How To Keep Calm And Carry On (So You Can Overcome Any Obstacle)

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keep calm and carry on

Have you heard the story of the trial attorney who never lost a case?

Early in his career, he was advised to “remember his feet.” Thinking about his feet proved to be a way to stay centered.

As a result, when he went to court he was ready for whatever happened because he was continually stable, calm and centered. He never lost his cool or reacted. Consequently, he was prepared for the surprises that regularly popped up during trials. 

When we lose our cool, get angry or intense, or react emotionally, we're responding using our "reptilian brain" — our emotional, reactionary brain — and logic shuts down.

Alternatively, when we keep calm and stay non-reactive, centered and focused, we remain open to inspiration and ideas. The dynamic, imaginative, higher mind clicks in with strategies and solutions.

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There are various ways to stay centered. For instance, people trained in the martial arts learn to move and act from their core or center. Instead of their feet, they focus on their core or "abdominal brain".

As they practice self-defense techniques, they develop strong core balance, strength and movement, which trains them to stay connected to their center. In this way, they can feel the energy around them and shift appropriately when it changes. 

The same thing is true for everyone.

The more we stay connected to our inner core of peace, the more sensitive we are to changes occurring around us and our ability to shift and move accordingly is strengthened — which leads to appropriate responses.

The boxer, Evander Holyfield, learned this lesson when he was young. As a kid, he fought another boy and lost. He went home and told his mother.

She said, “Go out there and fight him again.” He went out and battled the kid again and lost again.

When he arrived home a second time, his mother said, “Go out there and fight him again.”

Holyfield fought the other kid four times. Finally, he won the fourth fight. By that time, Holyfield had determined to remain cool and observe his opponent, which helped him to discern his weaknesses. Ultimately, he used his developed observation skills to recognize the weaknesses in all his opponents. Holyfield developed the ability to use these to his advantage. In that way, he transformed what was initially a fear reaction into a studied, calm response.

The result: He became a prize-winning boxer and champion.

Actor Jim Carey offers another example of learning to stay centered. At age 14, he informed his father that he wanted to be a professional comedian.

His dad drove him to a comedy club where Carey was laughed off the floor. Undaunted, Carey took the criticism as a challenge. In other words, he used it to motivate practice, practice, practice, while staying centered. The rest is history. 

Fear keeps you in the reptilian, reactive mindset. When you notice fear has made its appearance, take a few deep breaths and move back to your center so you can regroup.

If you contemplate the things that don’t work for you, you might discover the reasons: too much internal criticism, disempowering beliefs and lack of being centered.

Alternatively, notice what works well for you. You might find that certain practices or thoughts help you stay focused, relaxed and have the courage to deal with whatever is necessary, even if it temporarily seems overwhelming. In other words, notice when you are being non-reactive and functioning with full capacity.

The bottom line is: What could you accomplish if you could not fail?

If you want to find out, get centered, "remember your feet" and go for it!

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Jean Walters is a St. Louis-based Transformational Coach, Akashic record reader, teacher and author of Set Yourself Free: Live the Life You Were Meant to Live! And Be Outrageous: Do the Impossible – Others Have and You Can Too! You can reach her at her website,