Today’s post comes from Trail Baboon’s Living and Loving correspondent and a man who is a bottomless well of wellness – B. Marty Barry.
Greetings to all my friends struggling against the disappointments that life sometimes brings us – but especially to those 21 select attendees whose feet were burned at a “fire walking” event by motivational speaker Tony Robbins in California last week.
Thousands got charged up by Robbins’ talk inside the convention center, and some then went to a park outside where twelve beds of hot coals had been set up and stoked to more than a thousand degrees to test their individual power, focus and resolve!
Finding the nerve to make your feet go where your brain says “OH MY GOD NO DON’T DO THAT!” is a key step in the “Unleash the Power Within” process that has made Robbins rich.
To quote Robbins’ website, the fire walk is a way to “discover how to break the unconscious fears that are holding you back. Once you start doing the impossible (or at least what you thought was impossible), you can conquer the other fires of your life with ease.”
Many successful participants say the fire walk is a “powerful moment” that helps them transform their lives.
Some academics say successful fire walking is a matter of physics, not attitude.
But for those 21 who were treated for burns and the 3 who went to the hospital, unfortunately no choice remains now but to be completely and forever ruled by those very same unconscious fears that they hoped Tony Robbins would banish.
I just want those people to know that living a fear-based life built around the expectation of failure is certainly no picnic, but it is possible to go on. Many, many people are guided by fear and still manage to lead productive lives. In fact, I have many clients who suffer from Fear Of Everything Syndrome, or F.O.E.S.
F.O.E.S. is not a clinically recognized condition. I made it up one day after I attended a Tony Robbins seminar and he convinced me that I was being held back by my reliance on other people to decide what maladies I’m allowed to treat. Once I started talking to my clients about F.O.E.S., many of them identified with it immediately. I didn’t even have to write a detailed explanation of symptoms – as soon as I said “Fear of Everything Syndrome”, they said “I’ve got that.”
Fear can be good and constructive and useful. It can preserve foot health, for one thing. Supremely confident Wall Street traders and investment bankers might have benefitted from an extra dose of fear back before the housing bubble burst. And fearful people also manage to achieve great things even though they are too frightened to get out in front and lead the parade. You’ve heard of being in the right place at the right time? Sometimes that right place is behind the crowd and the right time is after everyone has moved on!
Some of the world’s most accomplished people are terrified inside. We won’t name any names because they’d probably sue us for defamation – another instance where fear of losing all my money is probably a good thing – but next time you watch a rock star perform on TV or read about a sports star making millions or listen to a politician or pundit opine, imagine that they are not as confident as they seem and that their brains are really just a quivering mass of intimidated Jello.
It will make you feel better about yourself. At least you’re not facing the possibility of some steep losses in personal injury lawsuits, like Tony Robbins!
And remember, even though you may be a total loser and I’ve never, ever met you, I still care about you very, very much.
Only B. Marty Barry would see a case of almost four dozen smoldering feet as an opportunity to drum up some business. Perhaps he’s on to something, though. Promoting Fear Of Everything as a guiding principle to transform your life has probably not been tried before.
When has fear been a good thing for you?