How To Become A World Beard Champion

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AKA, How To Show Your Fear Who’s The REAL Boss and Live Your Dream

How many times have you sat in your cubicle, staring into space, dreaming about that life you should have had? We’ve all done it, stuck in a job we hated but we needed to pay the bills. Some move on, but  even more, tragically, get trapped in their cubicle. They’re simply too scared to make a change.

After all, it’s been drilled into you and others, time and time again: the economy is bad, you’re lucky to have a job at all, face it, your dream isn’t realistic, and that’s why it’s a dream… don’t be a fool, just thank your lucky stars for what you’ve got and keep at it…

If you hear that enough times, it’s only so long before you accept it. Tragically, your dream has been lost – and for what?

– Fear of failure (“I’m not good enough; this is just a stupid dream”)
– Fear of losing respect from your peers (“Hey, did you hear what Don did? WHAT A NUTCASE!”)
– You’ll lose everything  (“I have my mortgage, my car payments… if I can’t keep those up then…”)

There are a million reasons you can beat yourself up and prevent yourself from taking a leap of faith into following your dream. But have you ever tried looking at it from the other side? You could succeed, just as much as you could fail – but by not trying, you’ll never know, and you’ll be robbing the rest of the world of your talent.

Take a look around you, at your friends, family and community. Chances are, you’ll know a few people who took that chance and too that leap, and made it. “Sure, but he got lucky, and anyway, he’s super-talented at sales…” you might be thinking.

It doesn’t matter if it’s sales, writing, design, embroidery, carpentry – whatever it is, it’s your dream. If people like Jack Passion can make a living as a beardsman (a man who enters beard and moustache competitions), then your dream is also ripe for success.

Try these 3 little tricks to help you bypass the big old Fear Monster that’s rattling around your head – he’s not welcome here – tell him to go back to “touching fire to see what happens” or as I call it: FEAR 101.

DECLARE IT: if someone asks you what your dream is – tell them! You will be surprised at how positive the response will be in many cases – don’t listen to the voice of fear inside you – listen to the voices of positive support and confirmation outside.

BELIEVE IT: many times, those closest to us are more cogizant of our best traits and our worst than we are. From the outside looking in, it’s easier to judge a person by their whole. When you look at yourself, it’s difficult to separate all of these, and sometimes your best gifts can be buried under modesty. How many times have people told you that you’re a wonderful artist before you quickly dismissed it with a modest comment?  If you really want your dream, have the humility and the grace to believe in yourself.

DO IT: You know the old saying “if hopes and wishes were loaves and fishes, then we would never go hungry again”? A saying that essentially tells you to forget about it – you want to eat, right? WRONG. There is absolutely no reason that you can’t follow your dream and keep your job in the beginning. Balance it out; test the waters. It’s not sink or swim; it’s more about making slow and steady steps towards an attainable goal, and constantly building up on it. One day, you’ll discover that you’ve made it. It’s actually come to a point where you CAN quit your job and focus on your dream. Fear won’t even get a look in – it’s all there in your accounts.

In order to live the life that you dream of, you must start to take steps that lead towards it. Waiting for a genie to pop out of a bottle and grant you your heart’s deepest desires will lead you nowhere, and you’ll spend the rest of your life working with sentences that begin with “I could have…”, “I should have…”. Failure is just part of the adventure of life – embrace the lessons which it brings, instead of being scared of its potential knockbacks.

When you fail, pick yourself, dust yourself down – and go for plan B. Stop dreaming and start doing! The rewards will be greater than you could have ever imagined. You’re the boss of this life – not fear!

Have you ever decided to ignore your fear and just do it instead? Share your stories and experiences.

A 30-something living in Miami Beach. Founder of MarketKarma and CouponMate. I can be contacted via LinkedIn or my blog.

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