Professional Adventurer Bear Grylls Explains His One Trick To Conquering Fear

Lifestyle
Photo by Luis Enrique Ascui/Flickr Creative Commons

Bear Grylls has done some pretty gnarly stuff in his lifetime, stuff that even the most hardened men around the world probably wouldn’t want to consider. He’s tackled resistance-to-interrogation (R2I) training during his bid to join the U.K.’s elite SAS special forces, survived a near-fatal parachuting accident in Africa that left him terrified to engage in skydiving again, and braved the most hellish landscapes on the planet, from the crashing waves of the North Atlantic to the summit of Mt. Everest.


So how does Grylls — a professional adventurer and avatar of human endurance for millions of viewers around the world, thanks to his beloved series Man vs. Wild — conquer his fears before he embarks on his next attempt to conquer Mother Nature? Simple, he says: Don’t think, just do.

"I've learned that the best way over our fears is right bang through the middle,” Grylls told attendees at the Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai, according to the BBC. “It really is. The only way you don't see the fear is when you're right on it.”

Like the hundreds of survival skills he’s picked up in his decades traveling the world, Grylls’ ability to overcome fear and self-doubt came with time, he says — and it’s that constant struggle to conquer near-impossible obstacles that made him the man he is today.

"I wasn't very good at school — and I struggled a lot with confidence," he said of his early years. “[But] the great people I know in life often struggled at school, because it was the struggle that developed their strength."

In order to succeed, Grylls first had to accept the possibility of failure — especially in situations where his own life hung in the balance. From the BBC:

When he talks about the last exhausting phase of climbing Everest, he describes coming across the body of another climber he had known, Rob Hall, who had died on the mountain two years before.

"I remember just sitting next to Rob, still perfectly there, his hair blowing, as if I could nudge him and he'd stand up and be fine … I desperately needed something to give me strength - and he is such a hero of mine. I just remember this panic filling me - there are a lot of bodies on the mountain, but this was different - we were so close, but now so far away."

He pushed on and became one of the youngest climbers to get to the summit of Everest. And he says he brought back some snow from the summit and kept it as a liquid symbol of conquering his self-doubt.

With a mentality like that, is there anything that international wildman Grylls actually does fear? Just dealing with the hell that is other people, it seems. “I'm really bad at cocktail parties with lots of people I don't know,” he said. “I really genuinely am."

The Marine Corps' dune buggy drone jammer may have downed two Iranian drones in the Strait of Hormuz, U.S. military have officials announced.

The amphibious assault ship USS Boxer was transiting the Strait of Hormuz on July 18 when two Iranian drones came dangerously close, according to U.S. Central Command.

"This was a defensive action by the USS Boxer in response to aggressive interactions by two Iranian UAS [unmanned aerial systems] platforms in international waters," CENTCOM spokesman Army Lt. Col. Earl Brown said in a statement. "The Boxer took defensive action and engaged both of these platforms."

Read More Show Less

On July 17, Army Sgt. 1st Class Richard Stayskal briefly met with President Donald Trump at a rally in Greenville, North Carolina to discuss the eponymous legislation that would finally allow victims of military medical malpractice to sue the U.S. government.

A Green Beret with terminal lung cancer, Stayskal has spent the last year fighting to change the Feres Doctrine, a 1950 Supreme Court precedent that bars service members like him from suing the government for negligence or wrongdoing.

Read More Show Less

The Pentagon is no longer topless. On Tuesday, the Senate voted to confirm Mark Esper as the United States' first permanent defense secretary in more than seven months.

Esper is expected to be sworn in as defense secretary later on Tuesday, Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman told reporters.

"We are grateful for the Senate leadership and the Senate Armed Services Committee's willingness to quickly move through this process," Hoffman said.

Read More Show Less
(Paramount Pictures via YouTube)

The new trailer for Top Gun: Maverick that dropped last week was indisputably the white-knuckle thrill ride of the summer, a blur of aerial acrobatics and beach volleyball that made us wonder how we ever lost that lovin' feeling in the decades since we first met Pete "Maverick" Mitchell back in 1986.

But it also made us wonder something else: Why is Maverick still flying combat missions in an F/A-18 Super Hornet as a 57-year-old captain after more than 30 years of service?

Read More Show Less
(Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)

KABUL (Reuters) - Afghanistan called on Tuesday for an explanation of comments by U.S. President Donald Trump in which he said he could win the Afghan war in just 10 days by wiping out Afghanistan but did not want to kill 10 million people.

Read More Show Less