20 seconds.

At this time I’m going to situation you a problem, and it’ll solely require 20 seconds.

It might change your life.

I do know 20 seconds doesn’t seem to be a number of time., however I’ve come to be taught that with regards to getting wholesome, taking dangers, and residing a life value residing, 20 seconds is commonly greater than sufficient to vary one’s path.

What started as a enjoyable psychological technique to beat worry has since turn into a rallying cry for our neighborhood right here at Nerd Health. 

And right this moment, I’m gonna assist you to do this factor that scares the crap out of you.

The Discovery of 20 Seconds of Braveness

As I clarify within the video above, right this moment’s idea comes from an obscure Matt Damon film: We Purchased a Zoo.

In it, Matt Damon meets his spouse by mustering up power for a mere 20 seconds of braveness to speak to her, regardless of being an entire nervous wreck earlier than and after.

Had he by no means taken these 20 seconds to step outdoors of his consolation zone, he by no means would have met the love of his life.

One resolution modified every thing:

What does 20 seconds of braveness must do with leveling up our lives? 

We Can Do Issues In a different way

As we take into consideration our lives and the way a lot we predict we may be caught on a sure path…

There are two realizations that may assist us break away:

REALIZATION #1: Our lives are made up of a by no means ending sequence of selections that truly take little or no time:

  • Strolling by means of a door.
  • Selecting a seat on the practice.
  • Signing up for a category.
  • Beginning an uncomfortable dialog.
  • Filling out a kind.

After all, there’s lot of inside thought, loads of inertia, and years of ingrained conduct that occur earlier than an motion is taken…however the motion itself is commonly a break up second.

Because of this it doesn’t matter what selections we’ve made up till now, we nonetheless have infinite paths out there to us transferring ahead.

As Alan Watts factors out:

You’re beneath no obligation to be the identical particular person you had been 5 minutes in the past.

I’m reminded of this wonderful graphic from my buddy Tim City at Wait However Why:

an image showing that we have infinite branching paths available to us starting today

Every resolution creates a brand new branching path in our historical past. We are able to’t change the previous, however we will determine to make act in another way transferring ahead and alter our destiny.

REALIZATION #2: People (particularly us nerds) are usually danger averse, snug, and cautious of doing issues that scare us.

This isn’t shocking or uncommon: we’re hardwired to belief our intestine and be cautious of issues that increase our anxiousness. The choice to keep away from sure issues is what stored us alive throughout our cave-dwelling days.

In different phrases, a cautious cavewoman 120,000 years in the past listened to that intuition, prevented the scary noise popping out of the comb, and lived lengthy sufficient to cross alongside her cautious genes to you right this moment.

Nowadays, we’re nonetheless wired to keep away from issues that scare us – not animals within the brush, however relatively conversations with strangers, actions that may embarrass us, and occasions which might be anxiety-inducing.

If we’re going to get the issues we truly need out of life, it’s going to require us to beat that worry mechanism to decide that’s counter to 120,000+ years of DNA-sequencing.

Which ain’t simple.

However boy it can be life altering at greatest, or a lesson discovered at worst:

As creator Brandon Sanderson factors out[1]:

“I can do laborious issues. Doing laborious issues has intrinsic worth, and they’ll make me a greater particular person, even if I find yourself failing.”

Why 20 Seconds of Braveness works

By utilizing 20 seconds to do one thing you usually would have prevented, or saying YES once you usually say NO, three wonderful issues occur:

  1. If it doesn’t work out, you be taught a lesson and turn into extra resilient. You rapidly be taught the world didn’t finish, and also you usually tend to strive new issues sooner or later as a result of failure wasn’t that unhealthy! And you may develop some essential self-compassion.
  2. If it DOES work out, your life is now higher on account of your focused bravery. A relationship, a brand new job, a brand new interest, lifelong buddy, are sometimes outcomes of a single resolution made by any individual. That is you taking motion relatively than ready for destiny to intervene. 
  3. You NEVER must surprise “what if?” when enthusiastic about what might have been had you achieved that factor!

How 20 Seconds of Braveness Can Change Your Life.

“Braveness is being scared to demise, however saddling up anyway.” – John Wayne, clearly a fan of 20 Seconds of Braveness.

Right here’s the way to implement 20 Seconds of Braveness into your life:

  1. Establish the factor you frightened of.
  2. Put ALL of your focus right into a single particular motion that may take lower than 20 seconds however will end in you trying the factor you’re afraid of.
  3. Work your self up right into a frenzy if you have to. Give your self a pep speak within the mirror. Recruit a buddy if you need to.

Get scared to hell earlier than.

Pee your pants (ideally after).

Simply deal with the 20 seconds required so that you can begin or full the motion that’s wanted so that you can change your path.

After which, welp… you’ve already began, and the laborious half is finished, may as properly preserve going:

  • Afraid of the free weight part at your health club?  Activate Berserker mode. Give your self 20 seconds and stroll into the part earlier than you notice how scared you’re. After your 20 second are up, you’ll be able to return to being afraid, however you’re already IN the free weight part, possibly even with a weight in hand. May as properly do the exercise now, proper? Who cares in regards to the folks round you – they’re too busy being self-conscious anyway.
  • Don’t suppose you can begin your exercise? Too drained? Placed on an awesome freaking pump up music, leap round, psyche your self up, and simply GET began. Don’t fear about what occurs within the 20 seconds after you get began. JUST deal with these 20 seconds which might be wanted to get you off the bed or out the door.
  • Afraid to join a category?  Afraid to strive one thing new?  No downside, be afraid. Join in these 20 seconds and make your dedication earlier than you’ve an opportunity to again out.  Hastily, you’re signed up and must observe by means of!
  • Are you usually a push over? Do you by no means rise up for your self at work?  Beast mode. On the subsequent assembly, take 20 seconds to essentially rise up for your self and current YOUR opinions. Work up the braveness to start the dialog together with your boss about getting that increase you deserve. When you’re within the workplace and the dialog has begun, you may as properly preserve going.
  • See that cute particular person on the espresso store?  Usually you say NOTHING, after which go house and want you had?  Give your self 20 seconds of braveness. Be scared shitless earlier than and scared shitless after, however give your self 20 seconds of braveness: “Hey, I have to get again to my buddy/work, however I noticed you from throughout the room and needed to come back introduce myself. Can I purchase you a cup of espresso someday?” On the very least, give them a drive-by praise. You’ll by no means must surprise “what if…”

Lao Tzu as soon as stated, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” 

A life the place you truly may get what you need and deserve begins with 20 seconds of braveness.

Make the step. Strategy that particular person.

Join that membership/class/talking engagement.

Have that uncomfortable dialog you’ve been avoiding.

Lastly be trustworthy with your self and confront the monsters in Pandora’s Field.

It’s how Jaime, after 3 a long time of battle, managed to vary her life. It began with 20 seconds of braveness and a single resolution:

I’ve used 20 seconds of braveness dozens of time in my life too.

Generally with well being or health, typically with relationships, and different instances with my very own life degree up quests, which I focus on in my ebook, Stage Up Your Life.

“Steve that is nice. However I’m nonetheless cautious and Matt Damon is cool and all, however give me nerdy tales I can be taught from relating to 20 seconds of braveness!”

Fantastic! Listed below are my favourite examples of 20 seconds of braveness: 

  • Tremendous Mario Bros: Star Energy makes Mario invincible for a brief period of time. He’s regular earlier than and after, however in these few seconds he can cowl some severe floor and wipe out a LOT of Koopas.
  • Transformers: Some transformers had the power to rework from a robotic into an animal kind, only for a time. This was known as “Beast Mode!”
  • Historic Viking lore: Berserkers had been Norse warriors who labored themselves right into a rage earlier than battle, and fought in an almost uncontrollable, trance-like fury.
  • Lord Urthstripe within the Redwall Sequence: A badger lord who goes into “bloodwrath” mode to conquer his foes.
  • Will Ferrell in Outdated College:  He places collectively lower than 20 seconds of pure genius in his debate with James Carville. Positive, afterwards he has no recollection of his reply (and earlier than he was in all probability freaking out), however this 20 seconds saved his fraternity:

The 20 seconds Of Braveness Problem!


At this time, I’m issuing a 20 Seconds of Braveness Problem. 

You could have 7 Days to make use of 20 Seconds of Braveness to do one thing you’re afraid of.

All people is preventing their very own demons and chasing their very own dragons (not a euphemism), 

  • Main a military of Transformers in opposition to the Decepticons.
  • Saying sure to one thing you’d usually say no to.
  • Consuming a brand new vegetable that you simply’d usually keep away from.
  • Going to that a part of the health club that you simply’re afraid of.
  • Establishing boundaries with your loved ones.
  • Having an uncomfortable dialog.
  • Taking extra initiative at work.
  • Doing a brand new exercise/train.
  • Speaking to an entire stranger.
  • Signing up for a brand new class.
  • Standing up for your self.
  • Shopping for a Zoo.

Change can occur right away, and your life’s path can change on account of any single resolution you make.

I feel this quote paints that image higher than most:

“Simple alternative, laborious life. Laborious alternative, simple life.”

Fortune favors the daring, and doing sh** that scares us is commonly the one method to truly get what we wish out of life.

So right here’s the way to not let that worry preserve you prisoner: 20 Seconds of Braveness!

Right here’s the way to take part:

  • Decide one thing you wish to do however have been too scared to try.
  • Freak the F out earlier than you do the factor.
  • Muster up 20 seconds of braveness and take that one motion.
  • Pee your pants after (elective).

Simply 20 seconds!



images: berserker, hearth poibeast mode

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