Fear is a helpful reaction to frightening things, like the unknown.
It helps us figure out when to fight and when to flee. Choosing between those two meant life or death for our ancestors. We are, evolutionarily speaking, descendants of those who developed the best judgement in choosing between those two options.
Rarely is “doing nothing” the right choice when facing something that frightens you. Doing nothing is a lot more scary than fighting or fleeing. But often, that’s what people must do. We give “doing nothing” other names. Names like “meetings” or “waiting for visibility” or “budgeting process” or “more research.”
We rarely call “doing nothing” by it’s real name: Waiting.
And without a doubt, Waiting is the scariest place of all.
One of my favorite philosophers, Dr. Suess, once penned a philosophical parable called Oh, the Places You’ll Go, that is worthy of a re-read whenever you realize you’re in the scariest place of all: The Waiting Place.
I hate it, but The Waiting Place seems to be an inevitable part of life’s journey.
How you handle the waiting place is often the difference between survival and being eaten by a saber tooth tiger.
It’s a scary place. I try to avoid it whenever possible.
But when I can’t, I try to find a safe, dry place where I can start carving a big log into a club.