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Fears. We all have them and most of us aren’t sure how to deal with them. “Healthy” fears irrational fears, and fear of addiction all have one thing in common.

Today we’ll discuss what fear is, how it could be hurting you and your relationships, and the root cause of fear that you can address to overcome your addictions and find freedom.

Here Are The Show Highlights:

  • The simple truth that this ancient Japanese swordsman can teach us about fear (:43)
  • How avoiding your addiction is keeping you from freedom (7:58)
  • How you are crippling your children and don’t even realize it (10:35)
  • What is really controlling your life? (11:50)
  • How you are relinquishing your power to your fears (12:31)
  • Why “healthy” fears are killing you (13:50)
  • The root cause of all fears and how to conquer it (16:25)

If you or somebody you know is looking to drop the ‘F’ Bomb of freedom in your life and break free from addiction, depression, anxiety or anything that’s making you feel flat-out stuck, head over to www.liberateaman.com and book a call where we can look at your unique situation and give you the roadmap you’ve been missing.

Read Full Transcript

It's time to rip the cover off what really works to ditch addiction, depression, anger, anxiety, and all other kinds of human suffering. No, not sobriety. We're talking the F-word here: Freedom. We'll share, straight from the trenches, what we have learned from leaving our own addictions behind, and coaching hundreds of others to do the same—and since it's such a heavy topic, we might as well have a good time while we're at it.

Bob: Welcome back, guys. It's time to make you fearless today. We're going to talk about fear. This is awesome.
There's an old story—and I love these old stories, and so I tell them a lot. Hopefully, you're enjoying them—the Swordmaster of the Shōgun. His name was Tajima-no-kami. He was a very well-renowned samurai swordsman in feudal Japan. There are a lot of stories that I've heard and read about him. Tajima-no-kami. He was a swordmaster of the Shōgun. People sought him out for specific training. [0:01:04]

At one point in time, there was a soldier who felt he lacked an ability with the sword. He really wanted to learn, so he approached Tajima-no-kami. He came to him and he said, “Look, I've really wanted to learn the sword. I don't know anything about the sword. I'm not a master of combat at all, and I would really like you to teach me.”

Tajima-no-kami had developed over the years this incredible ability to perceive what was going on inside another person, to take minute cues and details from their posture, how they talked, how they held themselves, the energy that they carried themselves with, and to really read into their personality and what they were capable of.

He looks this man over and he says, “Okay, I'm willing to teach you. But, first, you have to admit to me what you're a master of. You're obviously a master of something. What is it that you are master of?”

The soldiers is taken aback. He's like, I-I-I don't know what you're talking about. I'm not a master of anything. I don't know how to wield the sword. I don't really know the best way to hold a sword. I guess, I can guess, but I haven't trained in combat at all. I'm not a master of anything. [0:02:03]

Tajima-no-kami looks at him. He says, “No, I've trained myself for years to really pick out people who have exceptional skill, because it's an important ability when you're dealing with swordsmen to know who has the skill and what you need to be aware of. And I can tell that you carry yourself like someone who is a master.”

The man is like, Oh, no, no. Seriously, I have no idea why you're picking that up. I'm not a master of anything. I just perform my simple duties and I go about my day, but I'm no better than the people around me with any of this stuff.

Tajima-no-kami looks him over one more time and he says, “Look, don't lie to me. Don't pretend that you're something that you're not. Don't try and make light of what we're doing. I'm not going to teach you anything if you can't just level with me and tell me the truth about what it is that you've mastered. I'm willing to teach you, but if you're not going to be willing to tell me the truth, then that teaching isn't going to go very far, and I'm going to refuse to teach you.”

At that point in time, the man is absolutely frustrated and at the same time worried. He's like, Oh, no, I must have said something wrong. I'm losing my chance to train with this amazing swordsman and I don't even know what to say that's right. [0:03:12]

He’s just humbly groveling, going, “Look, honestly, seriously, I can't think of anything. I mean, if I think about it, the only thing that I can think of is that, some years ago, I realized that I was afraid of death and I realized that that wasn't helping me in my life. And so, I spent some time just coming to terms with the fact that death is what it is, and now I'm no longer afraid of it.”
Tajima-no-kami smiles and he looks at him, and he says, “I thought so. I knew you were a master of something, and also because of that and because you've mastered this fear of death, I have nothing to teach you.”

You see, when it comes to combat in life, we often get focused in on tactics. We get focused in on methods, strategies and procedures. This is the same if you're an entrepreneur or businessman. [0:04:05]

All the coaches out there, all the people that are telling you how to run a business are going to talk to you about strategies, tactics and procedures. While they are useful and important, the problem is that those strategies and tactics, they emerged from a certain quality. It wasn't that the quality was built or emerged from the tactics, and a lot of people try and go from the outside in when the important way is to go from the inside out.

Yes, listen to them, but in business they talk about strategies and tactics. In combat, almost every martial art on the planet is heavily focused, especially for beginners, on techniques. This is what you do if someone attacks you this way. This is what you do if someone attacks you this way. You step to the side, block, parry, strike to the ribs, and then from there you break the arm and twist to the left, and then take a sweep, take down and pin to the ground with the shoulder, with the knee and the left shoulder. Right? You're working on it. If they come at you with a knife underneath, you're going to cross-arm block. Then you're going to slide one hand up to chop the neck. The other hand to control the wrist. You're going to head-butt them into the knee, and then you're going to use their own hand to stab him in the side of the back with their own knife, so that there are no fingerprints on it. You're going to knee them here. You're going to knee them. [0:05:08]

All of this is tactics and techniques, and the problem with that is now you spend a ton of time. It's still good. You get fit. You train some body and muscle memory, but you spend a ton of time memorizing things and training your mind to always have to sort through tactics and techniques. But that’s not where masterful combat comes out of.

Masterful combat comes out of a mastery of your own psyche, and your capacity to perceive opportunity and instinctive reactions, and guide those. It's a totally flip-sided, opposite way of approaching things that all of those techniques came out of, so much to the point that one of the teachers I trained with, Vladimir Vasiliev, at one point in time, Black Belt magazine had him come in for a demonstration, because obviously he was doing something amazing.

The guy was a Russian operative for 10 years. He's the type of guy that they'd send in to go do some work, and when he left the country, the entire political infrastructure would collapse. They'd send him to Germany to collect the German spies and bring the German spies back to Russia, so that they could interrogate them. His way of perceiving, acting and behaving around the world is absolutely incredible. His teacher is stunning beyond belief, even more than that in some ways. It's absolutely mind-boggling to see them in action. [0:06:24]

They brought him in and they're having him show simple escapes from holds. What do you do when someone grabs you in a choke from behind? What do you do here? What do you do there? And every time he was doing something different and every time he would do some amazing, unexpected thing, and the guy would crumble and whatnot, the film crew would be like, Wait, wait, can you do that again?

And Vladimir looked at them and he was like, No, I can't. No, I can't. That's probably doesn't sound like his voice, but whatever. It's my podcast. I can pretend to be Russian.
And they're like, What? Why can't you will?

Well, because he might be in a different place. The details of it. He might be breathing differently. His weight might be slightly shifted onto a different foot. His arms might be held in a slightly different way. The tension in his body might be distributed differently. There might be other people around. [0:07:10]

Every new experience is its own unique thing—it's never happened before in reality. It’s never happened since—and memorizing a technique for one event assumes that every time that someone attacks you that way, it will always show up the exact same way, when it never does. There are always minor variations and different things that happen that allow you massive opportunities.

The skill and mastery of combat doesn't come from technique. It comes from awareness of yourself, awareness of the opponent, awareness of skills and abilities and tension patterns, awareness of what needs to happen, awareness of danger and a fearlessness, a mastery of your own emotional state, so that you can function at an optimal level with all that information.
What about addiction? Oh, man, a lot of the focus on getting rid of addiction is on these tactics. [0:08:02]

Let me put a filter on my thing. Let me have an accountability thing. Let me get an accountability buddy that I check in with all the time. Let me put a curfew on certain things. Let me have a flip-phone, so that I can’t encounter those things. Let me drive a different way to work, so I don't have to drive by that particular establishment over there. Let me have check-in conversations with my wife. Let me do …

It's a lot of tactics that are trying to control the situation—and those tactics work for people. They help people. You can put a person in a straitjacket and prevent them from doing a lot of stuff—but is that an optimal, fully-lived life? No, that's not freedom. You're not fully alive. You're not fully free. And everything that I'm about is alive and free, right?

I'm not downplaying the fact that you can control a behavior that way, but the focus is so much on the tactics, just like that young soldier looking at Tajima-no-kami, wanting to learn the tactics—how do I hold the sword? How do I do this? How do I do that?—when Tajima-no-kami declared him a master because he had mastered his fear of death. [0:09:05]

Think about it. If you enter a sword fight and you're not afraid of dying, but you see it for what it is, all of a sudden, you're capable of functioning in a very different way of taking appropriate action.

When we're dealing with pornography addiction, particularly, there is a ton of fear around it. In the church that I grew up in, people will talk about it like, Man, when you look at porn, it's a plague on mankind. You're going to ruin the rest of your life. And I get that some of you might not think that way. Some of you might go with the principle here. Okay, go with the principal. It's a plague on mankind. You're going to ruin your life and whatnot.

The first time I looked at porn, when I recognized that what I was looking at was porn, because I didn't even understand that at the time, but when I finally recognize it, my whole innards went kerplop. They just went, Oh, no, I've ruined my life. I've done this one thing that they told me would ruin my life, which means my life is ruined. [0:10:02]

In the church I grew up in, that meant denying the Holy Ghost, which was the number one thing you could do. Second to that was murder and below that was any kind of sexual impurity kind of sin. So, I literally felt like I had just come that close to committing murder. Oh dear. I looked at porn and, therefore, I've murdered somebody, almost. It’s like I stabbed them, but they didn't die. That's how I felt about it, which brought all kinds of guilt, shame, embarrassment and fear inside my life.
And we don't need to bag on religious teachings. You don't need to have a religion to make somebody afraid, ashamed, guilty or embarrassed, so don't bag on religions for causing this.

Parents and teachers of all kinds caused this because we want the best for people, and we think that our way of approaching it is great, but we never actually assessed the way that the person we're teaching is internalizing it. That's where the real issue is, because that's not the intent. The intent of a teaching around morality isn't to make people feel ashamed. It's to give them the possibility of experiencing life on a greater and greater level. [0:11:06]

And so, that's not the intent of it, but unless you're aware of how the other person's internalizing it, that's how it can show up. That's how it can act on them.

So, I had all this fear around it, and the people I talked to, they were afraid. If pornography shows up on my screen, oh my gosh. If my husband looked at pornography, that means we can't be a happy family anymore, or we won't be able to live together into the eternities, or it means we'll never be able to have a deep, intimate relationship. It means the kids are going to grow up and they're going to turn into porn addicts and sex addicts. And it means the dad might be a pedophile. There's a lot of fear around it. Oh, it's rewiring your brain and it's doing all this stuff, and now it's a sin and there’s the religious stuff on the side of it. There's a lot of fear around it.

The problem with fear is that if you're afraid of something, it owns you. You don't own it. It doesn't matter if you're capable of killing it every time it shows up. If you are afraid of it, it owns you. [0:12:01]

If you or someone you know is looking to drop the F-bomb of “Freedom” in your life, whether that's from addiction or depression and anxiety, or just anything that's making you feel flat-out stuck, but you have no clue how to shake it and just want help doing it, head on over to LiberateAMan.com and book a call, where we can look at your unique situation and give you the roadmap you've been missing.

People told me, and I think I've told this story about one of my teachers with a knife, but they were like, Okay, go get a flip-phone and whatnot. We're afraid of it, so we need to control our environment.
Nothing wrong with creating a powerful environment. Creation is important. We talked about that in the last episode. Nothing wrong with that.

But what is important is if you're doing it out of fear, the effect is going to be very different. If you're doing it out of judgment and fear, the effect is going to be very different. If you're doing it out of creation, totally different experience in life. But if you're afraid of something and you don't know how to deal with it, if it shows up, then it doesn't matter, it owns you. Might as well learn how to deal with it, so that you can see it for what it is, so that you're no longer afraid of it. [0:13:12]

Even in Christian circles, in religious circles, they'll say God isn't a God of fear, and if you're meant to be Godlike, that means you need to overcome your fear of things. You're not there to sit there and be afraid of pornography, because if you're afraid of it, then when it shows up, fear enters your body. The chemistry of fear floods through your system. Your heart races and whatnot. Your body goes into a survival mechanism, which shuts down higher-level thinking and better decision-making, and makes it so that you do not function at your highest level. You function only for optimally for survival, meaning get out of this scrape here now, and that's it. But that is not you operating at your highest level.

If you think being afraid of something, I have a healthy fear of something, if you think fear is healthy, then you don't understand how fear actually functions inside of the body and you don't understand what it's doing to you. [0:14:01]

The best thing to do is to go in, and I'm not talking about like mortal danger fear, like someone pulls a knife and your body senses it. That fear can be empowering because it's information that you can do something with.

I'm talking about the fear that comes after that where your mind is like, Oh crap, he's going to die. I'm going to die. That's all made up. That's not inherent in the situation and that's causing you struggle. You'll freeze. You'll get stabbed and all kinds of stuff.

Only here, the proverbial knife is not a real knife. It's pornography. When that gets pulled out into your circumstances and you go, Oh, no, now I'm a sinner. Now my wife's going to find out and now all of them know this stuff. That is not going to help you function at your highest level, and most people, when they have an urge or a desire, it shows up and they're like, Oh, no, it's here and now it's inevitable. It's going to happen.

That's all created by them in their mind. They're owned by their own fear, and eventually it happens and the behavior owns them, their urge to whatever it is, whether it's just to eat and binge eat, whether it's porn, whether it's drugs and alcohol, whether it's yelling at the kids, whatever it is. That fear of it is the very thing that's making it show up in your life. [0:15:10]
So, what do we do? You do what the soldier did. You have to master your fear of the thing.

Bob, come on, how do I master my fear of pornography? I've seen what it does to marriages. I've seen what it does to relationships. I've seen what it does to parents. I've seen the sex trafficking and the human-trafficking trade. I've seen the devastation that's come. I've seen the Fight the New Drug website. I've seen all of the mental, cerebral and neurological rewiring that happens that makes a kid or a person revert to more childish sort of behaviors. I've seen all this stuff. Why shouldn't I be afraid of it? How do I get rid of a fear of that?
Good question.

What is fear?

What is fear? Fear is an experience that you're creating by the way you piece together the material. We talked about this in the memory episode. Let's see. It's an experience you're creating. [0:16:04]

So, to master the fear is to simply not create the experience the same way. You can have all the same data, but you don't put it together in a way that says, This is more powerful than me.

You see, when you're afraid of something, it's often because you're afraid that it's more powerful than you and it will rob you ultimately of life or thriving. This all comes down to survival, right? Life. You boil it all down, fear as a result of you believing you're going to die in one way, shape or form. Your ego is going to die. Your good name is going to die. You’ll lose all your money and that's death. You'll lose your life and that's death.

Fear comes down in minor and major ways down to some part of you or some part of your life might suffer death. If you look at pornography and have the belief that, if that shows up on your computer screen, or you drive by a billboard or something and that has the power of life and death over you, then you will create fear inside of yourself and you will cease to function around it very optimally. [0:17:02]

You'll have to justify your behavior. You'll do a lot of other things to try and make up for it, all kinds of stuff. What you need to do instead is to look closely at whether or not that has the power of life and death over you.

Pornography, for most people, is literally flicking lights on a screen made of glass, metal and some other stuff. It’s literally light. That's all it is. All the rest of that is a fantasy created in your head. It's literally light. Does light from an LED screen or light from a computer screen have the power of life or death over you? Does it? Look at it clearly.

If it's a magazine page, does a piece of paper with ink on it actually have the power of life or death over you? Can it ruin your life? Do thoughts in your head have the power to ruin your life? Only if you actually treat them that way. All of the places that you might find and experience pornography in the world or whatever else it is that you're afraid of, does it actually have the power of life or death? [0:18:04]

Now, if we're talking about self-defense situations, that's a whole different topic. Maybe you should just come and train with me, and we can talk about all the different nuances in there. But we're talking about pornography. To overcome the fear of it, you have to see it for what it is.

Yes, if you entertain it in a certain way in your mind, it will create other possibilities and neuro-rewirings, and it'll make you start to behave around people in a certain way and start to crave certain things, and have emotional responses and whatnot. It'll do that, for sure, meaning you will do that with it, but you are the one that is creating that possibility out of pornography. Pornography itself isn't doing that.

You are the one that's creating the pleasure out of it. You're the one that's creating the pain out of it. You're the one who’s creating the guilt out of it. You're the one that's creating the shame out of it.

Understanding that simple thing allows you to put the power back where it really lives, which is inside of you. You're the one with the power of life and death over your own experience, to a certain extent. It's not pornography that's doing that to you. It's you doing it, using pornography as a means of doing that to yourself. [0:19:06]

When you start to see that and you see all the benefits that you're using it to bring to yourself, and all the detriments that you're using pornography to bring into your life, and you see it from both sides, the good and the evil, but that you're the one that's making all of that out of it, that you're the creator, you can celebrate how masterful you are at your creation. Wow, I'm amazing at suffering. I'm amazing at messing up. I'm good.

You can celebrate that, but you can also, also celebrate the fact that you have the capacity that you ask, Am I still interested in creating this or would I like to create something new and different? And this is where choice shows up, and now it's no longer about a choice out of fear. It's a choice out of creation and that is always the best place to live from.

And that's it for today's “Alive and Free Podcast.” If you enjoyed this show and want some more freedom bombs landing in your ear buds, subscribe right now at wherever you get your podcasts from. And, while you're at it, give us a rating and a review. It'll help us keep delivering great stuff to you. Plus, it's just nice to be nice.

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