Today I wanted to share a little story about swimming with whales. And in true Kate style, this story leads me to share a tip that you can apply to your life and to your work straight away about how to be better at controlling fears and emotions.

You can listen here to Episode #19 on my Level Up Leadership Podcast – How Fear Controls Us. 

A few years ago I purchased an experience for my husband to swim with whales.

On the morning of the experience, we got up early and started to get ready to go on the boat. And I noticed something. I was starting to get snappy. I was really irritable and short with my answers and I was just not like me. So I tried to think, what is going on?

As we arrived at the dock, ready to get on the boat. I realized what was happening. I wasn’t feeling excited. The feeling was fear. 

Now, some people would say, didn’t you think of this prior? It just didn’t occur to me that this would be something that might trigger a fear reflex. I usually love adventures and comfortable in open-water swimming!

Fear for me and anxiety feels like a knot in my stomach. Everybody feels it a little bit differently. Some people feel the sweat on the palms of their hands, or they might get a dry mouth. Once I noticed that feeling of fear, it started to get quieter.

Why? Dr. Dan Siegel, coined the phrase, “name it to tame it”. 

Psychologist David Rock states “when you experienced significant internal tension and anxiety, you can reduce stress by up to 50% by simply noticing and naming your state”.

So the fascinating thing about this is just by noticing that you’re feeling an emotion (and in my case fear) and saying it, you actually reduce it.

This is a technique you can use in both your work and in your personal life. One that is really effective in making a difference in your every day.

But remember, think of it like a muscle. You don’t get fit by going to the gym once, you need to practice this over and over. And as I said, do so with curiosity. So you can name it, to tame it and reduce your stress. 

You can listen here to Episode #19 on my Level Up Leadership Podcast – How Fear Controls Us. 

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