How has fear held you back? Have you ever remained silent in a meeting when you should have spoken? Have you ever failed to perform a task well simply because others were watching? Have you ever allowed your fear to turn into irritability and aggression, and said something you wish you hadn't said?
Fear is a part of life, whether we are aware of it or not. Brian Germain's life work is the study of fear and its effects, and the most useful methods for shifting out of this destructive mindset, and into the realm of optimal performance. In just one hour, Brian will inspire you to reach for a more productive, positive mindset, and give you valuable tools to make the transformation when it is most needed. If we are to be effective leaders, we must harness all of the available information that will empower us to remain calm and clear in a crisis, and specialist Brian Germain has some very important parts of this puzzle. Brian will leave you feeling more positive about the future that you have felt in a very long time, and more prepared to handle whatever is to come.
Brian Germain gives an uplifting speech about why he has made transcending fear his life's work.
Letters to Brian
I had an off landing a couple of weeks ago. I landed on a road between power lines because I didn't think I could make a ballpark landing due to power lines there. After the adrenaline wore off I really got down on myself and bummed out. I really love the sport but don't want to die just yet.
Hi Bummed Skydiver,
The bumming out sometimes happens, but when you remember that you were the one who saved your own life, you will cheer up. You have what it takes, and you are getting better every jump. Take the lesson that this bummer taught you, and let it guide you toward the decisions that make you a better skydiver.
Let's bring out your inner best. Skill is Safety.
| Skill is Safety|
As a leader, your actions determine the safety for everyone in your group. Failure on your part can result in any number of negative consequences for the people you work with, and it is therefore your responsibility to study the science of risk if you are the be a truly responsible leader. Furthermore, you must learn how to skew the risks in your favor, in every way you can.
We all understand on some level that life is infinite possibility, narrowed into probabilities by our actions and expectations. These probabilities are augmented by training, and expressed in specific outcomes based on our skill of execution. Chance is in fact but a small aspect of our fate. In short, luck really does favor the prepared.
There are many ways to do anything, and dangerous situations are no different. The path followed by a novice can almost always be improved by those with the "know-how" to perform the task in the most efficient ways, working in parallel with the inherent dynamics of the situation. There are many wrong ways, but only a few right ways. It is the "Right Way" that is the means to safety in all things. If we are to learn this secret road to safety and efficiency, we must have the courage to admit that we do not know everything there is to know about a subject. Further, we must have the humility to allow someone to teach us.
Over and over, leadership roles cause us to stop in abject terror and say: "You want me to do what?" Fear-swallowing tests of our capacity for egoless thought will continue to present leaders with moments of shock and awe, and it is in these moments for which a solid game plan is essential. As an adventure specialist for over twenty-five years, I have isolated three steps that are pivotal if we are to mitigate risk, and increase the probability of the best-case scenario playing out.
Step One: Relax, breathe slower, and reach for better physical sensations in every way possible. Dare to stop trying long enough to reduce your internal speed. Allow a feeling of relief despite the intensity of the situation. If you can, stretch or do yoga and get back in touch with your body. You cannot de-escalate a system that is unconscious. You must wake up to your state.
Relaxing is how you recover your sense of humor. If you can't collect yourself into a better mood, you should not act. Beyond this, you should not trust most of the conclusions that first occurred to you. First reactions are often over-reactions. It is in fact quite rare that an emergency is actually at hand, and doing nothing at first is most often the right choice. One of my flight instructors, when talking about engine failure situations, recommended that the first response to an engine-out is to take a sip of your coffee. Of course, there are fairly immediate actions in your near future, such as forward pressure on the control yolk to maintain airspeed, and looking for a good place to set her down. It is, however, the skill of execution in these and the following acts that matters most. Slowly moving forward with constant attention to the breath and the state of the body allows us to literally keep our heads by allowing oxygen and other resources into our brains. When we are moving through dangerous situations, a slow flow forward is the central key to all danger. If you are the leader, you must keep your head no matter what.
You've got to cheer up. Do whatever you can to get in the best mood you possibly can, despite the situation. Yes, you often have completely valid reasons to freak out or get pissed off, but negative emotion can only create more thoughts and experiences that lead to more negative emotion. Complaining and blaming is the way in which negative emotion robs us of time. The only way to work toward improvement is through acceptance of our current situation. Therefore, when we look into the present reality in the best mood we can muster, we have already begun to shift the world in that direction. First address your mood, then the mood of people around you; then you can move mountains.
Step Two: Add Up The Facts: Assess the Situation with "New Eyes". There is a way to conclude from the facts that you are in deep trouble, and a way to add things up and see your way through. It is your choice how you direct the inquiry, and where the situation goes. You always have the ability to look for what you want to see happen, in anticipation of success, and skew things in that general direction with your positive expectation. We do not select the specific emergencies that life hands us, but with a clear game plan and a positive mindset, we can increase the skill that shines through us, and land on our feet more often than not.
Step Three: Get behind your decisions. Once you have thought things through and chosen your course of action, you must now proceed without second thoughts. You must move forward with complete confidence, and line up behind the decisions that you have made. Even a perfect plan will not flow well if you do not execute it with utter commitment. You must never look back once you see the way ahead. Simply look where you want to go, and enjoy the ride.
The road to skill is complicated, and requires many levels of our effort and focus. It is, however, the only way to increase the chances of things going well. Mastery is the process of refining ourselves, and discovering the flow state that is the source of all safety. Luck may save us from time to time, but clearly, luck always favors the skillful, and skill springs from feeling. If we are to be the best leaders that we can be, we must always recognize that our powers of emotional control are more important than anything else. Control your vibe, control your world.