Friday, February 8, 2013

Fear, Dread, Anxiety


I was watching an old episode of 30 Something where Michael and Elliot have 4 days to come up with an incredible ad campaign for an art museum. A daunting process, to be sure. Made all the more complicated because it was for a friend. It shows their creative process along with fear, dread, and anxiety personified.

I know I experience those three emotions on a regular basis. I got to thinking, how would it change my reaction if I began to literally think of them outside of my head, as 3 annoying people?

How would we treat people who talked to us that way? Would we let them paralyze us? Would we let them sap the energy out of us? We tell them to get lost, in no uncertain terms, and we would stay away from them, right? Or at least not be welcoming. Why, then, would we even think about entertaining these same statements, making them feel the least bit comfortable, just because they happen to be in our heads?

In a sense, it would almost be easier if emotions like fear, dread, and anxiety were people. Then you could just lock the door, tell them to go away, or get a restraining order. Unfortunately, they are very real nagging emotions, which are almost impossible to evade. They simply don’t go away that easily, despite our telling them to.

They show up uninvited at all the right situations; well, right for them, anyways. The little nagging voices in your head will swarm to stress situations, like bees to honey. They will thwart even your most well prepared venture, or try to, at least. If only we could learn to treat them like the uninvited guests that they are, and simply show them the door, or at least tune them out.

So how do we do it? It's actually very simple in theory.  It just takes conscious effort, and many "re-efforts"to get rid of them.

• "STOP!" the negative thought; Saying it out loud, cheesy as it may seem, is even better.

• Truth is your best weapon to combat these guys. Of course anything can happen, but you are well prepared and competent to withstand even the worst situation. List the reasons why you will succeed.

• Think of something else. Anything else.  Do not give them space in your head.

Back to the show: In the end, it turned out, that Michael and Elliot were indeed thwarted by fear dread and anxiety. Their campaign sucked, just because they allowed the terrible trio to invade their space.

We won't make the same mistake.

c. 2013 

No comments:

Post a Comment