On your terms

“He learned a long time ago the basic law of survival: make the enemy fight on your terms, not his. These are words from James Clavell’s novel The Noble House, which I read before going to bed. In most aspects of life, you can see how right he is.

For example, exposure therapy is considered one of the most effective techniques in psychotherapy for treating all kinds of phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, etc. The essence is that the client comes into contact with the gradually strengthening source of the fear, choosing the workload that is feasible for him or her. And, most importantly, does it voluntarily, that is, not fear assigns the time and place of battle, but the client himself. There is a revolution in the way that power has changed hands. It is not that the client gets used to his fear or that the latter disappears somewhere — no, the client himself becomes bolder. In other words, his ability to act independently increases dramatically.

It doesn’t matter whether the fight is with the external aggressor or the inner fear. What matters is who dictates terms to whom — you or he. It’s never too late to make a “creative U-turn,” for fortunately this is the realm of personal assumptions and beliefs. Of course, “surviving on my terms” requires a preliminary clarification: “What do I really want?” Thus, survival depends directly on a hierarchy of values and personal meaning.

Sincerely yours,


You can help Ukraine defend itself and the World from Russia here.

As a business therapist, I help tech founders quickly solve dilemmas at the intersection of business and personality, and boost company value as a result.



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Alexander Lyadov

Alexander Lyadov

As a business therapist, I help entrepreneurs to navigate faster in non-standard situations.