Human beings have a natural drive to thrive and survive. We would not be here, after all, if our ancestors didn’t figure out ways to stay calm, even in the face of disease, droughts, tiger-eating threats, and a whole host of other life-threatening events.
We humans live in a paradox. We both want to be creative and express ourselves, while at the same time, we long to be safe and avoid situations we declare fearful and risky. Resting in this dilemma, we often get stuck in worry and stress.
There are really only two ways to manage this dilemma. One is your Creator Mindset—the central role in TED* (*The Empowerment Dynamic)®. This is your natural state of well-being if you can calm yourself and allow your built-in wisdom to guide you. The other way is the Problem Mindset, looking at life and situations as a problem to manage, which can trigger the three Dreaded Drama (DDT) roles of Victim, Persecutor, and Rescuer.
You can decide, when you feel worried, which mindset you want to choose. Most of the time, however, people mindlessly worry about what might happen. Unnecessary worry is illustrated in this humorous story:
“A man complained about insomnia and constant worry. He said, ‘Even counting sheep is no good. I counted ten thousand, sheared them, combed the wool, had it spun into cloth, made them into sweaters, and sold them at the local market, and lost a thousand dollars on the deal! I haven’t slept in a week!’”
The tragedy of worry is that it fools us into feeling powerless over the object of our concern, just like the man did when he sheared ten thousand sheep. Worry freezes our creative mind and then we worry even more because we want to take creative action and we want to stay safe and avoid risks at the same time!
There is a way out. When you remember you are a creative human being, imbued with innate intelligence and capable of growing and learning, you accept this principle of life and choose your capacity to take constructive action. When you forget this truth, it is easy to worry about things that never happen. The witty American philosopher, Mark Twain, once said, “I have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.”
Being committed to continuous learning and taking responsibility to choose one baby step is a saner, more peaceful way to live. Focusing on just one baby step calms your fears about what might happen, while also increasing your hope and belief in possibilities. This approach to life is the hallmark of the shift from Victim to Creator.
Here are three tips that can keep you calm in the face of drama, so your Inner-Creator will emerge:
- Recall a time when you were resilient and bounced back, even in difficult situations. Trusting that your innate Creator essence is always available is a balm for your soul.
- Shift your language. For example, from “I am so nervous about this” to “I am excited about …” or from “I have to look strong and confident” to “I can be candid about the challenges.” By shifting to more expansive language, you give yourself space to relax.
- Pause and intentionally take several deep breaths. It only takes about 90 seconds for uncomfortable emotions to move through your body, so they do not get stuck and erupt later. Focusing on your breath gives your mind something to focus on away from your reactive thinking and supports your natural mind-body mechanism to calm.
As your body calms, you will notice your thinking calms. With a less reactive mind and a more relaxed body, you are nurturing your Creator essence, which is always there, waiting to guide you.