Willingness to confront your fears is critical to mental programming. Great persuaders have mastered their fears. You will be tempted to leave your fears buried, but they will invariably come back to haunt you. It is much better to deal with fears directly, especially considering that whatever we fear most is never as bad as we think. Human infants are born with only two fears: fear of falling and fear of loud noises. A newborn baby fears nothing else. All other fears are learned. The good news is that if we can learn fears, we can unlearn them.
How do you unlearn a deeply ingrained fear? You must face it. That’s right—you must deliberately put yourself in the situation where you are confronted with it and there is no escape. Any new skill comes only through extensive practice. There is no way around it. Let’s say you have a terrible fear of public speaking. If you want to be a brilliant public speaker, then you’ve got a lot of public speaking to do. You must force yourself to present to others over and over again. Comedian Jerry Seinfeld jokes about how people are more afraid of public speaking than of dying. He says they would rather be in the casket than delivering the eulogy! The truth is, we usually find out, once we’ve stepped up and faced a fear directly, that it wasn’t so bad. Most of our fears are exaggerated doubts or they are based on unrealities. How will you ever come to this realization if you don’t look your fears in the face?
After speculating about good dining in San Francisco and briefly insulting their listeners there, Kurt and Steve discuss a recent article about whether great leaders are born or made. They then launch into a discussion about the qualities of good leaders.
People who know where they are going are able captivate, are passionate and are charismatic. You can tell when you meet them and when they enter a room. People are drawn to them because deep down people want to be passionate about something and when they see that passion in your eyes, you become more charismatic. They sense that you can help them and improve their lives. This does not guarantee everyone will like you, but they will respect you for your conviction and your passion.
Passion is very contagious. When you transfer this passion, the people around you start to radiate that passion. They perform better, if it is at work, it is no longer work. They become more proactive, more willing to work as a team and become more optimistic. When you have tapped into this passion you become more determined and it increases your persistence. It starts to become a burning desire and consumes you and it radiates to others. A word of caution, just because you are passionate does not mean you can forego learning the skills you need to be successful. It is a critical piece of the charisma pie, but you still need more pieces of the pie to radiate powerful long-term charisma.
More than anything else, passion recruits the hearts and minds of your audience. Charismatics radiate heartfelt passion. When the audience can sense your passion and sincere conviction for your cause, they will emotionally jump on board. We all love people who are excited and filled with believable passion for their subject. Passion is critical to influencing others and transmitting charisma. When you have passion for something, you want to let everyone know about it. You want to convert as many people to your cause as possible, and when someone disagrees with you, you are not swayed by their opinions or advice.