Brendon Burchard – Listen Through the Fear

Energetic Brendon Burchard tells us of the time he failed to listen to these life-saving instructions before jumping from a plane.


… terrified. I’m like, I don’t want to do this, I don’t want to do this, I don’t want to do this. I’m telling my friends. “I don’t want to do this.” I can’t pay attention to the instructions. I don’t want to do this. Then, we get in the plane. We walk out of the plane. There’s this plane, and there’s a big hole cut in the back, the door that we were all going to jump out. We get on the plane and we start climbing up. We get up in the plane. We get up about 13,000 feet and go … My friends are sitting across from me on this little seat, like little bench, and we go … then, it goes like this … One of my friends, one of my best friends from high school, he starts sliding down the bench towards the door. Just … Another one of my friends, screaming out the door. I’m like just watching friends fall to their death.

I start panicking. Oh, my god, oh my god, oh my god. He’s got this. You got this. I did personal development for a long term. I know what to do. We go … He goes, “It’s our turn next.” I’m like, “Okay.” We go like this, and we start sliding down the bench. I’ve been in persona. I know, dude. I’m like, “Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!” We get down to the door. He goes, “One,” and I look out the door. I’m like, “Oh.” He goes, “One,” I go, “No.” He goes, “Two.” I go, “No.” He goes, “Three.” I go, “No!” He throws me out of this thing.

Then, you are falling 200 miles an hour. You are falling, but you’re not even aware of how fast you’re falling because you’re screaming. I remember, and the wind. I’m like screaming. I’m like Gumby in the air, and I’m screaming at the top of my lungs, and then I’m falling, and something goes wrong. The goggles snap. The rim of the goggles went … Not a big deal unless you’re falling 200 miles an hour and there’s wind because I’m falling. Ow! Ow! Then, the thing catches wind. Ow! Ow! I forget what I’m supposed to do.

My coach, he points down to the ground. He goes, “Hey, you might want to do something before you hit that.” I’m like … I don’t get the hint, so he goes to give me a subtle reminder. Grabs my hand to show altimeter at 5,000. Goes to show me the watch, but I’m screaming. All of a sudden, he goes to show it to me, my hand catches wind. Oh, god. It hit me in the face. He’s like, “Pull, pull.” Shows me again. Oh my god. I reach back, I grab the thing. I grab it like this, I grab it. I deploy it. I go wham, and then we’re going down. He goes, “Brendon, lift your legs.” I go, “Why?” He goes, “So you don’t break them.” Go trip, good tip. We land, and go over to the thing where we get my picture my friends call the hero shot.

Why do I tel you this story? Because, you know what? Everyone wants to talk about courage. They never tell you how hard it’s going to be. Demonstrating courage isn’t always what we think it looks like. I’m not brave for jumping out. I’m not courageous for jumping out, because here’s [inaudible 00:03:41]. The guy runs up to me afterwards. He pulls me away from my friends, and he says, “Listen, can I talk to you?” I said, “Sure.” He says, “That was a pretty rough journey for you.” Thanks, man. It was. He says, “Can I tell you something?” I said, “Yeah.” He goes, “Hey, Brendon, you see that plane over there?” I go, Yeah.” He goes, “I’ve jumped out of that 1,142 times.” I go, “What?” He goes, “1,142 times.” I go, “Really?” He goes, “Yeah.” He says, “Can I tell you something?” I said, “Sure.” He’s like, “Can I give you some advice?” I said, “Sure, I love advice, man. I live in that world.”

He goes, “Okay, let me give you some advice. You’re one of those guys.” I said, “What do you mean?” He goes, “Well, you’re one of those guys.” I said, “I’m sorry. I don’t know what you mean.” He goes, “You’re one of those guys who has yet to learn to listen through the fear.” I said, “What do you mean?” He says, “Well, when we’re in the barn giving all the instructions, you were so scared about what was coming up and complaining about it and being fearful of it, that you weren’t listening to the very instructions we were giving to save your life. You were so trapped in your internal world, you weren’t learning from the external world, and so your journey was so hard. There we were, the mentors, right there for you, but you didn’t implement what we told you. We were there giving you everything to think about, every tool, every possible thing, but you didn’t implement it so you had to scream like a baby the whole way down.”

He said, “You got to learn to listen through the fear.” The fear’s not going to go away. The anxiety, the concern. You’re not going to show up on some perfect day where you’re fully great and you don’t have concerns anymore. You’re going to show up, and the fear is going to be there, and you’re just going to listen through it. You can’t just intend your way to greatness, you need to implement. Somebody taught you something, who ran those thousand miles, who jumped out of that plane a thousand times, who gave you the science, who gave you the habits. Implement those things so your journey is better. Raise your necessity for doing better. Focus on what really matters. Develop the influence around you and step into things willingly, learning from those who went before you. You’ll reach high performance. You’ll reach greatness. Work what you learn, and go out there. Greatness is yours, but you got to go.