“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.” (Mark Twain)
Often fear can be like quicksand. The more we struggle and fight our fear, the more obsessed and anxious we can become, and then we just become more mired in the problem.
Intense psychological stress can shut down the innovative and creative parts of the brain. We then go into “lockdown” mode and tend to revert to old, familiar behaviors. In other words, “when stressed, we regress”. Often we draw into ourselves and become more inhibited.
In order to break free from this frustrating and destructive cycle, it can help to do something silly or odd, on purpose. When we choose actions that vary from our norm, we take ourselves off automatic pilot. In addition, when we allow ourselves to “step out of character” and call attention to ourselves in a socially acceptable way, we build emotional tolerance.
Here are some suggestions:
Enter an elevator with other people, and once inside, instead of facing the elevator doors, face the back wall.
Wear shoes that don’t match.
Walk backward down the street.
Order a sandwich in a restaurant, with one slice of whole wheat bread and one slice of rye bread.
In a coffee shop or library, hold a book or magazine upside down and pretend to read it.
Go ahead, try a few — it can be a lot of fun! Sometimes the hardest part is not giggling, actually. (Take it from someone who knows.)
When we make it our intention to be “imperfect” (and, let’s face it, nobody’s perfect, anyway), it can take a huge load off our shoulders and distract us, at least for a little while — possibly long enough for our intuition to come up for air and guide us in dealing effectively with our original concern.