I listened to Chris Hadfield’s TED talk today. He’s the one who went completely blind while OUTSIDE the space capsule miles above the earth’s surface. Um. Hm.. That’s probably something that would be a cause of fear for most people. He didn’t panic. He continued his work. His partner (you know, the buddy system—like in Boy Scouts and scuba diving) came to his side, made sure all was relatively calm, and Chris lived to tell about it. The other Boy Scout motto that slipped unseen into the speech, but I heard it very plainly, was “Be Prepared.” The astronauts had practiced all measures of scenarios, from “this is fun” to “this is the worst that could happen,” and everything in between. They were prepared for the “completely blind” incident… not specifically, but psychologically, allowing them NOT TO PANIC.
The point is… there is a point… had Chris Hadfield been unwilling to displace his perceived fear, and to prepare for the real dangers, he never would have seen the unimaginably beautiful vistas, nor experienced the gloriously satisfying accomplishment of his goal of being an astronaut. As I look at the perceived fears I have, I know that the real dangers are few. In fact, living is inherently dangerous, as no one gets out of it alive. No one.
Therefore, the best course is to practice and prepare for the worst so you can react appropriately when (and it usually does) the worst happens (only because that’s one of the unwritten rules of life and drama, for gosh sakes), and go for it. Whatever it is.