Pushing Past Fear

Does fear make you flounder or flourish?


In this video, author, speaker and former Navy SEAL commander, Rorke Denver, addresses the impact fear can have to either move people forward or hold them back.

“I think [fear] is such an elemental part of everyone's life and shapes so much of who we are,” says Rorke. “What your fears are, what you're up against… it drives you to a place where you're maybe not going to be at your best performance… but I think it can also be a great asset.”

What happens when fear becomes detrimental? To address a fear that is degrading performance, Rorke suggests, “Either reassign [people] to something else, [or] push them through it to get them to another plane.” No matter which path you choose, adds Rorke, the key element is to face and address fears rather than avoid them.

Is there a situation, person or project that you’re avoiding because of fear? In the comments section below, share what first step you think Rorke Denver would tell you to take to face it!

I think in the future I'd like to write more about fear. I think it is such an elemental part of everyone's life and shapes so much of who we are. What your fears are, what you're up against, and drives you to a place where you're maybe not going to be at your best performance, I think can also be a greatest asset.

I think fear can be toxic. It is the type of thing that can really put someone in a place where they can't perform. This level of fear, intensity, whatever it is, is actually degrading one of my team's performance, we need to get our hands around that. Whether that's either reassign them to something else, pushing them through it to get them to another plane. And I prefer the later. I think when somebody's experiencing fear, I'd much rather see them push through it and build to a place where they can handle it, and they're inoculated to it, as oppose to saying "Well, let's just get them out of this fight because they can't handle it."

I think people avoid those things that give them pause and make them afraid and that's a mistake. I think we've almost designed this entire culture around avoiding pain, avoiding suffering. That struggle and hardship is what builds character, and builds strength and resilience. So I think fear is one of those things that can shut some people down and it also, in my experience when it was in the form of combat in amongst the warriors, it actually turned us on. It got people to perform at a high level because there wasn't a safety net. There was no safe harbor. It was time to focus on what we knew how to do, do it together and fight past fear.

Rorke Denver

Commander Rorke T. Denver, founder of Ever Onward, has run every phase of training for the U.S. Navy SEALs and led special-forces missions in the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and other international hot spots. He starred in the ...

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