A Coaching Power Tool created by Rossella Pin
(Transformational Coaching, ITALY)
That anxiety makes its appearance is the pivot upon which everything turns. [S. Kierkegaard]
How many times have you been floating from excitement to anxiety and vice versa ? Can you remember the feelings ?
Just close your eyes for few minutes and think about a time you received a great announcement, when you graduated from school, when you signed your first job contract, when you said the “yes” that changed your life, when you discovered that you were expecting a baby,…
Probably you experienced energy coming through your body, you started breathing fast as your heart beating, you couldn’t stop smiling, you were willing to go out to scream and jump, you wanted to hug the person in front of you, you rushed to the phone to share with someone your happiness, you couldn’t stop saying thank you, you started praying, you could see all your future clearly and just wanted to start planning your next great moves,… Whatever you were feeling, you just wanted it to last forever!
Could we say that you were “excited”?
Now close again your eyes and think about the following days. How were you feeling? Did you have the same energy as that great day?
You had finally achieved what you wanted or worked for… maybe you started asking yourself:
- So, what next?
- What would happen now?
- How should I behave?
- What my colleagues will think of me?
- Will I be able to keep doing what I like?
- How will my everyday life change?
- Will I still have my balance?
Your heart probably started beating fast again, breathing became more and more difficult, you could feel butterflies in your stomach, heaviness in your legs, blood pressure in your head,…
You started being “anxious”.
Now imagine for a moment that someone comes to see you with a bad news, you fail your admission exam, you receive a letter stating “Thank you for taking your time to submit your resume and application for consideration. Although your application and interview were impressive, another candidate was selected for the position.”, you receive that unexpected “No, I don’t want to engage for the moment, could we just remain friends?”, you have to undertake an unpleasant surgery,…
Probably you start experiencing cold coming through your body, you start breathing slowly, you feel a punch in the stomach, a sense of heaviness in your head, you want to stay alone, you can feel tears coming out, your mind is blocked in the dark, you just want to run away, you are paralyzed by your fears, you start thinking about what the others would say, you blame yourself for not having done more, you question your choices, you doubt about yourself, you can feel anger coming up, your heart start beating fast, you don’t know what to do, you think you are hopeless, you start looking for the reason why this is happening to you,… Whatever you are feeling, you believe it will last forever!
Could we say that you are “anxious”?
In how many other occasions we experience anxiety?
Let’s list some:
- What about having to take a decision that can change your or someone else’s life?
- What happen when you feel free to choose?
- Think about the time you left your children take the responsibility of their choices, how did you make them feel?
Freedom and choices can also expose us to anxiety.
Even though it is quite easy to go from excitement to anxiety, going back or shifting from anxiety to excitement can be challenging.
Anxiety is an unpleasant state of inner turmoil, often accompanied by nervous behavior, such as pacing back and forth, somatic complaints and rumination. It is the subjectively unpleasant feelings of dread over something unlikely to happen, such as the feeling of imminent death. Anxiety is not the same as fear, which is felt about something realistically intimidating or dangerous and is an appropriate response to a perceived threat; anxiety is a feeling of fear, worry, and uneasiness, usually generalized and unfocused as an overreaction to a situation that is only subjectively seen as menacing. It is often accompanied by restlessness, fatigue, problems in concentration, and muscular tension. Anxiety is not considered to be a normal reaction to a perceived stressor although many feel it occasionally. Anxiety is a mood, but it can become a mental disorder, that is, characterized by excessive, uncontrollable and often irrational worry about everyday things that is disproportionate to the actual source of worry, it is diagnosed as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). [Wikipedia]
In his book “The Concept of anxiety”, the Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard defines anxiety as an essential human experience, without anxiety, we are not human, anxiety emerges from freedom, anxiety is “freedom’s possibility”.
Anxiety is so important that being human is both defined by it and in some way finds its end in it. Because anxiety is freedom’s possibility it is by nature a concept having everything to do with the infinite. Freedom’s possibility is not the question of whether freedom is possible; it is the possibility that is posited by having freedom. It is this possibility that is infinite. As such, anxiety defines the depth of humanity’s potential to engage the infinite. But it also gives humanity a goal. We set off into adventure to discover what anxiety is. [Andrew De Fusco]
The Oxford Dictionary defines Excitement as “A feeling of great enthusiasm and eagerness”.
Other definitions are:
the state of being emotionally aroused and worked up, the feeling of lively and cheerful joy, something that agitates and arouses, a feeling of eager enthusiasm and interest, the state of being excited.
Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another. [A. Einstein]