Pain-to-power vocabulary adjustment #1
I've been enjoying an interesting book that I picked up from the library, "Feel The Fear...And Do It Anyway," by Susan Jeffers, Ph.D. In the 3rd chapter, she writes about how people experience fear somewhere on a continuum with some degree of Pain or Power.
Pain ---->---->---->---->---->---->---->---->---->---- Power
Ideally, the goal is to be open look at all situations where we experience fear and identify where they line up on this chart, with the goal of moving that fear we feel to a closer position of power. It's a fascinating concept and one that I feel I can definitely relate to! In a section of the book shortly after introducing this, she presents a listing of Pain-to-Power vocabulary and I immediately connected with this. Years ago, I stopped saying, "I didn't have time to ____," and instead made an effort to say, "I didn't make time to ____." It's not exactly the same as the fear concepts she is writing about, but has more to do with how someone views their relationship to the things they do or respond to. In her first example, saying I can't is on the left and I won't is on the right. Of course! Saying I can't do this automatically takes the responsibility away from the speaker. They are placing the blame on some other factor that they, supposedly, have nothing to do with. Saying I won't is recognizing that we all make our own decisions and even though we are telling our friend, for example, I won't make it to dinner tonight because I have to study shows that we are making a decision to be responsible to other obligations for the time being. This is very different from saying, I can't make it to dinner tonight because I have to study. That's a way of passing off the responsibility to some other external factor and it's out of our control. That's not usually the case! So much of life is showing up, even if that means you are "showing up" to take responsibility for the things that you need to focus on for this day, this week, this month, this year.