Book ReviewSafety

Can fear save your life (and ease your mind)? The Gift of Fear – a book review

By January 23, 2014 2 Comments
There's nothing to fear...

Hiding behind fear?

Do you avoid traveling out of fear of the unknown?  

Do you or your spouse worry so much that it ruins the vacation?

Do you ask yourself, “How do I stop worrying so much? “

You may, in fact, be asking the wrong question.   The right question, according to security specialist Gavin DeBecker, involves heeding the signals our intuition sends to protect us and knowing when to block out the learned behavior that tells us our gut feeling is nothing to worry about.

Why you should read this: In his national bestseller The Gift of Fear, DeBecker unveils a person’s most valuable defense mechanism:  The subconscious – a tool which has been muted by years of sensational journalism and over thinking.

* Best advice for women: Don’t put yourself in danger for the sake of politesse.  “Which would you prefer: Potentially offending a complete stranger on an elevator, or getting into a soundproof box with a murderer?”

* The biggest benefit:  Piece of mind.  DeBecker says, “If you’re worrying about something, it means that it hasn’t happened yet… Worry is the fear we manufacture, it is not authentic.  It is a choice.  We choose to worry as a way to avoid change or feeling powerless over something. ”

Through examples and experiences, DeBecker explains how to separate real from imagined danger, recognize the survival signals that warn us of risk and harness the inner voice.   Similar to the theories put to the test in Malcolm Gladwell’s book Blink, your inner voice is the result of thousands of years of refinement with one goal – protecting you.

A famous U.S. Marine and current security specialist puts it another way:

“Listen to that big Marine in the sky.  When the hair on the back of your neck stands up, something isn’t right.” 

Fear is here to help

Define your fears

An easy task, it is not.  Nor does it seem to be common sense at first.  So what magic technique or strategery does DeBecker recommend?

  • Second: Understand the myths: “Most violent acts are random and unpredictable.” In fact, most violent acts are preceded by clear warning signs and have discernible motives.

DeBecker also explains how intuition works and how judgment interferes as well as how to recognize pre-incident indicators. He also breaks down several methods potential attackers use to gain control over their victims.

An essential read for everyone, a must-read for anyone traveling.

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