The idea is to learn to cross the fear threshold and form a more useful relationship with fear:
"crossing it provides lessons useful in business and life. There's the significance of knowing that what frightens can be survived, as well as the importance of concentrating when concentration is all but impossible."
"Perhaps the most common freakout point comes with public speaking, and Iron Mountain CEO Richard Reese remembers being drafted early in his career to do a last-minute presentation on a technical subject he knew zero about."
This resonated deeply for me. Having now lead workshops for 10 years on interpersonal communication and presentation, I've often wrestled with fear. This is especially true when I've encountered what I envisioned as worst-nightmare scenarios. For example:
1) The Psychotic Supporter whose sweet demeanor is replaced by the face of Gollum when you offer candid feedback that her style might be perceived as condescending.
2) The Socially-Myopic Sales Rep who misses all the non-verbal cues that indicate that his colleagues think he is a moron.
3) The Wax-Eared Trainer Candidate who required a metaphorical two-by-four upside her head to get her to stop defending herself when given the feedback that "you are coming across as defensive."
4) Realizing it's 30 minutes before the start-time of a gig and you are in the wrong city.
5) Flight delays result in having to lead an 8-hour workshop on 2 hours sleep.
Each time one of these scenarios has happened, it's like being visited by an old, familiar enemy ... "Oh, fear. It's YOU again." Each day the scream of fear becomes fainter and fainter.
As Eugen Herrigel says in "Zen in the Art of Archery": “Like the beginner the swordmaster is fearless, but, unlike him, he grows daily less and less accessible to fear.