Today I’d like to address a topic that should be taken into consideration before any discussion, action and decision. And especially during these divided times. 


The topic of taking action from fear


Fear, an unpleasant emotion caused by the perception of danger, pain, or harm, has always been a part of our human experience. And yet the last two years have thrown many of us into fear’s  grip for months on end. Fear of losing our health, fear of death, fear of losing our jobs, fear of loneliness, fear of being ostracized for our alternative decisions or beliefs, fear of an economic downturn. And so many more. 


Now when one of my girls wakes up with a nightmare I make sure to reassure her, be with her and let my calm presence slowly help her regulate her own state. After a while her breathing deepens, she starts yawning, there might even be a little smile on her lips. Her body and mind have quietened down and she slowly falls back to sleep in the knowledge that tomorrow morning all will look different. 


In an ideal situation during the last two years we also would have been held by each other’s loving and calm presence, reassured that we can face any challenge together, that tomorrow will be a new day. 


Calming and reassuring news don’t sell

Yet calming and reassuring news don’t sell. And fearful bodies and minds have the tendency to attract and infect other fearful bodies and minds. All of this increasing our worries and each other’s worries in an endless loop. Going back to the example of my daughter, if I’m as fearful as her in the middle of the night chances are small either of us will close another eye. 


Fear hooks us

Many, dare I say most, of us have been living with low levels of fear for so many years we might not even recognize it for what it is anymore. 


Others have been sucked into the vortex of sensational headlines, their only purpose for us to get hooked. And what hooks us more than fear? 


Because fear triggers our survival brain most of our energy and blood flow will be directed to our extremities, our arms and legs, in preparation for us fighting or running. 


When we are triggered we cannot think of anything else but the threat we are exposed to. Our focus narrows in onto the danger and the danger only. 


Which is a great survival mechanism if there is a real threat out there. You want your body to simply run and climb a tree when you’ve got a lion chasing you. 


The problem comes when our body reacts to a comment, another person’s fear or another doom and gloom story without assessing the real risk out there. 


At best it will cause you to feel deeply unsettled and uncomfortable, at worst it will trigger you into fear based action. 


  • A leader taking action out of fear of being perceived as incompetent. 
  • A society taking action out of fear of losing the GDP race.
  • An individual taking action out of fear of being disrespected. 


You only have to pay little attention to some of the decisions being made around the world to see how many of them are made by fellow human beings steeped in fear. Focussed on avoiding the threat and losing sight of the wider impact of any of these decisions. 



Fear makes for a bad leader

When we take action and lead from fear our impact, creativity and perspective will always be limited. 


So what’s a growing conscious human to do?


Start by paying attention to your body. Are you aware of when you get triggered and why? Can you calm your body when you get triggered? Are you aware of what practical steps you can take to shift yourself out of the sensation of fear? And if yes, are you taking the actual steps to do so? Knowing alone won’t change anything. It takes practice to recognize the subtle and not so subtle signs of our bodies and to settle them. 


Once you can settle your body, start paying attention to your thinking. Is your thinking keeping you calm, centred, curious, loving, accepting or is it triggering even more fear inside you? What content are you feeding your brain? Are you listening to and reading content that’s been offered from a place of fear inside the author or with the only intention to sell/scare, or does it come from a place of curiosity, openness, creativity, resolve? Who do you hang out with? Are the people you spend most time with living with low levels of anxiety too or are there some that have the capacity to return you to a state of calmness and trust in humanity and mother nature? The latter does not even need to be someone you know. It could be a mentor, guide or teacher you find online.


And once you can calm both your body and your mind effectively, and can return to centre, and only then, it’s time to consider what, if any, action should be taken. Action from a place of acceptance, curiosity, empathy and innovation. 


With practice this process won’t take more than a few moments of your focussed presence and breath, yet it will be the biggest shift you shall ever make. For yourself, others and our world at large. 



We can do this. Together, 

Manuela Damant
Visionary Collective Leader Azkua


At Azkua we are on a mission to turn businesses and organisations into a force for good. And we believe that it is professional women like YOU, who will be at the forefront of this transformation. Purpose driven, caring, grounded and influential women.