To meet your potential

“Children are happy because in their minds there is simply no plump folder with an inscription on the spine“ Everything that can go wrong. ”

Remember when you were a child, and adults asked you what you want to be when you grow up? Remember that you answered them? For example, I answered them without a shadow of a doubt that I wanted to become an astronaut. Well, my sister said with full confidence that she would become a real princess. Then we did not even think about how realistic our dreams were. We sincerely believed that this world is full of opportunities, and that we can become anyone.

When did we manage to unlearn how to believe?

The famous writer Marianna Williamson said this best of all: “Children are happy because in their minds there is simply no plump folder with an inscription on the spine“ Everything that can go wrong. ”

When we go out of childhood and become adolescents, we begin to more pessimistically assess our capabilities, and peer pressure, parenting mistakes and examples of much more successful or successful people constantly looming before our eyes drop seeds of self-doubt into our soul.

Are we good enough? Do we have what it takes to meet the expectations of others?

Our once carefree view of life becomes poisoned by fear. Fear begins to grow slowly, taking control of our life from us, until we hide from it in the cage of the familiar and familiar, behind the bars of which we only feel safe.

“You will not be able to open a single new ocean if you do not have the courage to let out of sight the familiar shore”, – Andre Gide.

Fear does not appear from scratch. In a sense, it is a defense mechanism that helps avoid pain. The principle of pain-pleasure is an excellent example of how each decision made on the path of life is based on our assessment of the ratio of pleasure we receive from it with the pain it causes us.

Nowadays, in an era of impatience and the desire to get results here and now, we are more and more often choosing the easier and easier way. The path dictated by fear.

So what exactly fears keep us in place? What are we most often afraid of, and what can we do to counter these fears?

1. We fear the unknown.

Many people try to achieve inner peace, clutching their arms and legs for the illusion of complete control over their lives. And to a certain extent they may even succeed – when you live in the same city all your life, for ten years in a row you work in the same position in the same office, and marry (or marry) a person by which you were still at school, you definitely minimize the impact of uncertainty on your life (but do not eliminate it completely).

It’s not for me to judge such a lifestyle, or to argue about whether it can bring real happiness, but I cannot fail to point out one obvious fact – when we surround ourselves with familiar things, surroundings and people, this obviously brings us a feeling of comfort – whoever we were not. It seems to us that our life is becoming more predictable and manageable.

And indeed – when we are familiar with most of our surroundings, we don’t have to strain ourselves too much to cope with pressing problems. But life is inherently changeable and impermanent. And our life circumstances can instantly – and radically! – change. Even if we are in familiar territory and we believe that everything is “grasped,” we cannot take everything for granted – perhaps the unknown that made us close in our cozy little world is already waiting for us around the corner. With a huge cudgel.

So how do we deal with our fear of the unknown?

To do this, we must stop being closed and fenced off from the world. We must begin to act and believe in yourself. Ask yourself one simple question: “If I try to do this, and I don’t succeed, what does it threaten me in the worst case?” And then, realizing that even the worst outcome is not really terrible, do something what you used to be so afraid of.

Hitchhiking. Throw long-hardened work. Invite the girl on whom you unsuccessfully sigh for six months, on a date. Whatever all this ends for you, I assure you, you will cope with the consequences. Whatever obstacles life puts on the way, you will overcome them, and if you fall, you will rise, shake yourself off and continue on your way.

But in order to be able to cope with any problems, you need to regularly train your inner strength, and the only way to do this is to cope with these very problems. Take the first step. Start with something small. Once a month do something that scares you. And then take a closer look at the life experience gained.

Did it all turn out badly, as you thought before? What have you learned in the process? What did it give you? And as you continue to do this over and over again, you will realize that you have become much bolder, started to trust yourself and your capabilities more, and stopped allowing your fear of the unknown to determine your actions.

You see? You did it.

2. We are afraid of loneliness.

We all need a sense of belonging to something greater than ourselves. From a psychological perspective, a sense of belonging can also take the form of conformity with regard to social norms.

For example, if you grew up in an environment, part of which was the fact that everyone in your family was studying at universities and received diplomas, the desire not to get higher education can cause you fear – the fear that you will become a “black sheep” “That you will no longer be in your place among the people around you. But you should always remember that if you want to live a full life, and not drag out a miserable existence, like so many other people, you should always be yourself, even if for this you have to stand up from time to time. Believe me, the end result is more than worth it.

As Brene Brown wrote in her new book, “Overcoming the Wasteland” (the original name is Braving the Wilderness): “In order for us to experience a true sense of belonging, we must first believe in ourselves and belong to ourselves completely and completely. So that we can find something intimate to be part of something bigger, and to stand apart from everything, if necessary.

But in modern culture, permeated with perfectionism, conformism, and at the same time overwhelmed by people with a complete lack of manners and respect for the opinions of others, it is easy to turn into a silent hermit, having closed in a cozy ideological bunker along with a few like-minded people. Or, being afraid to tell others around the word, you will adapt to them instead of being yourself and try to conquer the wild lands of uncertainty and criticism. But true identity is not born in negotiations with other people and joint activities with them – it requires authenticity and integrity of the person, over which you need to work every day. This is a personal aspiration, which each of us must carry in our hearts to the end of our days. ”

3. We are afraid of mistakes.

One of the main reasons often forcing us to stay in the depths of our comfort zone, not even going beyond a millimeter, and to give up the pursuit of our dreams is our fear of mistakes. When we have something that is very dear to us, we are afraid of losing it because of some kind of mistake.

Imagine, for example, that you are working on a project in which you are not investing very emotionally. If you end up with nothing, it can hurt your ego a little, but you can handle it. In the end, you shrug your shoulders and say: It’s okay.

On the other hand, if you are working on something that requires you to show the world your vulnerability, something in which you put a piece of your own soul – like a poet or artist does with his works – then when you fail, you it seems as if at the same time some part of you perishes. And it hurts you very much – so much so that, in order to avoid this pain, we subconsciously completely refuse to take on something that really pleases him.

To meet your potential

What can we do to counter this? I believe that such a thing as “failure” in fact simply does not exist, and it is not she who causes us pain, but our idea of ​​it. And when something goes wrong for you as planned, why don’t you try to perceive what happened not as a mistake, but as a life lesson?

And when the project fails once again, ask yourself this: What life lesson can I learn from all this? For which situation I can be grateful? And as soon as you realize that in fact this experience made you only wiser and stronger, its negative color will disappear without a trace, as if it was not there at all. When curiosity and gratitude are almost completely seized by your mind, there is no place for fear in it.

And finally, ask yourself the last question: “Isn’t it better to fail, striving for what you really like, than to succeed in an area that you don’t really like?”

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