Learning to Handle Yourself Under Fire

The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up.

—Paul Valery

Imagine two large, angry wolves, their teeth bared in ferocious snarls, circling you. You might freeze in fear and temporarily pause your breathing or breathe rapidly and shallowly. In the grip of your desire to flee or scream, you could lose the fight before it begins.

Now imagine you’re verbally attacked by someone in a position of power, who seems to hold all the cards, or you’re placed in a tense situation in which peace in your family or your job is on the line. While these problems don’t pose the physical threat circling wolves do, you might react in the same way—your body tenses and your breathing halts.

If you’ve ever ...

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