Fear almost kept me from treating my Traumatic Brain Injury.
I was scheduled to have a Wavi brain scan on a Monday in February 2021. The Saturday night prior my wife and I were relaxing, discussing our anticipation and excitement to begin treatment for my head injuries while serving as a Navy SEAL.
After nearly 20 years of unknowingly suffering with what appeared to be TBI, I was about to get definitive answers. Would I finally get an explanation as to why I struggled so mightily to properly process my emotions which led to unwanted or destructive behavior on so many occasions?
And then a thought came to me that scared me to death: What happens if the Wavi scan shows there is no damage to my brain? What if there is no good reason for my behavioral struggles over the last two decades? What if I’m just…a jerk?
“I’m having second thoughts about going in for the scan,” I told my wife out of the blue.
“What? Why?” is all she could reply.
I proceeded to rattle off a series of ridiculous reasons as to why I should not get the brain scan after all. I concluded with, “What difference does it make at this point?”
My wife was speechless but was used to this type of unpredictable reaction from me. Her response was concise and to the point, “Well, for one thing, the life insurance company raised your rates by a factor of eight because they said brain injuries can cause early onset dementia, Alzheimer’s, and early death. Your three children and I would like to have you around if that’s ok with you.”
I conceded the point and agreed to go.
Thankfully, after acknowledging the fear and deciding not to succumb to it, I got the brain scan. Since that time, my healing has become my passion to bring to others suffering as I did with TBI.
But the Point Here How I Almost Let My Fear Control Me.
Emotions drive our actions. My action based on my fear was almost inaction, had it not been for my wife to talk some sense into me.
Every measure of fear can be found deep within yourself.
You don’t really fear failure, you fear your own lack of ability.
You don’t really fear rejection, you fear your own ineptitude.
You don’t really fear the man, you fear your own exposure to cowardice.
The list can go on and on.
In my case, I didn’t really fear the brain scan, I feared an exposure of my own fallibility as a human being.
Until we can fully acknowledge the reasons behind our fear, we are not likely to act in a way that will bring us closer to becoming the person we want to be.
In my case, that person is a father who will see his children live a long and prosperous life and a husband who will grow old with the love of his life.
More to follow…
Errol Doebler is the founder of Ice Cold Leader, a leadership consulting firm. After successful careers as a Navy SEAL Platoon Commander and FBI Special Agent, Errol founded Ice Cold Leader to realize his passion of empowering great leaders and better human beings. Errol provides executive coaching, keynote speaking, and corporate retreats to individuals and teams across the world.