….but inside he was terrified. “I can’t believe this is happening.” he said – Today’s NY Times reporting on a Katie Couric interview with Captain C.B. Sullenberger.
Not surprisingly, the hero pilot of flight 1549 unconsciously used a technique that works – his feelings were put into words – even if only in his head. This kind of acknowledgement of anxiety actually helps the brain to focus because it isn’t wasting energy on trying to suppress a feeling that is a very real reflection of the situation.
This works in much less dire circumstances where the only risk is a loss of capital. Giving voice – verbally or internally – to one’s acutal feelings – without edit or judgment – allows one to much more easily see (and execute on) what needs to be done. I have said it before and will say it again, FDR was wrong. It is not that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself, the only thing we have to fear is no fear at all.