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*Disclaimer below

Fear, nervousness, heart pounding, clammy hands, butterflies, light headed, shortness of breath,

tight chest, dry throat … are all symptoms of LEARNING! Or experiencing something new, or difficult (think conflict situations). They are not signs you have a disorder!

Isn’t is fascinating how we have turned natural, bodily responses into disorders and dysfunctions. I have had the fortune of witnessing the growth of thousands and thousands of people in a learning environment. In the past 10 years the “fear” around learning and developing has skyrocketed - to the point where people will describe normal nerves as, “my anxiety is off the charts right now”. We can’t intellectualize ourselves into new behaviors - we have to “behave” our way into them. Which means experiencing the feelings that go with those new behaviors.

Whether learning (or any experience of the ‘unknown’) is “exciting” or “terrifying” depends on our PERCEPTION of it. Our brain (the hypothalamus) triggers the same physical reaction when we are fearful as when we are excited. Quite simply, most of us are out of practice at sitting with the ‘normal states’ of human expansion.

We are overdosing on intellectual content / knowledge yet we are losing the ability to ‘sit in our feelings’. I am NOT disputing that people genuinely have feelings of anxiousness and panic. We all do! I have them every time I stand on stage. But that does not mean I have a disorder. I am being that wonderful thing called HUMAN. We are not our emotions - ALL emotions are meant to move through us (e-motion), not make their home in us.

So the next time you go to label a normal human response to a new situation or experience in a way that doesn’t serve you, maybe just breathe (deep nasal breaths through the nose and out through the mouth release nitric oxide into the bloodstream to calm us down) and observe that you are simply having a chemical reaction. Be fascinated by the brilliance of your amazing body rather than be frightened of it.


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