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“Fatigue Makes Cowards of Us All”

by Bill Cates
Fighting fatigue cowardice

When I first started giving a lot of speeches on sales, motivation, and referral marketing, I often found myself traveling home on airplanes late at night.


I noticed that on these late flights, I seemed to have a lot of negative, doubting thoughts. I would even start to feel a little depressed.  I was starting to hate the travel associated with what was/is exciting and rewarding work.


So, I did a little research and found the quote from legendary football coach, Vince Lombardi, that is the title of this article. He was SO RIGHT!  When we are tired, our courage and positive attitude seem to disappear, only to be replaced by negativity, fear, and inaction.


Thought Control

We may not have control over the many strange thoughts that pop into our heads, but we can control what we do with them.   When a negative thought pops into your head, you have an immediate choice.  “Do I continue to entertain this way of thinking or do I push it away and chose a more positive line of thinking?”


3 Ways to Fight Fatigue Cowardice


Once I got in tune with this concept of how fatigue affects our thoughts and actions, I started handling it differently.  Perhaps these routines I’ve developed will be of some help to you.


  1. Wimp AlertWhen I’m tired, I’m on guard for negative thoughts and a sudden lack of courage to do what’s important – even if it’s not comfortable. My “wimp alert” is activated. That alone helps keep the negativity boogieman away.
  2. Resentment PoisonWhen I become aware of a negative line of thinking, I ask myself, “Do I really want to spend my energy on this train of thought?”  Of course, the answer is “no” and I then shift to a different topic.  When I’m feeling resentful about something someone did, I make the choice to stop taking that poison. (As Malachy McCourt said, “Resentment is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die.”)

  3. Start with the Uncomfortable
    I try to schedule tasks that are uncomfortable to me for the time of day I have the most energy (courage).  For me, it’s usually in the morning (after a good workout).  I make an appointment with myself on my calendar and I get it done.  (Most of the time.  Hey!  I’m human – far from perfect.)


There Will Be No Ostriches

I’m not saying we always avoid negative thoughts or problems that occur in our life.  Of course not! We face them with courage – as best we can. But being able to compartmentalize certain trains of thoughts or feelings has its place.  Avoidance?  No!  Timing? Yes!


Be Self-Aware

Awareness is a powerful “muscle” for us to exercise. Self-awareness is the most powerful of them all. Tune your awareness into how your attitude and courage are affected by your energy level.  Staying fit, of course, helps a lot.  Being aware and adjusting when the negativity bogyman shows up will serve you – and everyone around you – quite well.



How Do You Deal with Fatigue in Your Life?

Questions?  Best practices?  Type your questions and comments below. Let’s start a conversation and “share the wealth” of ideas.


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