Booking 6 months in Thailand, I really thought my reaction was going to be doom and gloom – wondering what the hell I’d done. Three of those were to do a Yoga Teacher Training course and then the other three months to… Well, that was the point, I didn’t know. All I knew was that I needed to make money in order to survive and see it out. Coming home early was not an option in my head, this was was one of the first steps to my grand plan of becoming a location independent entrepreneur.
And here I was, standing in the airport full of excitement, joy and healthy anticipation. Last week, however, had been a completely different story; I’d sat in my mum’s kitchen talking to my brother via video. He could see in my face and hear in my voice that I was consumed by panic, overwhelm and fear. They were all poisoning my body and consuming my mind, it was paralysing. I listed my concerns to him with a screwed up face and a tense body to match – not being granted the correct visa, not getting it on time, not finding work to support myself, not enjoying the yoga course, etc, etc.
“I can imagine they’re worrying you but can I point something out?”
“They’re all things that you don’t have any control over so why are you using your energy worrying about them?”
How control can have an impact.
Ta dah! Light bulb moment. Of course! I am a control freak and there I was trying to control situations that were in the future and that I couldn’t do anything about until they happened. My anxiety was a product of me not being in control, having to deal with ambiguity, go with the flow and not having a solution for problems that hadn’t occurred. It immediately reminded me of a line I’d read in Susan Jeffers book, Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, it said that 90% of what we worry about never happens. My brother had reminded me I’m a control freak.
It was then that it dawned on me, if I’d not have used all my energy on worrying this past week, how could my last week in the UK have been? Rather than use it on panic and stress I could have focused on having fun, saying goodbyes, spending time with friends and enjoying / appreciating my surroundings. That would have been much more pleasurable I can assure you.
My brother made another good point – he said that rather than expending this energy onto things I have no control over, why not save it up and use it to power my reactions to circumstances as and when they arise? ”Sometimes our job in this world is to react to circumstances as and when needed, rather than try to manipulate them”. I do think that there are many circumstances where we can act, have power over, have our say and have it unfold how we want but, sometimes we don’t, and it’s what we do in those moments that’s important and requires our energy.
Permission to let go.
It was from this realisation that I just gave it up – the need to control this particular situation – and it was then that I started to get excited about my upcoming lifestyle change.
Only once I’d freed myself from this controlling, tense state could I see that a lot of my previous anxiety was self inflicted due to my self imposed, ridiculously high expectations of the next 6 months. I was fearful that I may not meet them, that I might fail. When expectations are not met you’re faced with disappointment. I was fearing failure and disappointment too. I had to let this go, so what if I don’t achieve everything I have in mind over the next 6 months? It’s only me who will be disappointed, and to everyone else I would have achieved so much, even booking the plane ticket is a massive achievement. And who’s to say the alternative scenario that I might get won’t be a better version than I originally wanted? I needed to learn to be happy with whatever came my way, to learn to release the fear of disappointment.
So what are the morals of this story?
- React to circumstances as and when necessary rather than try to control them all.
- Act in the situations where you can act and insert your personal power where you are in control.
- Those circumstances where you are not, just release, relax, let it unfold as these circumstances could be a blessing in disguise.
- Wait and see how much energy you can save and where you can put this new surplus energy.
- Turn potentially disastrous situations into glorious ones where you might make new friends, find out something new about yourself or witness something new.
Lots of lessons learnt from a quick conversation, cheers bro. And thanks for helping me to see it for what it was, to push the fear aside and make space for excitement, hope and anticipation to arrive because it’s only in this space that I can receive the gloriousness that the universe has to offer.
I’d love to hear from you – what great pieces of advice have you been given lately? What examples do you have of releasing the need to control? What has happened as a result? Let me know in the comments below.
And if you’re so inclined you can watch me on YouTube share my story live in Abu Dhabi airport, en-route to the next phase of my life. Be sure to subscribe to my channel and click the bell if you want to be notified of new videos as they’re posted.
Wishing you a fear-busting day,