"Brian does a great job in explaining something I have been wondering about since the day I jumped off a building in down town Paris, with a parachute. What is Fear? How can I leverage Fear to my advantage? How can Fear be a positive factor in my life if well managed?
Since reading Brian's book I now have a better understanding of how to Focus my Fear, negative adrenalin, into positive adrenalin. A must read for adrenalin junkies, business people and anybody who thinks about jumping off a building for fun."
By Jevto Dedijer "Author of BASE 66" (Québec, Canada)
"Loved this one.
The author is a parachute test pilot. Having had over 10,000 jumps testing unstable and experimental canopies this book approaches the topic from practical experience rather than theory.
The book starts by covering the science of what fear is, what it's/was for and why fear occurs. It talks about how fear manifests, how it subtlety breeds negativity and how it can affect us at a very deep level preventing us from reaching our full potential as individuals and also the human race as a whole. The book talks about practical ways we can combat fear through relaxation, meditation and other techniques.
I found this book very positive and empowering, I found it (at least to me) made a lot of sense, it helped clarify a few things I was already thinking on the general topic of approaching life etc.. Fear is a very negative and debilitating emotion, this book lays it all out showing how fear acts as a catalyst which breeds a chain of psychological negativity, which if we let it, affects our life as a whole. Of course awareness and understanding is the key and that is what this book provides.
I will likely be referring back to this book from time to time.
I feel this book has given me a new outlook, only time will tell whether this will last. I do hope so! ;-)"
"Transcending Fear is not a book about skydiving; at least, not
directly. It’s a book about being scared and dealing with it. It
draws on elements of Buddhist teachings and Western
psychology, with a little motivational pep talk thrown in for
The book opens with a discussion on the science of fear. Much
of the material in this section will strike a chord with AFF
instructors. Fear is a response to a high-stress situation
perceived as being beyond what we can comfortably handle.
For a sedentary person, doing a tandem might be the scariest
thing they ever do, whereas for a TM with 4,000 jumps to their
name, having to wear a shirt and tie to a job interview may
push them far outside their comfort zone.
There’s a lot of truth in the old sayings we get “scared out of
our wits” and “scared senseless”. In stressful situations we
become stupid – every time you get out of an airplane you lose
half your IQ. When there’s a load of adrenaline rushing through
our veins and our arousal level’s off the scale, our ability to
reason logically goes out the window. We’re reduced to the
tools evolution has equipped us with and those we’ve drilled
into ourselves. Evolution has come up with three handy tools
that have proved remarkably effective at keeping the species
going. In escalating order, these are Fight, Flight and Freeze.
The first response of the body to a threat is to try and meet it
head on, force with force. Amateur cultural anthropologists can
study this phenomenon at the pub on a Saturday night. If the
opposing force is too strong – usually about the time the police
turn up – the body
decides to run. Getting the hell out
of Dodge has kept
alive over the
the apex of this trio,
used when the other
two are not enough,
is freezing. Rabbit in
Maybe, if I stay still, I
won’t be seen and
this will pass.
Unfortunately, if you’ve just had someone wrap you at 600ft,
none of these are ideal reactions. The modern world is more
complicated than the one our ancestors grew up in. We need
the ability to stay calm and take appropriate action.
Scared people shy away from whatever frightens them, unless,
of course, they’ve found a way to deal with the fear. Relax,
Focus and Flow is the subtitle of this book and much of it is
devoted to these three actions.
Slowing down gives you the space and time to see what’s
happening. Great athletes never seem rushed; there’s always
time to look up, assess and make a choice. Relaxing is
essential and because the body and mind are linked, the
easiest way to calm down is to slow your breathing down. We
need to practice the relaxation response or it won’t be
available to us when we’re amped up – precisely the time we
need it most.
Once calm, it’s time to pay attention to what’s going on. Focus
on the situation, not on your fears, doubts or daydreams. This
is where you find a solution.
Then it’s time to flow. Flow is being in the zone - being at one
with what you’re doing. Whether it’s a 4-way that’s almost like
dancing, a headdown jump that’s just there, or a swoop that
seems to be making itself happen - being in a flow state is
being elegant, taking the path that’s right, without wasted
effort. Being in balance as you move is the point of the game.
Little in this book is, in itself, new. What is novel is the
particular synthesis of influences Brian uses to convince us to
take a different approach to life – one that’s limited less by
what scares us and is more open to things new and exciting.
Will this book improve your skydiving? Maybe. Will it change
your life? That’s a big ask. If nothing else, it’ll open your eyes
a little to the way you and those around you react to the world.
Should you buy this book? I did, and got much more than my
money’s worth. There’s a sample chapter on the book’s
website. Have a read and if it strikes a chord, pick the
By Dave O’Flynn
"In retrospect I am slightly surprised that it took me a while to read through the latest book, "Transcending Fear" by Brian Germain, since this book is indeed up my alley in terms of moving to the next level by surpassing our fears; both personally and interpersonally. In my CALM book, entire chapters are dedicated to this human challenge which is paramount to harvesting our own potential as well as that of organizations. Therefore, reading this well written and highly interesting book could be expected to be a short undertaking...
I guess the primary reason for spending more time than usual in digesting the subject is that even though I have worked with this particular subject for quite some time, Brian’s angle on fear was worth a thorough consideration and afterthought. I found the book both highly intelligent as well as moving; and I would highly recommend this to anyone who is interested in the field of self-development, stress-relief, or simply just interested in one of the most inherited limitations of human beings.
Some of the most interesting parts of the book, in my opinion, are the techniques suggested to calm down deliberately and start focusing, rather than letting fear -or stress for that matter- overwhelm us. I have personally taken some of these and started to suggest them to passengers when I am jumping tandem-skydives with them.
A funny thing is that while I was almost finished reading this book, Brian sent me the nice pictures shown on this page. I think these pictures are excellent symbols of the state of mind we should be seeking, and Brian’s book is definitely a good start for a peaceful, yet extreme, personal journey towards a better life...
Truly Well Done Brian! ;-)"
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