Fear and anger
Fear and anger are the two emotions that can hinder ourselves from progression, not only that but they have the power to overwhelm and destroy relationships with ourselves and with others. Having fear can prohibit us from reaching our goals and stepping into the part of our lives that is full of adventure and ambition. Anger can lead us down the path of 'why me' and adapt into aggression when nothing can be done about something. Both are neutral emotions designed to help us in different scenarios and both can be overcome through time and effort to make progress.
Fear is completely normal when we step outside of our comfort zone. The questions in our head about will we be accepted, rejected or are we good enough stands out to keep our fear at high levels. Fear can also be a reaction to our environment and the intense nature of disruptive environments around us. Fear can be part of our animal instincts that tell us to stop doing what we are doing as we are in danger. Fear can also be something to be overcome to achieve our goals.
Our goals are things that we might want to achieve or it could be something that we want to do that scares us. We set the goals and want to achieve them. We want to get that degree, run that race, get that job, remain in that job despite circumstances, learn that language, learn to cook, go zip-lining, jump out of an airplane, climb a mountain, learn to dance, sing on stage. These are the goals that can stretch our limits and to achieve our goals we must overcome our fear of failure. Our fear of failure is so powerful that if we envision failing then we are more likely to fail than succeed. Our brain can interpret that as something we want as opposed to don't want as our attention is focused on 'not' failing as opposed to succeeding.
Our emotions fill with anxiety at the prospect of failing and we think of our worst case scenarios in order to cope with the impending doom. Unfortunately this can lead us to failure faster as our brains fill with the stress hormone and we become more forgetful, unfocused and on high alert. We force ourselves not to concentrate and our conditions are not ideal as we go through the 'what if I fail' scenarios over and over again. Yes, it is pragmatic to thing about what happens if we fail, however, bringing our attention to that will increase our stress hormones. Ideally, we need to concentrate on succeeding and include the feeling it would be like to succeed in our goals - getting that mark and feeling elated that you passed that examination, got that degree, ran that race, learnt that language and sang on stage etc.
Doubt and fear both tell us that something needs our attention and we need to focus on these in order to get out of that 'dangerous' situation. It is our body's way of telling us to take care of ourselves, our stress hormones are raging and our blood starts only circulating to specific organs in order to run away from that stressful situation. If experienced for a long period of time our body starts to get sick as the blood flow is restricted. What happens when you cannot run away from the stressful situation? What happens when you are boxed in, locked in and kept in a stressful situation that is disruptive over long periods of time?
Anger starts to creep in once fear and doubt are present for an extended period of time. Anger and aggression is our way of trying to fight back. If you picture an animal locked in a cage, all they want to do is get out and initially they start railing against the cage with anger until they give up. When we, as humans, feel trapped and in a stressful situation, our brains send out the signals with stress hormones, our hearts start to race, our blood only goes to vital organs and our entire bodies are screaming at us to get out of that situation as quickly as possible either by fighting/running or freezing.
Anger and aggression is the next step that happens once the helplessness of the scenario is absorbed. In a similar way that animals get sad and a range of emotions sweep through them as they are locked into a cage from once running wild and free. Anger then has the power to become explosive if provoked and injustice prevails in our lives. Anger is encountered at a higher level when a hostile provocation occurs and defence needs to be engaged. Anger is normal. Anger is a healthy emotion and not good or bad, however, in these situations it can fall into the bad territory as the mix of injustice can trap us in our minds and we are then akin to the animals in the cage unable to break free.
The only way through anger is to lead. Leadership takes courage and something happens that might 'wake' us up to enact this stance. Perhaps the anger was useful to push us to act and give us the strength to pull ourselves out of a situation that is both stressful and harmful over a long period of time. The issue is trying to stay awake once we have woken up and we can tend to fall back to sleep when we are overworked, burned out, overwhelmed and do not have the support we need. We may not have engaged in a community and wanted to isolate in order to cope - which is also animalistic - imagine being wounded and going back into a cave to recover, it is similar to this. We need to reenergise and recuperate after our stress hormones have raged in our bodies for a long period of time.
Not engaging with the community and trying to do it all on our own can be detrimental and increase our levels of stress more as we figure out our own realities. It is seeing these situations happen but not having the perspective to wake up to the reality and see how others have coped with it. We all need to recuperate and reenergise, however, isolation is our way of protecting ourselves and while that is useful initially, it is more important to engage in a community where you get the support and inspiration to 'power through' these times of stress.
Everyone has their own power and figuring out what is unique to you that you can bring to the table is part of finding that power. What can you contribute? Things are greater than you and looking at this as the perspective and that you are not alone can help motivate things. When you do things alone and feel alone in a stressful environment you can fall into that helpless and hopeless realm of victimhood. We are always so much more likely to fall into the 'I am not right for the job'. The challenge is to stay awake, look for people that are inspirational, build a community that supports you and figure out how to manage the fear and anger associated with that stressful situation in order to get the courage to leave it. Find people that stay 'stop, you are good enough'.
We get empowered when we understand other people have had similar situations, however, we must decipher what is best for us. It is all well and good having this community and getting the support. It is much more important to find our own voice and make our own decisions as to what matters to us, what are our priorities, what can we contribute, what can we learn from other people's stories and how can we progress in our own situation that will allow us to have the freedom in our minds going forward. We need to tell ourselves that we are safe in order to dissipate the fear, purge the anger in order to become serene and become self-compassionate in order to heal. Ultimately, we need to ask - what is best for us based on what we have learnt from our own situation, about ourselves and from others around us?
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