Thursday, June 07, 2012

confronting your inner demons

apparently studies suggest that up to 80% of our actions are driven by fear. that's a pretty scary thought. and it's no wonder so many people go down with stress. and if it's that high (i do need to check these studies myself), we're obviously driven by fear without even realizing it. i wonder if they count eating as fear-driven? fear of starvation causes us to make dinner night after night.

i'm trying to tune into that fear a bit more these days - especially where my reactions are concerned. and i'm realizing along the way how DAMAGED we are by the corporations we've worked for (and by we i mean me, but i'm absolutely certain i'm not alone). the way that companies work today is very bad for us - blame cultures, management-by-fear, competition within teams, even bonus-based systems - it's making monsters of all of us. and i'm a bit frightened by how easily those habits i learned in a corporate setting kick in as soon as i'm pressed.

i know, i know, i've written about this before, but it continues to be a struggle. a struggle to be a kinder, gentler person, while still being strong and competent and very good at what i do. and wondering sometimes how on earth to balance those things? why does being good at something so often have to equal arrogance and haughtiness? i don't want to be that way anymore. so i guess i've got to get to the bottom of those fears. but that's also a process. possibly one that will take years.  but they say recognizing the issue is the first step. (why do they never talk about the second, third and fourth steps? i think they're the hardest.) so i guess i'll keep taking these steps, baby-sized as they are.

it's not easy to shift your paradigms, but watching this the other day helped my thinking about it. of course, it's a TED talk. thanks elizabeth for sharing it.


Elizabeth said...

You're welcome and it is like the Beatles song: With a little help ...

will said...

This reminds me of the old debate, "Is it Nature or Nurture?".

And there's the varient of 'change' ... adaptation.

Personality is a quirky mix of DNA, experiences, intellectual learning (both rational and otherwise), prejudices, biases and a narrow range of cultural values.

I suspect it takes a cataclysmic event - surviving something like a plane crash, a mugging or a spouse telling you you're selfish - to initiate quick change in a person. Otherwise, we go on as we do and adapt to change at a snail's pace.

Then again, simply aging causes change. Today's "Self" is definitely not the 25 years ago "Self". And that's the real personal journey.

Sandra said...

I think Bill is onto something. I have changed, I am a much gentler, kinder me. It helps that I don't feel competitive anymore and that is mostly a result of being an older person who doesn't care about the things I once thought so important. Of course, it helps that I never did work in a corporate environment, but I still felt the need to be the winner.

I have actually been putting into practice something I read awhile back; I'd rather be happy than right. It has made life easier on me and the few people around me.

I think you are too hard on yourself. This is my opinion, anyway.

stephanie said...

Thanks for the link to the TED talk. This is really in line with where my brain has been lately. Completely adjusting how I approach things and the manner in which I think about them.

I'm still rolling this all over in my head, but I do agree with you about need to get to the bottom of the feelings. What makes us react the ways we do? How do fix those things? Can we find the issues ourselves or do we need people we trust to help us be honest with ourselves?

And yes, action (steps 3, 4 and 5) are the hardest, at least for me. I can recognize and admit all kinds of crap being wrong with me. Undoing 30 years of crappy learned behavior is not fun. At all.