Fear and Worry
Into a Storm!
Inspired to write this article about fear and worry, about to set out to sail in a yacht race. Called the Fastnet race – a 600+ Miles race from Cowes to the Fastnet Rock in Ireland and back to Plymouth. The crew have to deliver the Yacht to Cowes on the Isle of white and it is currently about 4 days sail away in Pwllheli. The forecast is bad with 30-40 Knots of wind. It is not uncommon to get summer storms during this race. In 1979, 19 people died in this race.
I am feeling nervous. This trip has been 4 years in the making. I have trained and prepared since I last entered 4 years ago when our boat had to withdraw from the race.
Cold and wet. Tired and exhausted, we will only sleep for 2 hours at a time. It will be rough and sea sickness is a given. Am I thinking twice about going? Not really – I would never even entertain that thought (Be careful what thoughts you do entertain). If I did think that thought and indulge it, then 4 years of ambition would be simply flushed away.
If I relate my fear and worry to that of a client with for example social anxiety, there doesn’t seem to be much in common between us but there are similarities as to how to deal with your fears.
Confronting fear and worry
- Acknowledge. There is no point in denying it right up until the point that you are confronted with it. Preparation can help. (I have made sure that my safety equipment and waterproofs are all checked) I am now off to buy sea sickness pills.
- Face and accept the fear. (Feel the fear and do it anyway) I heard a great line in a Sci Fi film. “Danger is very real but fear exists only in your imagination”.
- Use your imagination positively and wisely. Try to imagine a successful outcome. I am imagining the enormous sense of achievement after completing such a challenge and I am trying to imagine drinking champagne in the after-race party. (There is little point in me indulging the thought of the boat sinking or me being swept overboard). If you feed the negative emotion of fear – it is a bit like watering weeds. Remember to water only the Flowers!
- I am not held for ransom by fear. If you compare this with social anxiety – a similar approach is needed. I am choosing to take control. This is important.
Generally, most clients know what they want to achieve, however, they may have been held hostage by fear for so long that they have rationalised and disempowered themselves. After a while, if you put enough emotion into your thoughts then in your subconscious mind they become facts. Being impassive to those thoughts and not “inflating them” is mindfulness.
I hope we make it back – but if we don’t this is my last blog post 😊