Maybe this is my own theory; maybe it’s in a Psychology book somewhere; maybe it’s total bullshit. I’m not quite sure. However, I believe that people have a few base emotions, with layering secondary emotions that are rooted in those base emotions. A couple of the biggest core emotions are: happiness, sadness, and fear. There are a multitude of secondary emotions that root from happiness, sadness, and fear. People can experience energy, focus, drive, and motivation as a spin-off of their base happiness. On the other side of it, people can experience depression, loss of compassion, confusion, guilt and laziness as a result of their core sadness. Then there is fear. This is the big one. I think that there are multiple secondary emotions that result from fear. A few of the most limiting emotions people experience as a result of fear are: anxiety, loss of confidence, self image issues, and the biggest one of all – STRESS. Now – there are always going to be events out of our control that cause us to experience emotions that aren’t always pleasant. I believe we are in control of our reactions to situations, but sometimes circumstances occur that really rock your soul in a negative way. That’s life. For those events, it’s more about how you recover than what your initial reaction is.
I want to specifically talk about stress as a fear-based emotion. I have always been a person who would constantly describe herself as “stressed”. I would use that adjective so much that it actually began to lose its meaning after awhile. I didn’t even really know what I was “stressed” about anymore. There was nothing that significant looming over me to cause this “stress” I was claiming to have all of the time. However, I felt the physical and mental side effects of stress for some reason. It was exhausting. I didn’t enjoy living like that and I needed to get to the root of the problem, deal with it, and move on.
The most important thing that I learned through my brief soul-searching adventure was that I was fearful of SO many things in life. That was the root cause of my stress! It was to a point where my fear was limiting my success, limiting my opportunities, and limiting this endless amount of potential I FINALLY realized I possessed. Fear is definitely a necessary emotion. There is no way around that. It is something that we will experience throughout our lives. Fear is here to stay, there’s no beating it. So my solution is derived from the fact that we have 2 decisions in the face of fear: fight or flight. These are common terms I’m sure everyone can relate to. Fear can drive you to RUN. Every. Single. Time. OR….you can choose to embrace fear, and actually fight to come out stronger on the other side.
In the past, I would run. Every single time. If something was scary, intimidating, or overwhelming in any aspect – I just wouldn’t do it. You don’t grow that way. You begin to limit yourself. I developed a new idea around fear. If something was scary (to a certain extent) – I would decide that I’m just going to do it. Because – this is the reality of fear….PAY ATTENTION…Fear (the worst kind of mentally and physically crippling fear) CANNOT and WILL NOT do the destruction that you can do to yourself by limiting your potential and opportunities because of it. Make sense?
Because of my new thoughts on stress, caused by fear, and what to do with it – I’ve grown exponentially over the last year. I don’t feel that burden of stress like I used to. I don’t feel the anxiety associated with it, either. I’ve taken on so many responsibilities, taken new chances, and agreed to do things that I wasn’t quite sure I’d be good at. Because, in all honesty, what is the WORST that could happen? I fail? Maybe. Or maybe I come out with a couple scrapes and bruises and a wealth of knowledge and newfound confidence. That is a win to me.
I try to encourage people to step out of their comfort zone, do something that they’re scared of, and just SEE what happens. Whether it is public speaking, interviewing for that job you want so badly, taking on a new business venture, or starting a healthier lifestyle. We only have this 1 life to live here on this Earth. Make an impact. DO something that you’ll be remembered for. Change your life, don’t be a victim of circumstance, and just LIVE. Experience new things…because you never know what could happen if you would just STOP hesitating on opportunities staring you in the face (as scary as it may be).
I find a lot of contentment in looking at this life I lead as my chance to experiment with different things, experience new things, build relationships, and ultimately make an impact in the lives of others. I’ve had this inner desire since I was young to just really make a difference in the life of someone else. Even if it is just 1 person. I get the greatest joy out of knowing I’ve done something, written something, or said something to make a difference in the life of someone else. With all of that being said – I’m incredibly excited to announce that I’ve recently accepted an opportunity that will give me a chance to do what brings me the most happiness – make a difference in people’s lives (details coming soon!). That’s my purpose. Do a little soul searching, find your passion, and as scary as it may be – DO IT. Make it happen.