Tao of the Road Warrior – The Lesson of Fear

Feeling the fear and doing it anyway…

What is it that makes some fear a healthy life sustaining experience and yet other fear is constrictive and restrictive? What about the times when we work through challenging times and no longer feel fear when we face them again?

When I began as a road warrior, I was afraid of nearly everything except the teaching.  I had never traveled extensively alone, particularly in a series of 3, 4 or 7 cities I had never before seen.  I didn’t know procedures, how to deal with the challenges of hotels not doing their jobs well, or flights being cancelled, or how to get from point A to point B without a GPS.  I had never before been locked out of a hotel room – in my pajamas while putting out my room service tray.  

Earlier in my adult life, fear literally made me freeze in my tracks and when I had a job to do and a contract to fulfill, I didn’t have the “luxury” of allowing fear to stop me. Somewhere within, I had to find a way to do it and to keep going. 

The great lesson from thirteen years of being a road warrior is finely tuning the difference between the fear of things unfamiliar and the fear of “this situation is very dangerous.” Intuition or intuitive fear that Gavin de Becker writes of in his wonderful books, “The Gift of Fear” and “Protecting the Gift” looks specifically at intuitive fear.  For each of us, we have to learn how to tune into that station and tune out the irrational fears and fears of things unfamiliar. I have learned that in the midst of the sometimes chaos and unpredicatability being a road warrior is a still and clear voice who speaks in assertive and knowing tones when I am having intuitive fear.  It is much like the calm in the eye of the storm and there is no discussion now, I simply listen to her…when I am on the road.  When it comes to people I do know, I still have a tendency to get into the internal argument of “you are just being judgmental” rather than acting on what the voice knows. There is progress and there is a deepening of the discernment of empowerment and decisions….there is still room for growth.

Question:  How do you know when your internal wise voice, your intuitive fear, is speaking to you? What happens when you don’t heed his/her advice?