Dr. Jeff Spencer: Fear is Your Friend, Why Recovery is Vital, & What All High Achievers Have in Common

As a former Olympian, team member of eight Tours de France, renowned chiropractor, international lecturer, and “life coach to the stars,” Dr. Spencer knows what it takes to overcome obstacles, create and execute plans, and achieve greatness.

He’s taught his techniques to many top athletes, businesspeople, entrepreneurs, and entertainers. If you want to know how to continually operate at peak performance, listen up.

Jeff is the author of “Turn It Up! How to Perform at Your Highest Level For a Lifetime” and creator of The Champion’s Blueprint where he helps leaders from diverse backgrounds change the world.

On this week’s show, Jeff talks about:

  • What it truly means to be a champion (it’s not what you think);
  • What separates the champion performers from the ordinary;
  • They key that allows anyone to achieving at a champion’s level;
  • The two things that an aspiring top achiever must have;
  • And more about mastering fear, challenging yourself, and being prepared.

Enjoy the show!

Show Notes

  • Masters in exercise physiology and sports science, sports chiro of the year.
  • Identify playing field to develop a precise strategy to perform at highest level.
  • You are your biggest competition, so identify your weaknesses and strengths.
  • You have to scare yourself and extend your limits to see where they are.
  • Fear is the biggest obstacle to conquer ourselves and push our limits.
  • Fear is good as it brings a heightened level of awareness, a transcendent level.
  • It’s not about conquering fear but mastering it and using it to our advantage.
  • Fear is your friend, so strategically plan on how to use fear to your benefit.
  • Expose yourself to risk, responsibly, to determine what your baseline is first.
  • It reduces anxiety and you can figure out what you need to do to raise the bar.
  • Do this over and over again so you can call up fear instantly to perform better.
  • Everybody gets pre-performance anxiety, so use it to your advantage.
  • Even “pros” do this, such as with U2 backstage before kicking off world tour.
  • The Champion’s golden rule is, “When you do the homework, the test is easy.”
  • You can’t think yourself through it, you’ve got to get out of your own way.
  • Our most primal instinct that dictates our lives is survival, which is fear-based.
  • It’s not talent or skill, but knowing what has to happen and needs to go right.
  • Peak performers know what to go after and not tempted to go after everything.
  • Focus is detrimental; you don’t need more, you need what Jeff calls “gocus.”
  • Choose your battles carefully, pausing in between to ensure adequate recovery.
  • Important to have a ritual to set you up that you do 2-3 days before event.
  • Never experiment when you’re about go live, just stick with those rituals.
  • There’s no such thing as luck, it’s really about showing up and getting it done.
  • Don’t change anything in training, for anything new will cause fear to kick in.
  • Focus on the 2-3% of the things that can go right, not on what can go wrong.
  • Don’t start micromanaging the details that don’t matter causing mental fatigue.
  • We’re built to trust more in our ability to fail than in our ability to win.
  • Mentorship is what will stop you from damaging yourself when it gets tough.
  • Balance between training and recovery; recovery is where performance comes.
  • If performance is declining, that’s a sign of overtraining and need to recover.
  • Recovery takes us back to baseline; one step back to take two steps forward.
  • You can’t do what you’re best at all the time, otherwise it’s overtraining.
  • “When the body is fatigued, the brain (i.e., the mental aspect) follows.”
  • For food, there’s a difference between being a metabolizer and an oxydizer.
  • You cannot fool your metabolism; ask, “does this make me perform better?”
  • High achievers are open to suggestion, and they build teams that support them.
  • They pay attention to details and are proactive at identifying weak points.
  • Shortcuts aren’t real, systems are; effort and recovery should be in balance.
  • They don’t do too much too soon; they give themselves evolutionary leverage.
  • “Never met a person that doesn’t have a ‘corner man’ (mentor, advisor, etc).”
  • Mentors keep you grounded, in sobriety, to always know how things really are.
  • How to manage once a pinnacle is reached and manage self-expectations.
  • You have to have a system to know what is happening when it does happen.
  • Have responsible conversations about future inevitabilities as to be prepared.
  • Have someone in your corner to tell you when they are about to happen.

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  1. I liked the point on balancing between training and recovery. Too often I jump into fitness trends with both feet without offering myself the property amount of recovery. I did this when I first looked at Crossfit. I went all out the first session and ended up too sore to go back the remainder of the week. because of this, I fell off the wagon before I ever really got on it.

  2. I’ve been reflecting on this interview all week. I’ve heard it been said that all motivations come from 1 of 2 places: love or fear. His advice on cultivating a positive relationship with fear adds so much more dimension to this notion. It’s super empowering and I can go far with this wisdom. Thanks for continuing to break away at the black-and-white mindset.

  3. I’ve heard/read a number of sources that say much the same thing, to find what scares you and pursue it. That only by challenging yourself can you move forward and become greater than you thought you could be.

  4. I totally agree with the fatigue part. I have experienced mental fatigue with excessive strain on my body. but it happens vice a versa as well.

  5. I never really looked at fear like this, so its an interesting spin to me. Need to focus the fear in the right direction!

  6. Great interview! It puts a whole new spin on fear. This makes me think of the JuJitsu and Judo training I have been taking part in the past year.

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