Converting Fear

Mindful Excitement” is a term I’ve come to use as a way of reframing fear. If something you want to accomplish is being hindered by fear, think about those nervous sensations in a new way.

Try this process for converting fear into Mindful Excitement:

[content_box type=”with-header” title=”StartConfident Summary” text_color=”dark” color=”default” animation=”fade-in”]
  • Don’t be “careful.” Be Courageous.
  • Know the Difference between “being smart” and “being afraid.”
  • Plan to Achieve
  • Feel the Victory before it happens

Racing a bike isn’t “safe.” Only the courageous race bikes.

[dropcap style=”default”]The reason you’re here[/dropcap]at StartConfident is because you value the sport of bike racing. You see it as something to be achieved. And if you don’t achieve it, at the very least if you don’t attempt it, there will be a void.

In other words, we’re talking about a value judgement that needs to be made in order to go forward. You need to choose to be courageous, rather than choose to be “secure and safe.”

George Lois, the iconic creative director that is credited with “I want my MTV” and many, many other branding statements, talked about how much he hated being told as a child to “be careful.” And it’s true. The incessant cry from family, friends, and our professional cohorts to not take risks puts us in a place of constant inner conflict. What we often want to do — and subsequently believe we can’t or shouldn’t do — is seen as unsafe, unprudent, dangerous, and should be avoided.

If you want to achieve your dreams, if you truly want to forever escape the feeling of the void, you have no choice but to value courage over security.

Being Smart vs. Being Afraid

There are some things where fear acts as a protectant. For example, if you knew there was a grizzly bear in the room two doors down the hall, your natural sense of fear would keep you from barging in on that bear in a foolish attempt to shout it into a corner.

Knowing that a tornado has touched down in your immediate area would incite a sense of fear that would prevent you from running out into its path just so you could get a clear shot of it with your camera phone.

In these cases we’re talking about a fear of situations that are out of your ability to control.

[callout icon=”hb-moon-bike”]Fear of things that are completely under your control are different. Deciding you want to participate in a road bike race as a beginning Category 5 racer may incite fear. But it’s a situation under your control. Therefore, it’s something where you can develop a plan or a process. You can be smart about it.[/callout]


StartConfident is all about giving you information and inspiration in a way that is procedural. Step-by-step actions, such as the free video 6 Laps to Confidence, were created for you to employ so that you could begin to enjoy your birthright as a road cyclist.

In other words, to help you become a bike racer.

A smart action plan combined with inspired courage is the threshold of converting fear into genuine excitement. The resulting nervous energy is just as intense as fear, but you’re looking at it now from a different perspective. What you “fear” isn’t happening “to” you; it’s something you are doing. You are excitedly, mindfully taking control.

That’s a very different thing from being passively afraid, watching what you desire to pass you by.

Feeling Victorious, All the Time

I once read about a technique called “positive worrying.” The notion is so simple as to be laughable. However, if you’ve followed along this far, you’ll understand how practical it is.

If you’ve decided to take planned steps toward experiencing that for which you were previously afraid, begin to visualize and actually feel what it will feel like to have experienced it.

[callout icon=”hb-moon-bike”]How will you feel once you’ve rolled over the finish line of your first race? Accomplished? Proud of yourself? Ready to plan for your second race? Fulfilled?[/callout]

When you come across something you’re afraid to do, you can then realize you’re at a point of potential wonderfulness (to use a term Bill Cosby once used.) You can choose to grow by acting on it.

Question: Give us an example of something in your life where fear held you back — but you found a way to overcome it. What did you do? What was that first step like?

Sam Lowe

I've been a road cyclist with a penchant for speed ever since my first-ever paycheck holiday. I blew the whole wad on a turquoise Schwinn Tempo with then-new Shimano 105 indexed shifting way back in 1985. I've been a voracious consumer of racing-oriented information ever since. Training, nutrition, bike fit, racing techniques, and all manner of "kit." Between nearly 30 years of riding, racing, and reading about racing, I'm ready to help you get ready to race.

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