“The real and most dangerous opponents we face are fear, anger, confusion, doubt and despair. If we overcome those enemies that attack us from within, we can attain a true victory over any attack from without.” Morihei Ueshiba
“Touch a thistle timidly, and it pricks you; grasp it boldly, and its spines crumble.” All problems become smaller if you don’t dodge them but confront them.” William “Bull” Halsey, World War II admiral
Fear. Anger. Confusion. Doubt. Who among us doesn’t know just how dangerous these silent, inner opponents are—and how they can attack our confidence and make it harder for us to do our work? Here, Barry Farber, author and performance coach, offers helpful advice for restoring calm when an event or inner voice gets in the way of our writing and what we want to achieve.
Stay focused: Instead of giving in to agitation or anger, which will only fuel your negative, shift your energy to concentration and awareness. Stay grounded and confront your difficulty with a relaxed, can-do attitude.
Breathe deeply: Breathing calms you and reduces stress. It brings oxygen to your blood and heart, and boosts your skills of mental observation. It frees you to concentrate and shift into problem-solving mode. Here’s a simple method for “breathing like a baby”—Breathe in through your nose and let it settle in your belly—allowing your diaphragm to move up and down for deeper, fuller capacity breathing. Once your breath settles in your lower belly, relax your shoulders and allow your lower belly to expand, then release and breathe in again.
Step back: Put the situation you’re facing in perspective. Is it really worth getting agitated or upset about? Is the conflict you may experience really worth it? Will it pass and fade away if you just let go? Look at the bigger picture and where you want to be and then consider moving on or taking calm, purposeful action.
Stay strong: Have confidence in who you are. Remember that you’ve weathered tough situations before and you can do it again. Staying balanced and comfortable, and remembering your own strengths can help you deal with difficult situations or people without becoming confused or defensive.
We all hit rough patches in our writing, but we can get back on track if we stay calm and focused. Bravo, Barry—write on!
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