Fear and apprehension are a natural part of life. In an effort to cope and survive, our brain will often create anxiousness, shock and extreme emotion as a response to what it perceives as a threat or an unknown situation in front of us. Often, this can be an overreaction and can impede people succeeding or developing.
In general life, we sometimes face seemingly insurmountable challenges dotted throughout our personal and business world. However, with a fresh approach and some coping tools, we can often achieve unbelievable things!
We have recently been delivering half-day activities that pushed teams beyond what they thought was possible.
In each day, our team first met their instructor. Participants were in the safe hands of a UK special forces training expert. They heard first-hand how elite military personnel psychologically survive, and ultimately win, in the most adverse conditions on Earth.
Then it was time to turn the theory into action! Under the strictest guidance and with years of Ministry of Defence experience behind him, our group instructor led our team through a series of mini challenges. These required rational thinking and internal belief rather than physical strength.
Wooden block breaking and archer’s arrow breaking increased the confidence of our group and created fantastic camaraderie. As participants all supported and celebrated each individual’s successes, little did they know that the real challenge of the day was being set up outside in the venue’s grounds!
While participants had been learning inside about facing fears, rational thinking and trust in leadership, outside, our professional fire safety officer had constructed a long fire walk pit.
Layers of turf perfectly protected the venue’s garden. On top, oak logs were set on fire to ultimately condense into super-hot embers and coals. Our unsuspecting team was then led outside to face the up-to 500 degrees Centigrade path before them.
Using all the confidence tools from the previous challenges, our instructor coached everyone to face their fears and walk barefooted along the coals to waiting buckets of water at the end.
For some, this experience was terrifying, euphoric and emotional…but always empowering. Most of the participants went round for a second time!
The group’s sense of achievement was obvious, with everyone being cheered and supported with every step.
Throughout this unforgettable team building event, there was no pressure at all for any of the participants to do anything they really did not want to do. Sometimes, even just watching team mates was inspiration enough. Everyone left this special team event having learnt valuable fear-facing strategies to take with them into all parts of their life.
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