What?! But aren’t we supposed to pursue a life of tranquillity and peace? I’m sure a few of you are wondering how I can make such a statement, but it’s true. It depends on what you want from life; do you want to keep the status-quo and just get by, or do you want to suck as much out of life as you can? Truly successful people with rich, full, healthy, super happy lives are never found sitting on their hands or playing the safe option.
Because you see there are two kinds of anxiety;
- The one that is bleak, scary and full of perceived failure.
- And the one that’s feels like a sense of anticipation, excitement and adventure.
And both of these kinds of anxiety are not created by events and things ‘out there’ in the world. They are created by you. How you handle ‘the feeling’ of anxiety will either grow you or stunt your innate potential.
So anxiety can hold us back and cause therapeutic problems. And yes, this kind of anxiety does need treating – absolutely! But what about when you’re ok again? What about when you (like the biggest percentage of the population) are feeling normal/ok? What comes next?
If there’s only a sense of “keeping the peace”, of holding on to stability and security and ‘keeping things safe’ – growth simply cannot happen.
Growth, progress, inspiration, vision – all take restlessness, anxiety and discontent. And in this context anxiety is good, in fact it’s necessary! It’s a positive force that can do so much… if only it’s given the chance. Let’s face it, you’ll never feel the joy of ‘an itch well scratched’ if you’re not itchy and uncomfortable to begin with.
Sadly most people can’t distinguish between the two, and are so worried about and uncomfortable with any kind of anxiety or restlessness, that they spend their lives in a kind of existential death. So paranoid are they about not feeling anxiety or fear, not taking risks, not making changes or not taking leaps of faith that life is just humdrum and becomes the ‘pursuit of passivity’. Ok, I say “sadly” this is the case, but for the majority of people this is all they want and are happy with such. If this is you, I honour your choice and I don’t wish to rock the boat. If where you are now is ‘’as good as it gets” and there’s no room for more – I wish you well.
Failure to distinguish is just one part of the problem though. Anyone, in any state, with any kind of thinking can feel the first anxiety and hold themselves back from greatness. It comes easy to ‘normal’ people. And to weak and feeble minded people too.
The latter one has more preconditions though. This second kind requires a person who is psychologically strong, who has great self-esteem, self-awareness, good and realistic self-confidence and self-efficacy. Only those with a strong ego, who are realistic about their strengths – and especially realistic about their weaknesses – can truly distinguish and embrace anxiety in a way that grows them and makes life an adventure.
Now it’s true that we all do both to varying degrees. How do you perceive anxiety? In certain contexts you’ll feel the first kind, in other situations you’ll feel the second. The question is, which kind do you want to have more of?
NLP, and especially Neuro-Semantics deals with cultivating and embracing the strong sense of self, the capacities, skills and abilities that enable you to be the best and truest version of you. So check out what training or coaching can do for you. As usual, if you have any questions or comments, email me of start a discussion below.