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Embrace your fear

Use it to your advantage

Use your fear to your advantage

So I'm escaping the cold February of NYC this weekend headed to Florida to repeatedly fall out of airplanes. It's been almost 28 months since my last jump, and I've decided it's time. Why? Because I'm a better person when I jump.

"But what about the danger? What about Covid?"

Here's how I think about it, and here's how you might want to think about doing things that scare you, as well:

Of course I'm scared each time I jump. The day I'm no longer scared about jumping out of a plane from 3 miles above the earth with only some fabric and strings to save my life is the day I'll quit jumping. The fact is, I'm SUPPOSED to be scared. 

It means the body is doing the right things necessary to keep you alive, starting with experiencing fear. Fear increases your heart rate, which gets more blood pumping through your body and into the muscles that need them. Fear increases the size of your pupils, so you can see better. Same thing with anything that scares you.

Humans have been training to handle fear since we first started standing upright, and most of the time, we're surprisingly good at it. Our training is what allows our gut to tell us not to walk down that alley, because it looks dangerous, or keeps us from driving too fast in an uncontrolled environment.

The key is to embrace your fear. To let it wash over you, and to channel the energy, the excitement, and the chemicals it produces, and use them to your advantage. Hear me: Fear will save your life, every single time, as long as you don't let it paralyze you. As long as you listen to your fear and let your gut guide you through tricky situations, you're probably going to come out of them alright. 

But if you let your fear CONTROL you (which is different than letting it guide you,) then you'll freeze up, and you won't do anything. And you know who absolutely LOVES humans who freeze up and don't move out of fear? Saber-toothed tigers.

Embrace your fear. Be afraid, and do it anyway. Don't be Tiger food.

Blue skies and long surfs,


Peter Shankman is a best selling author, entrepreneur, keynote speaker, and a trainer living in New York City. He is a stay at home dad as well. Check out his blog.

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