some say it’s a subset model of life. That once you start flinching or hesitating on your decisions in life, be prepared for painful results.

I wanted to be the very best football player I could possibly be! I wanted to be able to hold my ground, dominate my opponents, really show my coaches that I am good enough to wear the uniform! But. I didn’t like conflict. I didn’t feel comfortable trying hard, and thinking maybe i’m not strong enough. My form isn’t good enough.

Every single time I held back, second guessed, questioned myself. Down I go. It was honestly like I wanted to look at the sky longer than play football.

However, after time after time. Year after year. Until eventually, I just decided, no more. I can’t keep letting this happen. I can’t keep trying my hardest, only to come up short again and again… I realized, if I am going to commit to this sport, if I am actually going to play, I have to realize that I need to learn to learn conflict. I need to learn to stop holding back out of fear.

I took flight after that. I learned to invest fully, and not hold back. Did I still get my arse handed to me? Absolutely. Did the older kids still laugh when I feel down? Absolutely. But I learned to go all in, trust myself, and really allow true growth. And slowly, over time. I would win 1 on 1 battles. Turn teammates heads. I would slowly move up the chain. That progress I truly yearned for came in bunches.

Life’s funny like that. Once you learn to stare down your biggest challenge, you realize it was never as big as you thought it was. But the more you dodge and avoid it. The bigger and faster it chases you.

I write this for the entrepreneurs, the corporate leaders, sales executives who just can’t… pull that trigger. Just can’t seem to make that final decision without weighing the options 50 times over. It’s alright, it’s human nature.

But.

It’s your responsibility. No. It’s it your duty to step up. To realize the greatest gifts, talents, and luxuries come from investing FULLY into the work. Creating that article that you truly have been holding off on posting, in fear of judgment. Not presenting that new project you feel will take your department to the next level. Not telling the absolute truth to your loved ones, leaving those intimacy walls locked down.

Those little steps you seem to dance around, the conversations you hold back, those little projects you push off… all these “little” things you hold back, are the things that will bring you to that next tier of lifestyle and fulfillment.

Everyone who starts something, 9/10 times will suck at it. Accept it. You will not be perfect. You will not come of as an expert right of the back. But the world doesn’t need more “experts”. The world needs you, and your talents. Right now as is.

They may laugh. They may judge. They may mock. But they can never take away your experiences. Your growth. Your achievements. What is yours can never be truly taken away. So I encourage you.

Don’t Dabble. Don’t Fret. Just Go All In. And Pull no Punches.