Boat Ride on The Mekong Delta in Can Tho, Vietnam /// VinjatekAs a strategy, fear should be realized, understood, respected and even embraced. So it can be used as an asset while never actually getting frightened.

“Fear is like worrying, it’s a bodily emotional response telling us something is wrong or will be. With fear, however, it’s not only useful but a fundamental part of our survival instincts – it can help us tackle these situations with increased adrenaline and focus.     –John Cain

This is one of the best pieces of advice I ever received while in training from my first instructor. That the concept of fear (when it comes to your own state of mind) is good and useful if harnessed correctly, like unstable explosives or complex machinery.

It’s not easy or pleasant to use, but if applied right, then you can work wonders – or terrors, depending on the objective. The same goes with fear.

Feeling fear is that gut and mental change of state when something dangerous, scary or unknown comes into play. It’s our natural alarm system.

Just as important, fear, when “set off”, heightens our focus, energy and drive – which is the point. It’s our body momentarily optimizing itself for the situation.

The problem is that, the sudden rise in our senses and adrenaline is not properly harnessed and so “feeling fear” becomes feeling frightened – which has no benefit. It’s a very fine line, but as long as you don’t cross it, fear can help you – as nature intended.

Obviously it’s easier said than done, the process I learned takes experience and calming clarity:

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There’s a distinction between feeling fear and being frightened, and that’s how you differentiate it, so you can use it to your advantage or never be scared.

When you’re feeling angry and bottle it up without an outlet, you become fractured. It’s the same with feeling fear, but instead you become frightened. So this process is the outlet to prevail.

Fear is volatile, it can limit our options or capabilities but it’s meant to enhance them – let it.

“Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.”     -Jim Morrison

[The featured photo was taken while reading a boat through the Mekong Delta in Vietnam.]


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2 Comments

  1. Hi John.
    I’ve been in many life threatening situations in multiple
    countries and circumstances. I’ve come to the realization that to be in fear is natural -it’s what you do with it that counts.It feels like a pressure inside,building up very rapidly to me-I’ve had to learn to focus it into action as rapidly as possible into “fight or flight” mode.
    As i get better at making that rapid decision cycle i’ve learnt to very quickly evaluate a situation and ACT-The shorter that time line within that decision cycle the better !!!The time from which you first realize that you have a decision to make to when you act on your instincts
    is a circle of time that MUST be as short as possible inorder to harness that Fear into ACTION-it’s saved my life on at least two occasions to date.
    Take care,always,talk soon.

    TOMMY27

  2. Named Noname Reply

    As always, great advice sir.. but like you said, easier said than done.

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