Let your freak flag fly Print E-mail
News - Final Word
Tuesday, 23 July 2019 11:33
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“There can be no initiative if one has fear, and fear compels us to cling to tradition . . .”

Martial artist Bruce Lee said this. You know, every single time a Bruce Lee (of all people!) quote strikes home I shake my head in disbelief. It’s very difficult for me to think that someone who made such odd noises on-screen could utter anything but “oeuuw” or “auurgh”.

But, ‘Enter the dragon’ – let’s talk about fear. Actually, if I have to repeat one more quote that says you have to face your fear I’m going to make a martial art sound of my own. I like the fact that Bruce Lee said fear bullies us into clinging to tradition. That’s what I detest most about being scared – it forces you to hide the prickly bits about yourself that you strongly suspect society won’t be able to digest.

Author Elizabeth Gilbert says that fear is her constant companion, especially when she wants to start a new project. She says that you shouldn’t even try to fight your fear: Fear rears up even stronger then.

Neither can you outrun fear.

Just stand very still. Then turn around slowly and say, “Thank you, Fear. I know your purpose is to keep me safe and you’re doing a great job to prevent me from committing to this scary thing I want to do. So, tell me: What would you suggest I do instead.”

Elizabeth says that fear’s answer will always be the same – “nothing”. What fear wants you to do is to lie in a dark room with a damp cloth covering your eyes.

It’s simple, girlfriend: On the one hand you have no-thing. On the other hand you have some-thing. Which do you choose? Will you choose it even if the some-thing turns out to be way off from what you intended?

You see, we’re scared of being shamed. Brené Brown, who has arguably done more than anyone else to bring the topics of shame and vulnerability to mass consciousness, says: “Shame is the most powerful, master emotion. It’s the fear that we’re not good enough.”

But, what is “good enough”? Or rather, who should it be good enough for? Yourself? Specific others? Society in general? Madisyn Taylor says that in many ways, we’re taught from the time we’re children to give away our power to others. This repression continued in many experiences at school and in situations at work.

To some degree, giving our energy to others is simply part of the social contract and we feel that we have to do it to survive, Madisyn says. Still, it’s possible to exchange energy in a way that safeguards your integrity. You don’t always have to do what you’re being asked to do by others, and you don’t have to follow every trend. You just need the confidence to let your own voice guide you to make your own decisions.

Your true self exists, whether you acknowledge it or not. Madisyn says that it is often buried under learned behavior. That is why identity is such an elusive concept. We feel we must define ourselves using a relatively small selection of roles and conscious character traits. To top it all, society regularly asks us to suppress so much of our vibrancy.

In early childhood, your thoughts and feelings were more than likely expressions of your true self. Sad thing is that along the way you’ve learned to speak and act in a way that would win others’ approval.

The challenge now is to bring back the authenticity you once expressed so freely. You may find it hard to separate your true identity from the persona you have created to cope with the world around you.

Author and teacher, Robert Holden, says, “Self-knowledge is the primary key to success. It’s far more important than your IQ, your CV, your PhD, your knowledge of celestial mechanics, or your MBA.”

Robert teaches people to think about success in a whole new way. “Success is knowing who you are. Success is being true to yourself. And the next level of success happens when you’re willing to be even more of the real you.”

So, girlfriend, even if it scares you witless, stand in your power and show them who you are. Let your freak flag fly!

Besoek die Suid-Afrikaanse Departement van Gesondheid se webwerf vir alle amptelike inligting en opdaterings rakende COVID-19 by www.SAcoronavirus.co.za

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