(Distinctions are subtleties of language that, when gotten, cause a shift in a belief, behavior, value or attitude.)

Both words, prepared and panicked, are set while visiting the future. The future – unknown, mysterious, shadowy – is at its core uncertain. In that, prepared and panicked are similar. It’s their response to the uncertain future which differs.

A prepared person has thought about the future and possible outcomes, generally somewhat dispassionately. If A happens, then what are my responses? If B happens, what are my responses? And so on. Prepared is the result of projecting, planning, and, well, preparing for imaginable possible outcomes. A prepared person sees, and has, possibilities.

A panicked person projects a future which seems insurmountable, overwhelming, lacking in sufficient options, which generates fear. The reactions to fear are fight, flight, freeze, or faint. Not a great list.

Prepared people respond. Panicked people can only react.

When you catch yourself beginning to panic it’s useful to interrupt the emotion and look for options. Surround yourself with resources which will help you respond rather than the reactive sources of panic.

It’s best to look for the possibilities in the wide grin of the morning horizon.

Coaching Point: Hey there, Scout, are you prepared?

Copyright 2020 Steve Straus. All rights reserved.