So when is the last time you feared a tiger attack? Probably never, and that can be a problem.
Technology and modern comforts have dulled our senses and forced most of us to walk around numb and unafraid of any dangers though they still exist. We ignore even those who would do us harm, because we have our heads down tapping away at witty social media posts assuming someone else will ensure our safety. Stifling our inner alarm system has its consequences, and many of them are quite negative personally and in business. With my journey to warrior, I am learning to harness fear and make it a welcome battle buddy for possible situations of danger professionally and personally.
The natural survival instinct that protected our ancestors from physical harm (like a wild animal) remains on high alert in our brains and causes non-life threatening events to trigger us in silly ways. With natural instincts to self-protect still present in our DNA, the stress at work, traffic jams, and other modern non-life threatening pressures can still trigger our brain to go into fight, flight or freeze reactions. Fear is natural and will not go away. In fact, we don’t want it to go away. We want to learn to marinate in it, make us sharper, and even power us in the right situations to not freeze in business, sales presentations or even with a belligerent teenager.
This week at Forward Movement Training, Michael White, Ph.D. talked about the different areas that fear can power us when it is properly understood and implemented. Though I have never experienced war or urban combat with real bullets, I was able to see the direct correlation of fight, flight or freeze in my world of business, sales, marketing, marriage and fatherhood. I quickly saw the parallels between modern warriors who are able to keep fighting in the face of extreme danger and the business warrior that will stop at nothing – including fear, rejection and slander – even when all seems lost on the business or home “battlefield.”
Because we are all battling something, our ability to conquer foes and obstacles will be greatly improved when we understand fear and how to best use it to our advantage. We can marinate or acclimate our selves to fear by putting ourselves in imaginary dangerous situations because the subconscious mind does not know the difference between training and reality. By exposing ourselves to danger in training, we can prevent freezing when real danger presents itself, when a client becomes difficult or even when you don’t see eye to eye with a loved one.
“I like to encourage intruders.”
Dr. White explained that fear screams at us, “Do what i tell you to do…NOW.” But, as a result of many politically correct pundits and no fear from wild lions, killer tigers and mauling bears we do not respond to fear any more as we should.
Unlike Crazy Joe Tavola from Seinfeld, it’s probably not best to encourage intruders to come into our homes, and purposefully put ourselves in harms way without good reason. But, when real danger exists, instead of trusting our instincts, we walk through areas we shouldn’t and get on dark elevators in bad locations with sketchy figures to not be rude, even when our natural alarms have raised the hair on our necks. When we feel the following bodily reactions, it is time to stop suppressing your internal alarms and be vigilant:
- Accelerated heart and lung activity
- Constricted blood vessels to skin
- Dilated blood vessels to muscles
- Dilated pupils
- Induced paling or flushing of skin
- Inhibited salivation, hearing and peripheral vision
- Increased spinal reflexes
- Activated pituitary gland to flood bloodstream with adrenaline and cortisone.
In a dangerous situation, these reactions can give us power to overcome and even perform “superhuman” feats of strength. For the unprepared it causes freezing of activity and failure. In business, it can create extreme concentration and even the world to slow down as you answer probing questions from a prospect. For the unprepared it causes a complete shut down, loss of business and even bankruptcy.
In my session with Jessica at Forward Movement Training (FMT) this week, the Warrior Princess put me in situations that required quick decisions to distinguish between friend and foe under time constraints and stop attackers mixed in with pedestrians. FMT is brilliant with their strategies as they place their students in “harms way” so that the brain can experience fear, nervousness and even fight or flight scenarios. Even with the assailants not shooting back, fear can take over when we do not learn to “marinate” in it and harness its powers. There were times when I missed obvious scenarios because of my lack of training and inability to cope with all “dangers” of the situation.
How many times in business do we miss obvious buying signs of a prospect because of accelerated heart activity? How many times do we miss the obvious needs of a spouse or child because we are reacting to a stimulus rather than slowing down and gratifying the basic needs of the person in front of us?
This was a profound week for me. I truly accept that I am the owner of my current circumstances and my current choices determine my future. More than ever before, I feel a profound personal responsibility for my actions. I ALWAYS have a choice. Between stimulus and response is CHOICE and better understanding of the stimuli that cause fear will help me perform better in my business, family and self-defense situations.
I am not sedentary, weak, passive or useless. I was born to move, act, fight, protect, love, nurture, provide, and defend…and so were you.
If you find the warrior mindset calling you, visit Fitness DNA and unleash your warrior with me.