“Relax, look around, make a call.”

Crushed by anxiety? Relax, look around, make a call.

The waves are crashing around you. The undercurrent is threatening to pull you under. Even the best swimmer can only tread water for so long. What do you do?

Repeat the mantra. Relax, look around, make a call.

It’s not my mantra. I’m a military nerd. I learned it from the prolific retired Navy Seal, Jocko Willink. He describes this mantra as a literal lifesaver in combat operations.

You’re not being shot at, but you are in a battle zone. You are fighting anxiety and fear from all angles. The Others are demanding a lot from you. You are demanding the very best of yourself.

This mantra will be your lifesaver. Relax, look around, make a call.


Stop. Breathe. Give yourself a second to stare off into space. If someone being shot at can take two seconds to un-clench their sphincter, you can take a second to find a way to release the tension in your shoulders. This will help alleviate the fight or flight response.

Look Around

Step back from the situation mentally. Look at your array of tasks critically. Use that distance to identify the one Most Important Thing. What can you do to take and hold territory?

Make a Call

Make a decision. Say it out loud. Give the order. Audience of one? Good. A whole team? Even better. Either way, make it explicit.

Relax, look around, make a call. These six words may save your life.

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