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"We are the protagonists of our stories called life, and there is no limit to how high we can fly."

PHD. MBA. MHS. Type rated on A350, A330, B777, B747-400, B747-200, B757, B767, B737, B727. International Airline Pilot / Author / Speaker. Dedicated to giving the gift of wings to anyone following their dreams. Supporting Aviation Safety through training, writing, and inspiration. Fighting for Aviation Safety and Airline Employee Advocacy. Safety Culture and SMS change agent.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Face Your Fear

Monday Motivation 
Flight to Success Be the Captain of Your Life. 
Chapter 1: Fear is about how do identify and deal with Fear.

Be prepared. Be safe. But live your life in the game, 
not on the sidelines!


One of my greatest fears is guns. Not logically, but physically. Not until I attended FFDO  (Federal Flight Deck Officer) school, did I know I had this fear. I never had an experience with a gun, good or bad. The moment the empty gun was placed in front of me, I shook. My body had a physical reaction. 

I had to convince myself that I was fine, as I learned how to clean and load it. Then the moment I held that loaded gun, I began shaking again. I could not shoot. I had to breathe deep. Relax. Calm myself. Mental chants that everything would be fine. That the gun was pointed away. And then I fired. And fired. And fired again.

I had no problem with the shooting part. But why the fear? I have often asked myself where fear comes from. But my solution is always how to deal with it, when it arrives.  I have faced fear many times in my life. From the first time I flew a 727, to the first time on CNN, to every job interview. What made me push forward without running in fear? 

What enables focus despite fear?

Fear is the first chapter in Flight To Success, Be the Captain of Your Life. A chapter that everyone must read, as we face our fears in 2016. Life is short, make sure you get in the game. Fear is a natural emotion, not one to incapacitate.

Learn to identify which fears to face, 
and which to honor! 
Enjoy the Journey! 
XOX Karlene


  1. Avoiding avoidance. The only way to deal with fear is to confront it head-on. Avoiding fear, ultimately increases one's level of anxiety, while stopping one from moving forward.

    1. Thanks for your comment Grant. While some fears we should honor... the smart ones like don't fly through a thunderstorm. But the rest, just face it and learn you can survive!

    2. Good point for sure; highlights dangers of generalizing when I commented.

    3. Grant, the funny thing is I wrote that first chapter in complete alignment with the way you were thinking. But then I started wondering how to identify which fears we should conquer and those we respect and added another section to the book!

  2. Regular readers recognize that you fear very little. If fear or harm are an intruder's objective, said 'perps,' should sit mute. Congratulations on the FFDO program and yes, I'm a huge supporter, but frankly, I think you've already said too much. IMO, these details belong in you books and dissertation, not on the blog. With apologies, Karlene, a lot of physical and personnel security details should not be written about in public. XO
    -Craig (of Cedarglen)

    1. Craig, thanks for the comment. But the truth is, I am not exempt to fear. I fear a great deal. Fear speaking in front of people. Fear of heights. Fear of conflict. And, as the post said... fear of guns. Which I did not know. That program was another lifetime ago.
      I agree... no details on the blog about that program. But a good lesson for many reasons. Thanks for your comment!

  3. Karlene,

    Now that you are a "gun guy" your training is now complete. You are ready to be Captain.

    1. Hahha... I turned that thing back in. But you're right...I am now ready!


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