Rickson Gracie is, arguably, the greatest Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner of all time… And the most legendary one.
But not “just” because of his successes as an athlete. Rather, it’s also because of his mindset – which always allowed him to push himself further than others were able to push themselves.
Rickson spoke a lot about the way he views the world in his “Breathe: A Life In Flow” book, including his attitude towards fear.
Here’s his mindset towards it, summarized in a few sentences:
Curiosity coupled with courage allows you to go beyond your limits, venture into the unknown, and establish new limits that you never thought were possible.
My curiosity always overpowered my fear, but fear was also a good friend to me.
He explained that fear can be good, but…
People who say they are not afraid of anything are either crazy or stupid. Fear is a normal emotion that protects you, but sometimes you don’t need protection.
There are times when you have to place fear on the shelf and take action without a moment’s hesitation.
Rickson shared the most vivid example of fear of them all – the one you experience in a fight:
This fight exposed me to the most primal kind of fear that comes from within.
My insecure state of mind came from the fear of losing. If you fear something that has not even happened, then quitting becomes a form of self-protection.
Fear is not the enemy; it’s simply a self-protection mechanism that must be managed.
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