Just because you’re afraid doesn’t mean that you can’t be a high performer.

In truth, the greatest competitors are always fearful. They know the stakes. They appreciate the cost of losing. They don’t want to experience the pain of losing.

They are afraid of what could happen.

You might assume that winners are massively confident people who just drive relentlessly forward to achieve success.

But that isn’t the case.

You’re not an emotionless robot, driven only by logic and reason. And neither are they.

Fear is natural. It’s helpful. It keeps you alive. Keeps you away from unnecessarily dangerous situations.

But high performers look at the fear differently. They talk themselves through their feelings. They know something very valuable about being afraid.

Fear is a feeling. Not a fact.

What you are feeling isn’t reality. It’s your perception of what could happen in the future. It’s always the worse case scenario.

Not the best, better, or even good.

Anthony Middleton, a former Special Forces Operator and the author of SAS: Who Dares Wins writes personally about the impact of fear. He was the point man and lead scout for his elite military team. He also served as an expert sniper in the Royal Marines. But that didn’t make him fearless:

“When I was in the military and I would go on a mission and I would assault a compound, I would get up to the door and find myself in a bubble of fear. I didn’t want to die. I didn’t want someone on my team to die or get injured.

I had a sensory overload of fear and dread and it just goes through the roof. You have to harness it. You have to bring it back down. Because if not, fear will absolutely destroy you.

It’s a horrible feeling to have, but it does drive you through the door, it forces you to succeed.”

Fear isn’t a fact.

The dread and chaos and panic that consumes you in those important moments in your life isn’t a guaranteed outcome. What you imagine, in all the worst ways, isn’t your future. It’s not a fact.

It’s the fiction you feel. The story of a crippled perspective.

Rise up. Take a deep breath. Rewrite the story of your awesomeness with the sweat-stained footprints of your effort.

You got this. Fear less.