One day he asked me about fear.

“Inside the eye of a cyclone, Daniel-san, there is

peace-while just outside, the cyclone unleashes all its

fury and power. This is how it must be for the Mental

Warrior also.”

I told him how I’d once been so aware of fear that I

sensed how it could become overwhelming. During my

aviation training in the Navy, I admit that I got to know

the type of fear that near-drowning can bring on. I

nearly drowned on a couple of occasions during

training 먹튀검증. The truth is, try as they might to keep it from

happening, people die in that type of training program

every year. It’s just the nature of the situation.

All the deep-water survival training is done wearing

full flight gear including helmet and boots, with no

floatation. You have to use the techniques taught and

learn to avoid drowning despite everything that’s

weighing you down and trying to pull you under. It can

be exhausting. One day, thanks to my lack of technique,

I learned what the fear associated with believing you are

going to drown felt like. I remember the dark green

glaze of the water, my last gasped breath, the glimpse of

a pale blue sky, and then my last thought as I went

under:

I hope they noticed a helmet sinking . . .

The worst and scariest training sessions were called

the helo-dunker. Imagine being strapped into a

helicopter simulator with a co-pilot and four other crew

members. Once everyone is strapped in, the entire

apparatus is dropped into a training tank of water from

around twenty feet up. No one is allowed to move until

the “aircraft” sinks down about twenty feet, where it is

rotated on cables, turned over and up-ended in order to

disorientate everyone. Once the movement stops, you

have to count down from ten, after which all six on

board have to find their way out of a specific hatch

designated by the instructors just before the drop into

the water. Everyone must do this wearing swim goggles

that are blacked-out in order to make him completely

blind. It’s an interesting situation that can easily lead to

panic.

In order to get out safely of course, the trick is not to

panic, release your safety harness, and never lose your

reference point. One hand must always be grabbing

some part of the aircraft interior as you work your way

out. You never release the reference point you have until

your other hand reaches out and grabs a new one. So

even as you float upside down, disoriented in total

darkness, the one hold that you always have, gives your

inner mind the reference point it needs, and by using

your mind’s eye, you are able to find your way to the

required exit hatch.

One of my roommates had to be pulled out by

rescue divers when he panicked and failed to get his

harness to release. He almost drowned. The fear on his

face when he was helped out of the water was real. And

since he had failed, we all failed. Without hesitation, he

and the rest of us were all immediately loaded up to try

again. There was no time to dwell on his near-drowning

experience. Instead, we were all strapped back in again

-and again-and again, until we all got it right, until we

all beat our fear of drowning.

“Those must have been very intense feelings,” Leo-

tai said. “After all, fear is a normal response to

something dangerous or threatening. While many

would say that fear is healthy, it is no good if fear seizes

control, especially when we may have to save ourselves

or save others. Fear can ruin our potential to perform.”

“So, how can you stop fear from seizing control?” I

asked.

“Controlling fear involves two things: a choice and a

strategy. The choice is whether we truly choose to

confront the fear, and then the strategy is how we go

forward, having made the choice to do so. Naturally in

the Navy, they made the choice for you and you were

forced to confront your fears. They applied their

strategy whether you guys liked it or not, and so pushed

you beyond your fears.”

Leo-tai looked me straight in the eyes.

“Fear can create tension, doubt, anxiety, loss of

coordination, and loss of concentration. In the worst

cases, fear can even begin effectively shutting down

neuro-muscular connections! Someone who is afraid

naturally tends to shift their focus on to what can go

wrong, and when they do that, Daniel-san, mistakes

begin to happen-typically the very mistakes they are

most fearful of making.”

“I see what you’re saying, how the thought of

something going wrong can make it worse,” I agreed.

“Fear can cause the warrior to focus on the

negative. The fearful competitor can become over-

cautious and decide to play it safe-instead of playing to

win.

Fear can turn a competitor from someone trying to

win, into someone trying not to lose. Once that

confidence is gone, any advantage that the warrior may

have had over his opponent begins to disappear.”

“But how do you manage fear?”

Leo-tai smiled at my question. “Where is the fear?

Fear happens inside your head, and thus it can be

managed. A certain amount of fear energy is normal in

competitive or dangerous situations. What’s important

is to not let it grow out of control-and to know what to

do in case it does. Remember this: A champion knows

that fear is only as powerful as he lets it become. Fear of

something in the future-or even in the past, for that

matter-can also be a tremendously powerful

experience. Therefore, it is important and necessary to

take back some of the power of the emotion. The

Warrior/Champion does this by bringing himself back

into the present moment, and the easiest way to do that,

Daniel-san, is to focus and watch your breathing. You

must bring your breathing under control in order to

ground yourself in the present.”

“You mean, make a decision to focus on your

breathing?”

“Exactly. That’s where we start. You must focus

and breathe in a controlled way. Watch your breathing.

Control your breathing. Doing this has a calming effect;

but more importantly, it brings you back into the present

moment. Once you are back, once you have returned to

the present-you (or any warrior) must then face his

fear.”

“Confront your fear,” I suggested.

“Indeed. Ask yourself what you are so afraid of?

Confront it rationally. Face your fear down. This you

must do before you can set off to accomplish whatever it

is that you must. Recalling times when you have been

successful in the past, or successful during training, can

help shut down fear. Recalling how well you typically

perform, how much you love the sport, the competition,

the challenge, or how well you do your job, can also

prove helpful. Then, you must decide upon a strategy

and move ahead embracing the challenge set before you

-despite any fear.”

It all sounded possible and even empowering, but I

still had one question.

“How do I prevent the negative thoughts that help

make me fearful?” I asked.

“Interrupt them, the instant that you notice them,”

he said. “Replace them-drown them out-with positive

self-talk and images. You must re-direct the energy of

fear and channel it into self-confidence. This is one way

that you can begin to transform the energy.”

He then rose. “There is only one energy prior to a

confrontation or a major challenge, and the energy is

telling you to get ready. If you feel the energy to be more

like fear rather than self-confidence-remember that it is

happening in your head. Against fear, Daniel-san, you

must have the spirit of attack, against fear, one can

always win.”

Remember: Against fear, one can always

win. Confront the fear and then engage a

strategy to move forward despite the fear.