Tip #84: Use the F.I.E.R.C.E method to change your mindset.
The why: When you have anxiety or any mental health problem, there’s this near constant pressure to always be good, to always be positive, to always be happy.
It’s like if we let ourselves feel bad for just one second, then we have backslid all the way down Mt. Everest and are back to base camp.
I know. I feel it too.
I feel as soon as I have a bad day, or let myself be negative or down about something that I’m failing. That I’m not getting better.
We put so much pressure on ourselves to always be perfect.
I would now like to impart some wisdom that has helped me overcome this:
It’s not being happy all the time that means you have overcome anxiety, it is your mindset when bad times happen.
One unfortunate and unavoidable truth in life is that sometimes things are going to go wrong.
Things can’t always be good.
This makes being positive and happy all the time an impossibility. Putting pressure on ourselves to always feel good is, therefore, chasing an unattainable goal.
And chasing an unattainable goal is like running up a downward escalator, you’re always going to come down, and probably get hurt.
Instead, we need to change our mindsets.
To do this, I have developed a cheesy but useful acronym – F.I.E.R.C.E
F is for Feel
When a problem occurs, or you feel low – allow yourself to feel what you feel. If you feel sad, angry, hurt, allow yourself the space to embody those emotions.
I usually give myself a day of self-care and say ‘today I feel like this, tomorrow I will not’.
This technique stops me from going to either bad extreme of letting emotions boil up inside or wallowing in sadness for weeks on end.
I is for Isolate
After feeling the full weight of your emotions and eating a load of ice cream, we move into isolation.
And no, I don’t mean shutting yourself off from the world. Isolate the incident from the rest of your life.
When something goes wrong, it can start a chain reaction that affects all aspects of our lives, and drags everything else down with it. Instead, isolate the incident and recognise the greatness of everything else you have going on in your world.
E is for Explanation
After isolating the problem to stop it affecting your whole existence, find the explanation.
If you’re feeling down, why are you feeling like this? Why is it affecting you so much? What could you have done differently in a situation?
Looking inside and reflecting on ourselves and how we feel allows us to recognise the root of our problems, which then allows us to deal with them.
You can’t fight something invisible. You’ll end up punching yourself in the face.
R is for Recover
After you’ve located the source of the problem, it’s time to recover.
Tell yourself that you’re going to get back up. Tell yourself that this one problem isn’t going to be the end of the world. Tell yourself that even if you feel awful now, tomorrow you won’t. Know that it will be okay. Know you’re going to get back up.
C is for Change
Once you’ve recovered, try making a change.
Either fix whatever caused the problem, or if it was a general feeling of lowness, trying forming a habit that makes you feel good.
See bad times and failures as badly disguised opportunities for growth and development.
E is for Elevate
Once you’ve made a change to your life, elevate.
Elevate yourself to the next level on your journey.
No matter how many times you fall:
Get. Back. Up.
Now go be FIERCE!