No one learns without failing or making mistakes. Yet, we as parents often forget this universal truth as we raise our children. Instead of pushing them to take risks, experiment and uncover their true potential, we refuse to let them learn from their failures.
However, shielding our children from risks only cripples their ability to learn new skills and prevents them from discovering their innate abilities. It also hinders them from learning how to overcome failure and adapt to change- key attributes required for personal growth.
In our time, pressure seems to be everywhere. There is a wealth of information like never before, which means we could find out about anything we wanted, only this takes time, so we look for “drip feeds” that will give us up-to-the-minute updates and we assume our sources do a reasonable job at finding and telling things as they are.
Reality is a bit different, unfortunately. Most of our information feeds are controlled by a fairly small group of huge profit-driven conglomerates, which make their money by selling. To sell well, they need people to “see red”, so they inspire fear via TV news broadcasts, bold newspaper headlines and various other methods.
The result of this is the general view that violent crime is everywhere, that different people cannot live together in harmony and that all too often, the only way to sort things out is to wage war on another ethnic group or country, even at the cost of “friendly” life.
As a partner, a parent and a person, it is likely you find yourself in familiar situations, feeling the same familiar feeling and wondering how you got there. It may be as you walk in the door after a long day at work. It may be when some misunderstanding with your partner or your (teenage) child quickly escalates to an unpleasant exchange of verbal blows. It may just be when you look in the mirror.
All negative feelings are some form of fear and that fear is a defensive feeling aimed at protecting our self from being hurt. Some part of us recognizes certain words or behaviors as a form of attack raises the alert by creating this protective feeling.
The thing is, the “attack” pattern may have been saved in our mind when we were little and certainly in a particular context, both of which are longer in effect. However, our reaction is a subconscious one, which means there is no time for logic, but also that to get rid of this type of reaction we must “talk” directly with our subconscious (this is called Neurolinguistic Programming or NLP).
The world is full of different people, with whom we have relationships of varying closeness and intimacy. More often than not, we find ourselves in conversation with someone wanting to say something, but saying something completely different, because saying what we think would produce the wrong results. This even happens with our partner sometimes, not to mention the kids.
Living in stress is like living in an ambulance all your life. You are on the road most of the day, you live in a small space, not many people around, everything is difficult, your decisions are all about life and death, mistakes are critical, there is no time to waste, not time for fun, not enough time and space to make your own meals, you see (too) many doctors, you develop a dark view of the world from frequent exposure to accidents, drink driving, violence and self neglect. Through the eyes of the stressed person life sucks!
If you look at the word “conquer”, you will realize that the presence of fear is an indication of war between what you think you should do and what you think you should not. In the past, fear was the guard posted in our mind to protect us, but now it has taken over. Sometimes, we must conquer our fear just to be able to move.
Motivation, as you may know, has two sides: pain and pleasure. Unfortunately, pain is a stronger motivator. At the same time, being inundated by threats creates an atmosphere of fear and stress. Who wants to live like this? One day, I was standing at the post office, waiting to be served, and in front of me in life were a few people, who cam to pay their bills there. While I was waiting, I looked around, and noticed a rather large sign behind the counter, which said in red, bold letter, “Avoid Penalties!” The people who come to the post office to pay their bills are usually (and I’m not saying always) the kind of people who get a short …