When we want to express our most profound sentiments, our rawest emotions, dreams, fears, or opinions in any given moment on any given circumstance, but fail to do so, we commit the greatest offense to the self. When we’re filled with a passionate idea but bite the tongue out of fear of being criticized or oppressed, it is the equivalency of self-mutilation-a denial of our unique creativity. In attempting to gain acceptance we lose the part of ourselves that earnestly seeks authenticity, the part of ourselves that yearns to find its place in the world. In turn, our vibrancy is diminished and our confidence withers. It is better to be daring and speak one’s mind risking ridicule and ostracism than to keep silent to appease the masses. The former you can quickly recover from, but the latter creates irreparable damage to the soul.
If we reflect on our troubles, we will find the underlining theme of fear pervading throughout. Fear creates paralysis. The external obstacles we face are not necessarily the problem, the way we handle the associated fears of the challenge is the deciding factor of success. Fear is a natural response to events that we are not accustomed to. Unfortunately, there’s no way to eliminate fear, but there is a way to change the way we handle it- we can learn to transcend fear into something that we can embrace and welcome.
I remember in college before the big game, we would often engage in chants and sorts of rituals to arouse a spirit of battle within us. Some of us would scream, jump, and down shove each other, and slap helmets and pads. Some would pace quietly while others sat with a deep long stare. Everyone had a ritual. I noticed this was more than a way to prepare for a fun game and obtain excitement. The preparation was a way bring the mind and body to a state of readiness to overcome apprehension, to surpass any likelihood of paralysis, and associate fear with excitement and victory. Preparation made fear an ally.
Fear is much a natural part of our lives just as any other emotion. The key is to adapt the proper mindset of its challenge and prepare effectively. A preparation that creates a response of excitement, confidence, and persistence is one that will always lead to success.
It’s good to get away often. It quiets the voices that tell us we are small and limited. I have discovered in moments of isolation, after the pangs of loneliness had subsided, long after I was written off as done for, that within me was a poised and powerful giant capable of rising, flourishing, and transforming the world.
Ego and self-esteem both have an opposite effect on one another. Where one is fed, the other diminishes. We must exercise caution in differentating the two. Ego temporarily provides a sense of gratification and fulfillment but gradually creates separation, loneliness, and conflict. Self-esteem, initially, may seem contradictory where one shifts focus away from self and directs it towards others, but in time creates a sense of fulfillment, purpose, and connection. In short, the more I am ‘all about me’ the more disharmony I create; and the more I am about others, the tighter the bonds and greater the balance I bring into life. Mastering this art is the simplest way to happiness.