Lately I’ve been reading a lot about people physically getting sick as they approach an exciting opportunity for growth. I’ve seen it termed an upper limit or a terror barrier.
It’s that point where your nerves overtake your exhilaration of the moment. It happens to all of us, whether you’re a big time professional, or a child entering their first day of school. It happens in little league and it happens in the World Series. It happens in local theatre and it happens on Broadway. You’re scared stiff.
It’s when fear takes over and pushes all your enthusiasm for the moment aside.
I call it your Panic Point.
"Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear." Mark Twain
Do you understand? There is always fear. We all get scared. And while it’s easy for me to say don’t let fear stop you, when that moment arises, and you feel your heart pounding and your stomach rising up into your throat, that is your time. If you don’t define it, it will define you.
“If you are going to go through hell, keep going." Sir Winston Churchill
Easier said then done. Keep going, but how?
How do we keep going when our anxiety has our feet rooted to the ground?
How do we practice courage in the face of fear?
One way I’ve found to practice is to visualize the moment. Not by dreaming about it but by preparing for it. Visualize how you want the moment to go. Think about it. Plan it.
Too many of us let our fear take control, and get so consumed with it that we forget to prepare.
Remember taking your driver’s test when you were a teenager? Remember the fear building up inside you? Who wasn’t scared as the instructor entered your car?
But you were prepared because you had practiced. You practiced turning and braking and parking, and when it came time to parallel park, even though your hands were sweating and you couldn’t catch your breath, you did it. You did it because you couldn’t wait to drive. You beat down your fear and afterward were laughing about it with friends.
That’s how fear is. You build it up so much in your mind you just want to run away. But just like passing your driving test, or any challenge you encounter, fear is like a smoky fog, and preparation the strong wind blowing it away.
Preparation breeds confidence, and confidence generates courage, and courage masters fear.
Eleanor Roosevelt said, “We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face... we must do that which we think we cannot.”
Each occasion brings you another opportunity to practice, and on the path to being your own Wingman, practice and preparation are vital.
Thanks for letting me be your wingman today.
In Appreciation, Mike