“You were put on this earth to achieve your greatest self, to live out your purpose, and to do it courageously.”
Watching movies is one of my most enjoyed pastimes. Today, I relived the intensity of the Entebbe Rescue Operation. The most effective and elite fighting force in the world, Israeli commandos completed the near impossible. I was sitting at the edge of my seat. They executed a rescue of 103 hostages with finesse and efficiency, all hijackers and hostages managed in one hour. These soldiers all confirm they too have fears.
Fear is one of the biggest obstacles people facing managing changes and moving forward in their lives. The fight or flight response proves that fear is part of human nature. Through evolution, we are hard-wired to respond to fear with intensity. It is wisdom to learn how to face fear and deal with it. In addition to inducing changes in the autonomic nervous system, cortisol, known as the stress hormone is released in higher quantities to counteract fear.
Most of our fears are not based in reality. Though some situations give cause for fear, often, it is the product of conjured up fantasy scenarios that may never happen. Based in reality or not, when fear rears its ugly head, do not suppress it, or ignore it. Take a moment, close your eyes and picture it: pulse racing, your breathing shallow and irregular, the hairs on the back of your neck raised and your heart beating to a crescendo that will surely end in an explosion. How do we deal, in a healthy way, with fear?
1. Identify the source. Fear has a way of feeling like an overwhelming shadow of ever changing form. If you can pinpoint the reason you are afraid, you have identified the problem and can face it.
2. Breathe. The brain needs oxygen to function, as does the heart. The spirit, as many yoga enthusiasts will tell you finds centering in breathing. Breathe and give all the engines available the fuel they need to maximize your ability to solve this problem.
3. Make a game plan. Quickly decide if this is a situation you are in control of. If you are in a bar and someone slaps you- the ball is now in your court. If however, you are on a flight that has boarded and the flight is now facing a forty-minute delay, not much can be done.
Where you have the power to do something, choose your actions.
4. Just do it. Once you have an action plan, don’t analyze it - this is how fear, doubt, and uncertainty will creep back in. Trust your gut, listen to it and just do it.
There are two schools of thought about fear. I agree with both. Lao Tzu says, “There is no greater illusion than fear.” As such I find comfort in Richie Norton’s philosophy, “To escape fear, you have to go through it, not around.”
Be brave, you can get to the other side.