October 18

White Water Rafting Fighting Your Self-Inflicted Fear


I am what is called an assistant scoutmaster for the Boy Scouts of America organization.

It is a very fulfilling role as I get to lead young men in their mental development.

At the end of this summer I took my group of Boy Scouts out on a white water rafting trip and neither my boys nor I had ever done this kind of activity ever before.

Sooooo there certainly was a level of fear but I shared with the boys that we would be under the guidance and leadership of an expert and how we would have instructions before we got out into the water.

That made a lot of sense and most were OK but there were a few who had this self-inflicting fear problem.

It started with thoughts of thinking about the worst possible outcome which meant death, ouch!

Sure it didn’t help that when we arrived at the bottom of the mountain we were greeted with this interesting sign.

And what made it even scarier for those few is that one of the boys made matters worse by researching how dangerous the rapids could be and every possible keyword that yelled out danger!

I asked him where he got this information from and he told me that his father had initiated the research for him.

I had to come in and take total control over this boy’s mindset and shift his thinking.

It’s so amazing how life can be similar in so many ways. One student that just enrolled into my program this week was sharing with me how he was so scared that he would get yelled at by a potential seller. He continued his thought process and wondered what would happen if he said the wrong thing or made a mistake as he conversed with his prospect.

He told me how his wife was sharing with him that statistically most people who go into business for themselves fail and fail miserably.

Oh my goodness! This poor soul had already failed in his mind before he even got started.

Sometimes the most well-meaning people in our life are the ones that set us up for failure.

This is why when we decide to pursue something, it is imperative that we block out the negative language. It could be nay-sayers or it could even be haters. At the end of the day, it’s all the same as these people can mess with your thinking and therefore mess with your performance.

In the meanwhile, have a great weekend with great company but be mindful of the messages that you allow to come through to you.

Lastly, I want to let you know that every single one of my boys had a great time out in the water. When they completed their day from whitewater rafting they shared with me how good they felt about themselves because they got out there and faced their fear. It was a very proud moment for both them and myself!

They shared how in their mind things were a lot scarier than they were in reality.

To your success,

Ernie “Your Scoutmaster” Vargas


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