I strongly believe that the main equation in reaching any goal is Awareness + Action (in this very order). Therefore, I decided that I should first address certain points prior to Sunday’s entry for it to succeed in painting a clearer picture in your head as you will go through it. This Sunday, I promised to post my top tweaks and gimmicks aka the ‘red pill’ to trick one’s mind and pushing through the social anxiety/conditioning that is holding one back from one’s best self.
“How can I paint this picture, when the colour blind is hanging with you?” – Kendrick Lamar.
O K A Y, take a deep breath. Post #2½…
This post will be focused entirely on anxiety. Notice that I am going to use anxiety here and not fear to describe the resistance that one feels when they are on unfamiliar territory and trying out something new. A clear line needs to be drawn between the two; fear is your survival instinct responding to literal threats that will harm you physically and potentially may end your life. Anxiety is an illusion of fear. It is created by this mystical collab of the mind and the ego. Public speaking, singing in front of an audience, leading a business presentation, they all carry varying degrees of anxiety. How scary is it to speak in front of 500,000 people? It is tremendous. And what if it goes wrong? OMG my life is ‘over’ right? You will be judged by so many people and laughed at for a while. However, will you die from it? The answer is obvious. This is not a life sentence but an unpleasant experience to learn from. Funny how society invented this saying of “dying inside” to qualify this particular feeling. This feeling basically describes your ego taking a right hook to the chin. Hence, anxiety is the fear that your ego might take a hit from actions and reactions in an unknown future, not a real or present threat.
Your ego is a set of beliefs acquired during your lifetime that are heavily rooted and extremely sensitive to challenges. Hence triggering the ‘fight or flight’ reaction to whatever challenges it.
How does anxiety build up? – A timeline
An infant is born, it’s a boy. He is loved unconditionally by his parents and relatives. At this point, all of his actions are validated by his entourage. He gets praised for saying a word, walking alone, lifting a toy. This is a baby’s view of the world. As he grows older though, the validation is subtly taken away incrementally. His actions are now being questioned and tweaked by his siblings or cousins, “Don’t do this, there’s a smarter way to tackle this problem.” The human mind is designed to understand repetition and it ultimately associates with it. So the cutting of this validation is a shock to the child and most of the time he isn’t aware of it and no action is taken against the stimulus leaving him fully at the effect. Again, this is VERY subtle. No one catches it. Like a disease, the infected cells stack up and nothing is done until visual symptoms appear. And around this time comes the turning point – School.
“School is failing entrepreneurs everyday because they are taught to follow the rules.” – Gary Vaynerchuck
School is the epitome of frustration and has been for a while. It is praised by society for all its pros and the cons are literally unspoken of. I am going to summaries the school system in a brief way; it is a factory. Getting As don’t mean shit. I got straight As in high school and what I understood from it is this ‘A’ is based on my ability to memorise and repeat what has been taught in class. I was being graded on my copy-paste ability. How compliant would you be about someone grading you on a single aspect of your qualities? On top of that, the social pressure is amplified with rules. One needs to stick to the system of arriving in time for class for example. If one doesn’t, the teacher having ‘power’ inside the classroom will shame the latter. This shaming coming from the teacher will transfer onto other classmates who will continue the process of shaming; one gets branded a “reputation”. This is only a small example and the concept applies to a lot of aspects in the school system, it’s a vicious cycle. The stripping off of validation is drastically amplified in such conditions and anxiety builds up. Conditioning sets in and at this point one doesn’t know what one wants anymore. The school system ultimately teaches an individual this… to constantly question if he/she is enough. Adding to the equation other societal features/standards to the school environment such as wealth or looks, school can be a living nightmare amplifying the stress dial on an individual’s “social enoughness”. Oh and by the way, there is a free upgrade to school, it’s called the office.
Nothing much to be said; this picture encompasses deeply everything said in this post.
Alright, anxiety. Anxiety is the worst. Anxiety cripples you. Anxiety is a poison you have been fed all your life. Only you can get yourself out of it. However It is difficult to do so alone. So I came up with this technique to bypass it. I named it “Ecosystem tweaking.” I will go deeper on this in Sunday’s post. I am writing this awareness-focused post because this is something I don’t want my friends, family or anyone basically to continue going through this non-sense which is anxiety.
Stay tuned for Sunday’s entry people! Its going to be big.