Gift of Fear

Before leaving Seattle, I took a self defense class at Fighting Chance Seattle (amazing team there, highly recommend it!) as it was my dad’s only request when I told him about this adventure. My instructor, Jordan, recommend this book during class which I didn’t think of much at the time but I’m glad my mind recalled it a month later. I needed to read this. So much fear, worry and anxiety had filled my mind from the concerns of loving family members and the media. Gavin De Becker teaches you about survival signals, messengers of intuition and predicting behavior. Reading this gave me the information I needed to let go of the worries I had around traveling as a woman, and the tools to recognize and react if actual danger presents itself.

A few messages that resonated:

“I am capable of what every other human is capable of. This is one of the great lessons of war and life” – Maya Angelou

“Fears are educated into us, and can, if we wish, be educated out” – Kari A. Menninger

” I have had a great many troubles, but most of them never happened” – Mark Twain

“I hope you will have less unwarranted fear of people. I hope you’ll harness and respect your ability to recognize survival signals. Most important, I hope you’ll see the hazard only in those storm clouds where it exists and live life more fully in the clear skies between them”

“The strange way people evaluate risk sheds some light on why we often choose not to avoid danger. We tend to give our full attention to risks that are beyond our control (air crashes, nuclear plant disasters) while ignoring those we feel in charge of (dying from smoking, poor diet, car accidents), even though the latter are far more likely to harm us. We drink and drive without our seatbelts and light up another cigarette… and then cancel the trip to Europe on the one-in-a-million chance of an Arab terrorist attack. Many Americans who wouldn’t travel to see the pyramids for fear of being killed in Egypt, stay home where the danger is twenty times greater”

“This above all, to refuse to be a victim” – Margaret Atwood