Day 384: Solving Fear With Structure

I have worked a lot with fear, anxiety and insecurity in relation to work and managed to stabilize myself in many dimensions/areas. However, what is cool, and also challenging about my work, is that I am continuously moving into more expansive positions of responsibility, which then opens up new experiences/dimensions of anxiety, fear and insecurity. I have realized that there are a couple of things that assists and supports me to remain stable at work. Firstly, structuring and planning my work thoroughly assists and supports me to remain stable. Secondly, preparing myself and devoting the time and effort required for me to be fully knowledgeable as to the point I am directing assists and supports me to remain stable. Though, recently with work, because I have been given new responsibilities, it has been more difficult to fall back on my previous tools.

There are primarily two things that builds this pressure within me. It is the fear of making a mistake, mishandling my responsibilities, and facing critique/anger from colleagues and others – and it is the feeling that there is too much, too many responsibilities, and too little time for me to effectively handle them. The latter of these pressure points is not only mind-based – it is a fact that I have little time – and to get to all my responsibilities – it is hence important that I am efficient, precise, prepared and structured – because that enables me to walk through it effectively. The former, the fear of mishandling my responsibilities, is however a mind point, in the sense that, it does not make sense to worry about critique/anger that I might potentially face from others, as it should not affect who I am anyway. Hence, it is these two points, and my relationship to these points that I want to work with. If I am able to stabilize these points – I know that I will be able to work and care for my responsibilities without going into pressure/anxiety/fear.

Thus during the past week I have worked with the word STRUCTURE. Initially I found this word empty and vague. Though, as I considered, looked at, and practiced implementing structure into my life, I came to see that structure is very much practical. Living the word structure is not the same as having routines – because routines does not necessarily have to be structured. In the word structured there is an element of prudence, sagacity and foresight. When something is structured, it is planned, it is considered, it is a plan develop with clarity and understanding. A routine on the other hand is simply something I do because I have done it other times. Structuring my life requires intelligence and self-movement.

I practiced structure through pushing myself to take one day each week, either at the beginning or the end, to plan the week ahead, using ‘to-do-lists’ and basic timetables. This then gave me the opportunity to slow down and look at my work and my home-life from a birds eye-view – which would allow me to prioritize, plan-ahead, consider, refine, and prepare myself for the week to come – so that nothing would come as a surprise. The results of this practice was that I remained grounded and stable throughout my week. When something unexpected came along, I dealt with that, however when that point was sorted out, I would return to the plan.

Another way which I would live structure was to already before I went to take my coffee break, decide on how long it was going to be. I did this because I have a tendency to otherwise, sit at the table, and wait until some of my colleagues leave, and then get up and back to work. However, when I do that, this is sometimes compromising, because I will loose time, that would have been better used working. This, similarly supported me to remain stable, to know what was coming, to know what I was doing, when I was doing it, and how I was doing it.

Hence, structure, a very interesting word, and I have come to see that it is in-fact practical, concrete and very much earthed. Living and integrating structure has however been quite challenging, because I have a tendency to ‘flow out’ into unstructured and spontaneous activity – and although I enjoy this form of expression at times – it is not very supportive to live like this all the time. In other words, it is always supportive to have a direction, though that should not limit me from improvising when it is needed, or I decide to do so, because it is something that I want to experience.

I will continue to experiment with the word structure in the week to come. Will be back with updates.

 


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