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Motivational Mondays: Bunnies and Wolves

On one of many, many of my unsuccessful teenaged egging missions, as the lights went on in a house and a man stepped out yelling, my friend Michelle, froze behind a tire. Like a bunny in the woods.

There are actually three responses to fear. There’s fight, flight and there’s freeze. The little white bunny vulnerable out in a sun glittered snowdrift senses the wolf. What of the three does she choose to do?

When you sense the beast you fear approaching, what do you typically do?

Well, it depends on a few things.

1. How many times have you faced this wolf before? Oftentimes a familiar fear breeds a conditioned response. When I hear the garage door open and toys still scatter the floor, I swing into action, fighting to quickly clean up in time to act natural and unrushed when the door opens two minutes later. I fight.

2. How many times have you fought this wolf before? Just because we’ve sensed the danger doesn’t mean we‘ve taken it on. When a submissions letter comes in, no matter how many times I’ve gulped, and opened it to read, I have to let it sit a spell. I freeze until I can get up the nerve to take action.

3. What is on the line? Our fear response will be greatly impacted by what is on the line. If her bunnies are nearby, you bet that momma is going to run from that wolf, if only to get his attention as far away from them as possible. Or maybe she’s a big bunny with sharp claws and a mean back kick. Maybe she’ll fight.

4. What expectation have we set  up? How much we value the outcome, like in #3, will influence our response. What we think is right, or should happen can impact this as well. A writer I knew had her editor issue a title change without ever notifying the author. The title was fine. The practice didn’t sit well with her. She took action.

Fight and flight are both actions. When we take them, we at least feel like we’re doing something. We feel better. What I didn’t realize is that doing nothing is still doing something. When I’m stymied, unsure what to do, fearful any action will be the wrong one, I do nothing. Then I beat myself up for my apparent indecision. But, turns out, nothing is still a decision. Waiting is a form of action, too.

The crucial component of each fear response, I think, is knowing each one is okay and allowing yourself to stop.

Stop fighting, stop running, stop waiting. And move on.

Here’s to your fight today. May you come out swinging, run if it’ll keep you safe, and know that if you freeze, don’t worry. You have lots of friends to help jerk you up and drag you to safety. I did that night with Michelle, who will never egg again, and I will do it for you to.

I’m also swinging today over at Gini Koch’s site in an interview. Comment for your chance to win!

:}Amber Scott

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About Amber Scott Project

Amber Scott writes romance across time and genre with three things in common: fate, love and complications. You can find her erotica titles at www.LiquidSilverBooks.com.

6 responses »

  1. Poignant as usual, Amber. Sometimes doing nothing, although counterintuitive, is your best choice, because doing anything else would be impulsive and and harmful to your end game.

    Reply
  2. Kelly Anderson

    I tend toward fight as my normal response, but lately I have been on the Scarlett O’Hara method of response. I simply think about it tomorrow! I have to tell you, it works wonderfully as a stress reliever. I am able to run through all the scenarios, good and bad, in my head until I am comfortable that I know how I am going to respond either way – now this mostly pertains to normal everyday life.

    As for being caught in some naughty nighttime activity, such as egg throwing – I would have dropped trousers and mooned the yelling man! But hey, that’s just me!

    Reply
    • Amber Scott Project

      Kelly, girl, you are my next egging partner!
      I love the Scarlet O’Hara response. Fiddle dee dee!

      Reply
      • Kelly Anderson

        Amber – you’re on! Full “moon” this Saturday…one full week after the summer solstice officially began. Seems fated!! As God is my witness…Lol…

  3. Another great post.
    I myself usually dig myself in and stand my ground when it comes to things like this and should learn to be more flexible and flee or freeze when it’s the better option.

    Reply
  4. I always, always, always fight. I am the Mamma Lion, the protector of any and all I feel might be weaker than me. I jump in front of others or throw them behind me. Even when I try NOT to I end up doing so.

    I can, have and do force myself to wait when I can, but that’s only workable when it’s an intellectual or interpersonal issue, not a physical threat of some kind.

    And when I do feel the freezing fear or the reaction to flight, it’s never due to a physical threat, it’s always based on emotions (like submitting a short story or hitting ‘send’ on a mass email). And then I remind myself that Eleanor Roosevelt is one of my heroes and recite this quote of hers: “We gain strength, courage and confidence from every experience in which we stop to look fear in the face.”

    Oh, all that goes by the wayside for snakes, however. When it comes to snakes, I am the fastest girl in the world as I run away screaming my head off, or I freeze in terror, desperately trying to let the hubs know via mental panic telepathy that there’s a 6 inch garter snake menacing me and he needs to save me right now!

    Hey, we all have our Achilles’ Heel. LOL

    Reply

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