Tag Archives: anxiety

Day 444: Insecurity = Not Seeing Me

Some week ago I received praise from a colleague as to my ability to handle certain tasks at work. I became moved and felt very happy and also surprised, because I did not see myself the same way my colleague did. Later, I reflected on the event, and I have come to see how these reactions of happiness and surprise, actually indicates a deep seated insecurity.

I look at it the following way. If I would have been secure within myself, if I had recognized my weaknesses and strengths, and known what I was capable of, would I then have reacted the way that I did? The way I see insecurity is that it has a lot to do with undermining, devaluing and diminishing myself, and hence because of this, missing/not seeing WHO I AM. Thus, when someone else comes into my life, and tells me that I am really good at something, I get thrown off my feet with gratefulness and satisfaction. The real question though is why I have not accepted and allowed myself to give these expressions/words to myself – why wait for someone else to do it for me?

In Sweden we have a mentality called the “tall poppy syndrome” – which means that if you do acquire skill/status/money or similar above the average, it is seen as bad and socially unacceptable to speak about it and recognize it. This mentality pervades in the Swedish society. It is thus interesting that, many rich people in Sweden, live as if they had an average income. This mentality obviously becomes a problem in the sense that excellence and success many times, at least silently, is shunned and repressed – and if someone does reach excellence – he or she will not speak about it. However, suppressing stories of success actually depraves everyone of the opportunity to grow and learn through the example of another.

From what I can see, I have internalized this tall poppy syndrome because fact is that I am very good at my work, I am thorough, I am self-reliant and assertive in handling my responsibilities – though – I have not recognized this for myself. And obviously, this tendency of mine, to not see and evaluate myself, and give me credit when credit is due, also has the consequence that I am not as open to seeing and recognizing my weaknesses. Because, what is the point of changing a weakness into a strength if I do not recognize it for myself? Then it is better to keep everything average, takes less effort.

Another consequence of me not recognizing what I am good at, my successes and achievements, is that I do not want to recognize such in others as either. Instead, when another achieves, grows and expands, I become jealous, and feel bereft. And then I want to bring another down to the level of average, in the belief, that this is what I am, and that I cannot become more. Though, what is missed is that I can obviously learn and become inspired by the successes of another. And the expansion of the life of one person is not only of value to that particular individual, as we live in a interconnected reality – and hence – when one of us becomes better – this will ripple into the lives of everyone else as well.

Thus, insecurity, it is when I do not give myself credit where credit is due, because I believe that I am not worthy/respectable/good enough to do it for myself. And then I instead wait and hope for others to do it. I strive and fight to achieve some form of recognition, all because I did not give it to myself. A solution that I see for myself when I receive positive feedback, is that instead of going into a feeling of happiness, pride and joy, to instead look at the feedback objectively – to bring it within me and then see if I agree with this feedback – and if I do – to then recognize my ability/skill/success for and as myself.

And then, I can expand this point even more, by then looking at how I can improve/move/further/strengthen my point of success even more. Because why accept myself to be satisfied with being really good at something, when I can most likely, become even better at it? And further – to also push myself to recognize my weaknesses, and actively practice changing these weaknesses into strengths. That is how I can start recognizing myself instead of needing others to do it for me.


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Day 442: Slowing Down = Speeding Up?

In my work, one thing that I have noticed, is that mistakes and errors most of the times arise as a consequence of wanting to move too fast. When I want to get more things done than what I am able to handle, and more speedily at that, mistakes will be made. Thus, to be slow, structured and steady is really an art-form – a valuable skill – especially in today’s world where everything moves faster and faster.

I have realized that having a clearly defined structure and a simple and grounded method assists and supports a great deal with keeping a steady momentum. An example would be the way I have decided to set up my proof-reading technique. I always proof-read everything I write, and I do it one, preferably several days after I have done the writing. That will give me space to forget and reconsider what I have written, so that I can re-read it with fresh eyes. Further, I always proof-read first thing in the morning, because that is when my mind is fresh and alert – ready to catch any small inconsistency and mistake. I then read through the text and mark each mistake or change I want to make. I read through every line – and push myself to be attentive and concentrated – and really READ all of what I written – which can be very hard to do. The reason being that it is easy to start reading on a automatic pilot, to begin to assume that words have been written that have not. For me to proof-read effectively, it is of essential importance that I am HERE – and that I am not stressing or hurrying to get to anywhere else. Hence, the importance of pace. If I move too fast, I will miss points, and create mistakes.

For me, the challenge has been to push through the state of urgency/stress I experience sometimes when I am at work, with deadlines and responsibilities, because when I am in such a experience, it feels like there is just not enough time for me to slow down. Though, the opposite is actually true. To slow down, and do things properly and effectively ONCE, actually means that I am able to speed up. The speed though is simply a outflow of being precise, concentrated and focused – SLOW and DELIBERATE – and not rushing and being all over the place.

Slowing down is what allows for real speed and efficiency. And I have seen this in my work time and time again. If I am slow and deliberate, I only have to do it once, and it will be done, all points and dimensions considered and directed. However, if I do it in a haste, there will be mistakes, things I have forgotten, and it does not help that I might feel confident or self-assured, because when I move too fast, mistakes are unavoidable. Perfection requires a steady movement, a movement and pace that allows for deep concentration.

Another important point to consider is to not fear making mistakes. The fear of making mistakes actually supports the state of rush/stress and is hence NOT conducive of slow, efficient and precise self-movement. Many seem to believe that the fear of making mistakes is supportive when it comes to developing thoroughness and focus. Though, consider the following, we have a body and a mind, our tools that we use when we work. These tools have a limited capacity – there is only so much physical energy at our disposal – and when that is used up – we have to rest in order to regain our strength. Thus, if we are continuously in a fear of making mistakes, this is going to use up part of our limited energy capacity – and thus – there is less energy at our disposal to be focused/directed into concentration and focus – and hence – we are actually increasing our risks of making mistakes by fearing to make a mistake.

The best possible approach is to be fearless. When we are fearless, we can place our focus on that which MATTERS – the MATTER at hand – and put all of our attention unto what we have in front of us.

Self-forgiveness

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to feel empowered when I become anxious and fearful of making mistakes, and think that this fear is my fuel, my power, my motivation, that will guide and assist me, and be my guardian angel that I can rely upon when things get tough – instead of seeing, realizing and understanding, that this fear of making mistakes is actually causing me to make more mistakes, because I do not have my full focus and attention HERE

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to trust my fear of making mistakes and see it as an asset that I can use – instead of seeing, realizing and understanding that I become inefficient when I move myself from within and as this fear of making mistakes, I become irrational, and I start making decisions that are based on fear instead of common sense

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to believe that my fear is empowering, and thus I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to continue to be in my fear and anxiety, to hold unto it, to fear letting go of my fear and anxiety, in the belief, that if I let go of my fear and anxiety, I am going to lose myself, my motivation and my drive, and I am going to start making a lot more mistakes, and I am not going to do anything worthwhile with my life what so ever

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not see, realize and understand that I am strong, capable, and able of directing and moving myself effectively, be specific, focused and concentrated, WITHOUT fear of making mistakes – because I can make decisions as to who and what I am – I do not need nor do I require anxiety to exist within me and be a part of my life – because I can live in the physical and create myself to live and be what I want to be and what is best for me as well as others

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to believe that fear and anxiety, that survival stress, will help me to be more specific and exact – and thus I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not see, realize and understand, that in accepting and allowing survival stress to rule and determine my life, and my world – I am more prone to make mistakes – I am more prone to miss important facts and facets of a problem or decision – and thus more prone to create things in my life that I do not want in my life

Self-commitment statements

When and as I see myself going into survival stress, when I begin to move myself hastily, from task to task without no flow, ease and without deliberate action – I immediately stop myself, I take a breath and I bring myself back here – and I see, realize and understand that this survival stress is holding me back from being effective in my life and from creating myself – because when and as I have this survival stress within me – I miss what is HERE in my life – and I miss MYSELF – as my living becomes focused on and around this survival stress – and thus I commit myself to deliberately slow down and to practice grounding myself back into the physical – and to practice moving myself from within and as BREATH – each and every time I notice that I go into survival stress/anxiety


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Day 440: Changing Insecurity Into Security

This week I have looked at the word insecurity and how it plays a part in my life. Initially, I did not consider insecurity as a major influence in my day-to-day living, however, I have noticed that insecurity takes on many shapes and forms.

One point that I had not seen as insecurity before is my tendency to desire positive feedback from superiors and older colleagues, and to have someone who I perceive to be higher up in the hierarchy give me direction. Without the affirmation, I tend to doubt myself, and without someone that I perceive to be higher up than me, I tend to change my decisions, because I become fearful and worried that I am not doing the right thing. Thus, for me, insecurity is connected with doing the RIGHT thing – and somehow I have concluded that I cannot be the one that decides that what I am doing is the right – I have to be approved.

Insecurity is limiting, and from what I am able to see, insecurity is in its essence about not not seeing myself as an equal individual, but instead trying to have others approve of me, and using the small bursts of energy that arise from such occasions to build up an illusion of security. Though, fact is, that when the support is removed, when the feedback becomes negative, when the superiors and those I have used to create the feeling security change how they look at me, then it all comes crashing down. Then, I experience fear and anxiety instead, that which I otherwise would try to hide by getting the approval.

However, insecurity does not only take the shape and form of following and relying on the judgments/opinions/ideas of others, it also comes through in stubbornness – in wanting to blow myself up and build up a facade, an illusion, to make myself and others believe that I am secure. This arise from the mistake of believing that being secure means that I always know what to do, have the solutions, and see the right way ahead. However, self-security is not necessarily about knowing what to do, or about taking the lead, or about always being certain and doing things my way. Rather, self-security is that deep and untouchable comfort and calm, stemming from knowing that regardless what comes my way, it will not change who I am, it will not change my base values and principles, it will not sweep my off my feet.

I see, that for myself, a priority when it comes to security and living this word, is to stop comparing myself to others, and stop believing that what I want/see needs to be confirmed/accepted from another for me to go through with it. I do not need the perceived added value and weight of anothers perception for me to make a decision and follow through with it. That is not to say however, that I must now know everything myself. It is important to be able to ask for perspectives and receive input, though, the decision as to what I am going to do must be my own. If I do not stand with my decision, then when the tide turns, I will fall back on it – because it was not real – it was not actually done for me.

Security thus, would be to, among other things, trust myself to make decisions for me and to not use others agreeing or disagreeing with me as a reason to make the decision, but to rather take their perspective/information/input and to assess it independently, and then make a decision for and as myself on the basis of my own reasoning.

Self-forgiveness

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to rely on others for me to make decisions, to rely on others to give me input, an opinion, a decision, so that I am able to lean upon them, instead of developing effective and self-independent reasoning skills, where the input and perspectives of others, are resources that I utilize in my own process of assessment and not reasons in themselves as to why I should or should not make a certain decision

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to be concerned about the opinions of another, in the sense, of fearing that I will make a mistake and do something that will be considered, by another, as a bad/wrong/stupid/inadequate – and thus I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowing myself to base my sense of security on comparison – as to comparing myself with others – and if I find myself to be/do/live similar to what I believe others value positively – to then feel secure/safe/and on the right path

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not see, realize and understand, that if I am to stand as my own chief and boss, as an entrepreneur, I require to change this point, and transform it into real security, real trust, real acceptance – where it is thus not about acquiring a life/way of living that I perceive to be right by comparison – but instead living a life for and as myself that I KNOW is an expression of and as myself – because I know myself – I have reasoned and concluded my own decisions – I know where I am going – and I know what I am going to do with and as myself

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not see, realize and understand, that in order to make decisions that I can stand by consistently, long term, I have to make certain, that I do not base those decisions on a comparison, where I use the ideas/opinions/perceptions of another as my sole point of reason – and thus I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not developed and create my own reasoning abilities – to push myself to create self-independence within and as myself – where I am secure – in the sense that I am able to learn from and take from others what will support and empower me – however I make the decisions within me and do not accept and allow someone else to take that role within me

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to follow instead of being my own creator – and thus I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to feel more secure in following – instead of seeing, realizing and understanding that following is always a point of dis-empowering myself – where I believe – that only because I do what another tells me to do – I am safe and on the right track – because I fear listening to and trusting myself – and fear developing my own reasoning abilities and making my own decisions – because that would imply that I am fully and wholly responsible for myself – my life – my consequences – my creation

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to want and desire to have someone make decisions for me, to want to have someone to follow, so that I do not need to be responsible for the decisions I make, for the direction that I take, for the consequences of my actions – but so that I always have someone to blame if things go wrong – and thus I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not take a breath – bring myself back here – and see, realize and understand – that it does not assist and support me to follow – and that even though I follow – I will still have to walk the consequences of my actions – because even though I convince myself otherwise – its still my actions

Self-commitment statements

When and as I see myself moving within myself to use another as a reason for me making a decision, where I rely upon another, without me assessing and looking at the point first, I immediately stop myself, I take a breath and I bring myself back here – and I see, realize and understand that this tendency of mine, to want to follow and use others as a reason, it dis-empowers me, and sets me off, spinning around, moving in directions that are not supportive, and eventually, I do not act or live the way that is best for me, because I follow, instead of direct – and thus I commit myself to DIRECT myself – and practice developing my own critical reasoning abilities – where I make decisions for and as myself – and assess the information received by others – not use it as my prime reason to move

When and as I see myself want to follow, rely upon, move myself because of the feedback of another, I immediately stop myself, I take a breath and I bring myself back here – and I see, realize and understand that when I do, I create consequences for myself – I live in a way that is not supportive to me – and I make decisions that I later fall back on because I have not made/created them for me – AND – I miss out on actually LIVING and BUILDING my life for and as me – because I instead follow – and thus I commit myself to stop following and to starting living – to stop relying upon and instead develop my own point of movement and direction – where I make decision for and as me – though obviously – utilizing the perspectives and living of others as a inspiration and point of assistance and support


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Day 428: Changing Competition

I have now been back at work for a couple of weeks, and one point that has opened up, which has not been present during my vacation, is competition. I have noticed that I compete with my colleagues in many respects, and most of the the time I am competing for attention/recognition/praise from a superior.

This week I have actively challenged my tendency of becoming fearful/anxious/judgmental when I receive criticism by my superiors at work. Usually, I would react in fear, stress or anxiety, and then go into a judgment, and then try to improve that particular aspect of my work so as to not repeat the same mistake again. The way I have challenged this behavior is to, instead of looking at how to change/improve my professional skills to avoid criticism, I look at and push myself to find the core problem and issue within me that is responsible for me making that mistake in the first place.

An example would be how I made a mistake when writing a report at work. My superior came into my room and showed me that I had missed some information. I wanted to go into anxiety and self-judgment, however I stopped myself and instead decided to look at the core issue. What I found was that, at times, I will have this fine feeling/experience that I have missed something, that something is ‘off’, something is not as it should be. The mistake I have done in those moments is that I have brushed that feeling over by saying to myself: ‘No, no, I have done the necessary work, let’s just get done with this now’. Hence, in-fact forcing myself to move forward, when there is a part of me signalling that I am not completely finished. Hence, I made the commitment to start practicing listening to this fine part of myself that comes through at times, to take it seriously, and put more effort and time into investigating and proof-reading, when I ‘suspect’ that something is not as it should be.

What I could also see, as a core problem, was that I at times, too fast throw myself at a conclusion, because I want to get done with it, and because of that, I make unnecessary mistakes, when I could have avoided that mistake through a bit more of research, consideration and deliberation – in essence – CALMING myself down and daring to MOVE and DIRECT myself as SLOW as is needed. There is no meaning or sense in rushing something. However, it takes a commitment, it takes breathing, it takes being steady and stable, to move slowly and comfortably, to dare to use my time and invest it into the various projects in my life, and not haste, believing that I will be able to ‘do more’ if I haste.

Thus, instead of competing, I bring it back to myself. Instead of trying to beat others, I place my focus on challenging myself, and ‘beating’ myself – doing better than what I did in the past – and pushing myself to continuously create myself, and move forward, regardless of what it is that I am doing – there is always room for expansion and momentum. And instead of trying to achieve respect and attention from a superior – I make sure that I give these things to myself – earning my own respect through the way I live – and giving myself attention through literally – paying attention to myself and what I am going through.

 


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Day 424: Choosing Clothes

Today I noticed myself reacting to my partners clothes. She was on her way to the store when I noticed a couple of holes in her pants. I became anxious and told her that she should use a different pair of pants.

Afterwards I looked at the situation and why I had become anxious because of the condition of her pants. I could see that it was not really about her pants, instead it was about how other people would see my partner, and how that in turn would reflect back unto me. Subsequently, the fear was related to the fear of other peoples opinions, and that they would in some way, jeopardize my survival.

I have seen that my mother is very much the same way. She is very self-conscious and worried about what others think of her, even though, the thoughts and perceptions of others really does not have that much impact in her life. For example, she is keen on retaining a particular image of herself towards her neighbors, because else… Well, it is this latter part of the fear equation that does not make sense. Somehow the perceptions of others have been linked to survival, and the same fuzzy logic exists within me.

Where does this fear come from? I remember when I was younger and my parents, in particular my mother, stressed the importance of the clothes I wore. I was not allowed to wear soft pants, it had to be jeans, because ‘they look more respectable’. And the issue of clothes was mostly discussed from a starting point of fear and judgment. Its interesting, that I was never asked, for example: What clothes would support you as a being? What clothes would support you to express yourself and expand? What colors would open up your expression? What type of shoes would assist and support your body the most? Such considerations were non-existent – instead – clothes became about survival.

Thus, what I can see is that my survival is not dependent on the perception of my neighbors, and the people in the local store. I can walk to the store wearing clothes that I enjoy and feel comfortable in, and the same is true for my partner, without this compromising my standing in relation to survival. Though, at work, the way I dress and look is connected to my ability to earn money and survive, and hence, there it is relevant to be specific and exact in terms of the clothes I decide to wear. Even so, this does not justify me becoming fearful as to the opinions of others. Survival is practical, it has nothing to do with fear – and should simply be a point of logic – looking at what works and what does not – and then aligning myself according to the best possible way of movement.

Secondly, I see that its important for me to redefine my relationship with clothes, and to not accept and allow fears and anxieties to determine what clothes I wear, and how I see/look at the clothes of my partner or my child. The primary purpose of clothes is to support the human physical body and protect it from the various elements of this earth. Then, according to the context, clothes can have a variety of purposes, and hence, it is important to look at the context, look at what is here, before making decisions.

Self-forgiveness

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to become fearful, anxious and worried that the clothes of my partner will trigger other peoples reactions, and that they are going to think badly of my partner, and that this in turn will reflect badly on me – and thus I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to experience fear and anxiety that these judgments might in some way make it difficult and hard for me to survive

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to believe that my survival is dependent on the positive reactions of people in my environment – and that I need to be ‘liked’ to survive – and within this I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not see, realize and understand how this is an idea that I have created in my mind, and that it does not make sense, in-fact, because in reality, in the physical, my income, my survival, is not directly related to what other people thinks of me – rather – it is related to my skills, my intellect, my ability to handle myself, follow instructions, process information, and work together with others

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to be fearful of others, what they think, how they see me, that they will judge me, and within this I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to make me inferior and less than, to hide myself in inferiority, to hide myself in isolation, to hold myself back, so that I will not become visible to others, and that I hence will not become judged – and within this I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not see, realize and understand that it is not a solution, that it is not a valid way of handling myself and my movement in life, to hide away, to try to escape from the eyes of others, as this will not assist and support me to move and do what I require to do

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to be fearful of what others think of me, and hold myself back, hide myself, shut myself down, censor myself, so that I will only portray and image outwardly that I am certain will be accepted by the people in my life

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to believe that the opinions of others and judgment of others are directly related to my survival – instead of seeing, realizing and understanding that it is more about context – more about where I am – and that in some contexts – the opinions and judgments of others means nothing at all – and hence I should not accept and allow myself to change and alter myself in such contexts in fear of what others think of me – but rather stand with myself and with what I know makes sense and is best for me

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to fear the judgments and opinions of others, and to fear for my own survival, and to hold myself back, and act according to my fears, in the belief that I will that way survive more effectively, instead of seeing, realizing and understanding that this is not the case, and that I am in-fact holding myself back

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not consider my human physical body, my expression, my process, the context, and all other variables involves in selecting clothes, and thus I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to only consider my fears, believing that my fears are real, believing that my fears are the most important point to consider, not seeing, realizing and understanding that there is so much more

Self-commitment statement

When and as I see myself becoming fearful and anxious that the clothes I wear will be judged by others, or that the clothes my partner wear will be judged by others, or that that I resist picking clothes for myself, because I fear what others will think, I immediately stop myself, I take a breath and I bring myself back here – and I see, realize and understand that I cannot accept and allow fear to decide what I will wear and what others will wear, because clothes is about so much more, and hence, judgments and opinions of others cannot be decisive factor – I will decide what I want to wear because it is best – and act the same with my partner and my child; and hence I commit myself to select clothes according to what is supportive for me and my physical body – and stand in the same way in relation to my partner and my child – the physical and what is supportive is what is relevant – not fear


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Day 423: Moving Physically Instead of With Stress

I now have around one week left on my holidays and that has triggered some stress and anxiety within me, because I feel as if there is so much still to do, so much I still want to get to, so much I still want to participate within. If I follow along with this anxiety and stress, the physical movement/behavior that follows is that I start to act spontaneously and irrational – trying to ‘do things’ as fast as possible, and preferably, as many things as possible. The idea behind this way of living is that I will through that ‘save’ time. Needless to say, usually the opposite happens instead, because I will move around aimlessly, and forget to prioritize, and do the things that are really of importance, and do them effectively and well.

Hence, I find that the solution is to SLOW down, to move with breath, to do the things I do have time to do, and to simply leave the rest for another time. Instead of stressing about the fact that my holidays are soon over, I could instead use the time I have effectively, through remaining stable, and planning, structuring my days, and my time, so that I move, and get done the things, I know are important and relevant for me to direct, and that I might not have as much time for, when I start working again.

Self-forgiveness

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to access, and go into, anxiety and stress when I notice that my holidays are soon over, and fear that I will not get to the various responsibilities and projects that I have in my life, and thus I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to trust anxiety and stress, and believe that anxiety and stress will support and help me, that they will guide me, and distrust myself, thinking that I am not able to or capable unless I have some form of energy that comes up within me and motivates and propels me forward

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to distrust myself, and believe that if I move myself through the physical, only remaining, and standing as the physical, and not use any anxiety and stress, then I will not do anything what so ever, and I will but become a lazy bum, sitting on my ass all the time – and thus I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not see, realize and understand that its through sanding within and as the physical, and moving as the physical that I am able to take everything into account, and move in a way that is best for all, instead of merely stressing myself ahead, and fast forwarding life, believing that this is going to lead me into a better life

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to trust stress and anxiety more than what I trust the physical – and thus I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not develop a deep and intimate – one and equal – relationship with my human physical body – similar to what I had when I was a child – where fear did not control me and move me throughout my day – but instead – I MOVED myself with and as my human physical – and hence I commit myself to move myself WITH AND AS my human physical body – to move myself within physical structure and planning – to look at what requires to be done – and then move to do it – however not overexert myself or become irrational – always remain grounded

Self-commitment statements

When and as I see myself becoming stressed, anxious and worried because I am not getting done with as many things I think I should, or things are not moving fast enough, I immediately stop myself, I take a breath and I bring myself back here – and I see, realize and understand that this stress and anxiety is not a help for me to move forward, it is rather what holds me back, because while in it, I become irrational, I become lost in a state of fear, where I start to do things that do not make sense, only to feel like I am moving forward; and thus I commit myself to remain grounded – to stick with structure and practical planning – and to trust myself as the physical – that I will move myself and get things done – maybe not the way I have before in my life – though I will move and direct points until i am satisfied – in the pace of breath


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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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