#1554 Areté +1° #068: Bring It On!

Reversing Your Desire

Hi, this is Brian.

Welcome back to another Areté +1°, a micro-chapter from my new book, Areté: Activate Your Heroic Potential.

This is another micro-chapter from the second of seven Objectives, on forging antifragile confidence.

Here we go.


Now that we know Rule #1 of this wonderful game of life and we’ve defined what it means to forge antifragile confidence, we need to understand the proper way to handle life’s (inevitable!) challenges.

In short, we need to learn how to eat them like energy bars.

Let’s explore three powerful ways to go about doing that. They can be summarized in three Heroic mantras: “Bring it on!,” “I’m excited!,” and “OMMS!”

Let’s start with “Bring it on!”

Phil Stutz and Barry Michels wrote a great book called The Tools. There are five tools in the book that help us deal with the biggest challenges we all face in our lives.

The most important tool in the book is the first one. It’s called “The Reversal of Desire” and helps us deal with THE most powerful challenge: Fear.

Phil and Barry tell us that most people like to live within their comfort zones.

Why is that?

Well, what does it feel like outside of our comfort zones? By definition, it’s uncomfortable.

And most people hate feeling any level of discomfort so they pretty much do everything they can to avoid the pain of being outside their comfort zone.

Now, that’s great if being mediocre is your goal, but not so great if you’re serious about living your greatest life and activating your Heroic potential.

Here’s the deal…

Your infinite (!) potential exists on the other side of your comfort zone.

And, again, what does it feel like when you exit your comfort zone and start exploring the zone of your infinite potential?

You feel fear. Doubt. Anxiety. Fill in the blank with the pain of your favorite sense of discomfort.


Knowing that our infinite potential exists on the other side of our comfort zone and that we feel pain/discomfort/ etc. when we exit our comfort zone en route to our infinite potential, if we’re serious about optimizing our lives to activate our Heroic potential, we need to REVERSE OUR DESIRE— rather than try to avoid pain, we need to learn to love it.

We need to see those moments when our heart skips a beat and our palms start to sweat as the gifts that they are—tickets to our destiny.

Which leads us to the tool. It’s simple.

The next time you feel even an inkling of fear/doubt/etc., practice saying to yourself (more precisely, Phil and Barry tell us to scream to yourself), “BRING IT ON!”

Know that your infinite (!) potential exists just on the other side of your comfort zone.

And, very importantly, know that you don’t need to (and shouldn’t try to!) go a mile outside your comfort zone. Just get in the habit of going an inch outside your comfort zone.

Every. Single. Time you feel that whisper of fear, get in the habit of reminding yourself that this is the opportunity to get a little stronger as you say to yourself “BRING IT ON!”

Something magical happens when we do this.

In fact, science shows that we fundamentally change on a PHYSIOLOGICAL level. By INVITING the challenges into our lives, we move from what researchers call a “threat response” to a “challenge response” and, when we do that, our entire bodies change.

“Bring it on!”

Try it.

It works.

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