Communication Skills

JS Tip 218: From the Stress Workshops: Understanding Fear

A schoolgirl asked Colin Powell, “Are you ever afraid? I am afraid every day. I am afraid to fail.”

He responded, “I’m afraid of something every day, and I fail at something every day. Fear and failure are always present. Accept them as part of life and learn how to manage these realities. Be scared, but keep going.”

Chuck Yeager—the test pilot and first man to break the sound barrier—complements Powell’s counsel: “If you can’t do anything about something, forget it. Instead, you better concentrate on staying alive where you are.”

Fear is a natural part of life. It keeps us alive. It generates adrenaline. It moves us to action. But we cannot allow it to paralyze us.

Even under threat, we examine the situation.

We identify the next best step.

We take that step.

“Be scared, but keep going.” 

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