Chapter 2

Rethink risk, commit to courage

We have not journeyed all this way across the centuries, across the oceans, across the mountains, across the prairies, because we are made of sugar candy.

Winston Churchill

Every day you’re bombarded with reasons why you should feel afraid. Fear of another dive into economic recession. Fear of job loss. Fear of losing your retirement savings. Fear of personal safety. Fear of radicalism, fundamentalism, government, racialism, terrorism, isolation, mutant viruses, random violence, identity theft, global warming … the list is long.

Marketers prey on your fears. The media preys on your fears. Politicians play on your fears. Fear sells products. Fear sells papers. Fear wins votes. Fear makes profit. Fear grows power.

And fear fuels fear.

In a world that’s so filled with fear, refusing to become its pawn — to not playing safe or thinking safe — becomes an ever more courageous act. Nowhere is this more needed than in the workplace. Nowhere will it be more rewarded.

Fear is a primal emotion wired into your psychological DNA to protect you from harm and to alert you to danger. Its sole purpose is to steer you away from situations that could cause harm or pain and endanger your physical, mental or emotional wellbeing. Fear can be traced back to the Neanderthal cave-dwelling days when recognising a potential threat to a person’s safety was the difference between life and death. Today the risks you’re confronted with on a daily basis are far ...

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