Gameness... and how to create courage. Training for Warriors Portland

Coach Josh here... and I wanna share with you a value that we have here at Training for Warriors. It's called Gameness... and Gameness means courage.

Courage is a pretty important value to hold for yourself because it's the value that protects all the other values. If you don't have courage, how are you going to be selfless when it's inconvenient, or when you have to take a risk that you might lose something. OR, if you don't have courage, how are you gonna do something you never done before and get better and learn something you never learned before? Those are some preeminent features in a lot of the growth that's required for us to be our best selves. 



Having raw courage is not the same thing as having no fear. It's acting in spite of fear, and I think a lot of people understand that. But staring fear in the face for long periods of time, it can make the fear larger and that inhibits our ability to act.

So, what do you do? How do you set yourself up for success around fear? 

I will give you one story from my life that helped me tremendously.

I used to be a paratrooper in the United States Army. When you're in Airborne School, some of the things they do to mentally prepare you to jump out of a plane are:

#1. You practice doing it without consequences. You jump and repeatedly do your landing fall. You roll on the ground the way that you would roll when you eventually jump of out a plane. When you eventually do it in real life, you're going about 15, 20 miles an hour when you hit the earth anyway 'cause the chutes slow you down, but it's certainly don't stop you. So they get you prepared for that and you just practice doing all the same things you're doing when the stakes are low. 

#2. And then they put you in a tower so you can get to three or four stories above the ground and see what that feels like. 

#3. On the third week, they put you on a plane. It's a real simple process they use to get you to jump out of the plane. Once you get on the plane, there's about 50 of you that walk into the back... and then the cargo hatch is shut. Once you get on the plane, the only way out is through the jump door. 

There are no options.

You've got no choices, and you don't have to worry about your fear because you HAVE TO go through it. That's really what happens and it's kind of a beautiful thing. I was terrified. I remember I was 18 years old and I was certain that my chute wasn't going to open and that I was gonna die because I'm "special", I'm the only one who's gonna die. I wasn't gonna be able to pull my reserve chute. I was definitely gonna die. But I had no choice! I couldn't go out the back door so I had to go out the only way in front of me. There are all these people around you and what are you gonna do? 

I had to practice acting in spite of fear, because of the environment was structured that way, and it's a beautiful thing when you take away any option to go back. You know the old story of burning the boats behind you so there is no chance to escape and go back home? The only way out is to win. It's helpful. It's actually helpful, especially when the stakes are high, like in the case of an airborne operation or starting a business. You need to be committed to that and you don't wanna have one foot in and one foot out the door. 

Creating a structure in your life so that you have fewer (or maybe no) choices that aren't forward-moving might be a way to create Gameness for yourself. Give yourself some of that courage that you need to take action and do the things that you need to do. Thank you for reading my story on Gameness and I hope that you get some Gameness in your life!

Training for Warriors Portland, helping YOU bring out the warrior within.



Thumbnail Image Attribution: Cowardly Lion's Courage Medal from the 1939 film, The Wizard of Oz. Source: Michael Stein. The MagicImage Collection of Hollywood Memorabilia.