I am honored to have welcomed former extreme skier, author and expert on Fear, Kristen Ulmer. In this excerpt from our intimate chat, Kristen shares some of the origins of her relationship with Fear and how she became famous in one day. In the full chat, she goes on to share about how she found her calling “into supporting a humanity-wide pathology that is cooking us all alive: the repression of Fear,” how she also repressed it for the next 15 years and its effect on her, understanding our relationship to Fear and how not feeling Fear impacts how we lead ourselves, lead our lives and lead others.
Kristen was recognized as being the best female, big mountain extreme skier in the world for 12 years, and was also voted the most fearless woman athlete in North America. This, combined with 15 years studying Zen and working with thousands of clients, led to her recent book: The Art of Fear: Why Conquering Fear Won’t Work and What to Do Instead, which radically challenges existing norms about what to do about fear and anxiety.
While referring to an entrepreneur planning the development of a new product, and the importance of confronting all that it implies, Kristen said to me, “Fear is part of every decision that you are ever going to make.”
She says: “Fear actually is a great advisor. If you don’t invite fear in the decision making process, it’s like you becoming blind in one eye. You have no depth perception.”
Her unique perspective on Fear is helping people in the private sector, as the same things that drive elite athletes drive many corporate achievers. Says Kristen: “Fear is not the problem. It’s our relationship with the fear, that is the problem.”
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