storm crisis

The Best Way to Handle Fear

February 3, 2021

There is no doubt about it… Fear during a crisis is 100% real.

Because if you’ve ever led a team through a crisis you’ve experienced that fear too. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because it is all about how you deal with this feeling.

When fear shows up for me I think of it like this… It is a little voice in my mind that reminds me to be on guard ready to think before I speak.

But to really take it one step further, that fear is showing up for a reason. I see that voice of fear as simply playing a part. Think of it like it is part of an internal committee and fear has a seat at the table. The role that fear is playing is speaking very loudly to help make sure you are protected.

As you may know, I love sailing. Recently I took a trip from Bermuda to St. Martin which lasts about 8 days. We were getting close to our destination and I was on watch by myself at 3 a.m.

I was very tired, and out of nowhere, a few small sprinkles turned into a heavy downpour. Within a few moments, we were in the middle of an intense squall.

Was I afraid? Very much so. Yet, I knew what my role was in all of this and that was to keep the boat going forward. My team quickly woke up and took care of their roles, and they could only do that if I stayed on task. Even though I felt the fear and heard that internal voice, I was able to handle my role and not panic.

But how do you stay calm in a crisis?

People often ask me about the mindsets and behaviors that are necessary to succeed and stay calm in a crisis. I touch on it briefly in the video, but honestly, it is a lot more than that. This is part of the reason I created a brand new project, Kith Academy.

Because in order to really be prepared for a crisis, you have to know yourself. Which means doing the work to learn about yourself outside of a crisis. So that, during a crisis, you know your role and how you should best act. And chances are not everyone around you will be ready.

Part of the framework we built into Kith Academy is labeling the various roles of your committee (we call it the “internal family system“) and how to best work with them and the other variables during a crisis.

So if you’re interested in learning the mindsets and behaviors that will help you tackle your fears and prepare for the unknown, Kith Academy may be the right fit for you.

Filed under: Blog | Crisis Planning


Bill is a reputation management, crisis communications and professional development expert, keynote speaker, Wall Street Journal Risk & Compliance panelist, and best-selling author of Critical Moments: The New Mindset of Reputation Management. He has more than 25 years of global experience managing high-stakes crises, issues management, and media relations challenges for both Fortune 500 companies and winning global political campaigns.