Is Fear Swinging You or the Cat Around?

I was really excited when I joined 4H back in 1979. There were monthly meetings to attend and I jumped in the car to go to the first one with my Dad.

I remember feeling nervous and upon arrival, like the club outcast. Ah heck, these were real farmers and their kids.

amish kid toungue

I don’t remember how the meeting went exactly, but when I got home and my Mom asked how it went, I started balling my eyes out. I have no idea why, but it stands out in my mind. Fear is a funny thing and can impact you both physically and mentally. Katherine Paterson has a great quote, “To let fear grab you by the tail is one thing, but to let it swing you around is another.”

Recently, I went bike riding through Valley Forge Park with my good friend and two boys.

ride naked

Ok, we weren’t naked but we rode a six mile loop. My seven year old was peddling like a maniac to keep up. It was around mile four that he was hitting a wall. From where we were standing, the path ahead looked like a 75 degree vertical incline. He started crying and said he could not do it. I assured him he could but we could walk if it was too hard. As we rode on, maintaining a comfortable cadence, it became clear the hill was not nearly as steep as it appeared from afar and he conquered it.

Can I get a ommmmm?*
cat ommm

Core values should guide your path and help you overcome fear. I have adopted one from a good friend and mentor; never be out-smarted, out-prepared or out-hustled.

How do you brainstorm and put a solid plan in place to achieve this? Associates from the UK recently shared the phrase with me, ‘swinging the cat around’. I love it. First, swing the cat then work like a dog. Fear is just catnip.

With daily life struggles, new work assignments and project Esther Williams quickly approaching (my nickname for the Dewey tri)  fear will not take me by the tail. Ok, I might shed a few tears but I will prevail.

How can I be so sure? To everyone’s surprise I won Champion Trio in 1981. What is that you ask? Three pigs that are the most similar in size, color and tone.  Booya!


Tip of the week: naked bicycle riding does not seem like a good idea, but the Philly Naked Bike Ride is this Sunday, August 25.

*For you dog lovers:
dog omm


About alisonguzzio

A marketing and public relations veteran, Alison Guzzio has directed projects for a range of high-tech, pharmaceutical, security, ecommerce, manufacturing, chemical, global trade and broadband companies. Strengths include positioning companies to maximize visibility among key stakeholders such as media, investors, channel partners and customers. Alison has a strong understanding of business objectives and she effectively translates this into results for her clients. In addition to her experience managing the demands on emerging companies, Alison is skilled in taking products from conception to roll-out, developing creative marketing plans, generating media coverage along the entire product lifecycle and leading brand awareness campaigns during critical growth stages.
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