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Desensitize Yourself:

Trepidation To Trite 

Desensitize yourself

Back in the late 1990’s, I drove through the gates of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, in Glynco, GA. I was met by the security force (FLETsee 5-0, as we called them), and the horrid and putrid sulfuric smell of the nearby paper mill. WOW! The odor was like fermented rotten eggs on steroids with Brussel Sprouts on top (insert gagging here)! I’m not sure how long it took, but by the time I was bedding down that first night, I didn’t notice the smell any longer. Wind shift perhaps? No, desensitization. My brain had shut down sending the out the “foul odor signals” and allowed me to function normally, without the gagging and choking back down the rising bile and vomit it caused.

The same thing happens when eating that yummy special meal of your “favorite” food. Once you eat it so much that it no longer becomes special, it doesn’t taste that great. In fact, if that’s all you had to eat, every meal of every day, it wouldn’t be your favorite before long, and wouldn’t even taste good. It would become trite, banal, boring and downright blah.

Alcohol is the same. That initial drink that puts a teetotaler on his or her butt, with head spinning, has no impact on the seasoned-drinker that can hold his or her liquor. We humans quickly build up a tolerance for things, or put another way, are easily desensitized. When Elvis first hit the scene with gyrating hips, it was shocking. Looking back now, after almost 60 years of desensitization, his movies are deemed mild enough for preschoolers.

What if we deployed this phenomenon to our advantage? The Warrior Culture has been doing it for eons. First, we must take an honest assessment of what causes us fear, trepidation and anxiety. Once recognized, go and do the very thing(s) that you fear. Very quickly your trepidation will become trite, just like that favorite meal eaten over and over again. Panic becomes pedestrian.
During a family trip to the beach, I had my 16 year-old son drive the majority of the time. He was a new and inexperienced driver at the time. He had fear and trepidation about driving on I-95 for several hours, in the midst of beach traffic, thunderstorms and high-speed lane changes. After about an hour, he went from butterflies to banal. And after two more hours, from banal to bored, with the long, dull stretches of straightaways at same steady speed, mile after mile. We can do the same, and should.

I used to be terrified of any kind of “selling”. How ridiculous! I’ve made my living being shot at by bad guys the world over, and yet, terrified of someone telling me “No” in a sales environment. Well, businesses don’t build themselves, and if I wanted mine to succeed, selling was a must. I took on a project that had me making 50 cold calls each week. Guess what? By the second week, desensitization worked its magic. After 6 months, I stopped the project, having gained what I needed, trepidation turned to trite. I don’t fear sales calls, sales call fear me. I don’t fear taking calculated risks, calculated risks fear me.

Identify your trepidation. GO and DO it until it becomes trite. Desensitize Yourself.

Boo Yah!

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