I’m seeing a lot of anger out in the world right now – a ton of angry people – so I wanted to tackle the subject head on.
If you find yourself angry more than you’d like, this post is for you – if not, feel free to ignore it
(I’m a fan of not wasting anyone’s time)
OK, let’s talk about anger.
You see, I’ve spent a LOT of my life angry – so much so that I pretty-much considered it my natural state
(in retrospect, I see now that it wasn’t, and I didn’t need to be so angry so much of the time – which is why I’m writing this)
In fact, my anger was often mis-directed and, more often than not, TOTALLY a matter of choice.
For much of my life, I was CHOOSING to be angry.
There were 3 main sources:
I often aspired to be way ahead of where I was, and so grew frustrated when progress was slow – particularly if I thought I was being held back by other people
When I was wounded by the words or actions of people who mattered to me, I grew angry – particularly if it happened “off-camera” (I have a VERY vivid imagination, and the monster I imagine is much, much worse than the one I see)
Whether it was unjustifiable (read idiotic) changes in the corporate landscape while I was a slave, or the loss of people I loved very, very much, I grew angry – particularly if I could have done something about it but never got the chance
At various times, thanks to these “Big 3”, I carried my anger as a heavy weight – sometimes burning brightly, but more often in denial – hiding hurt behind a smile and “not feeling it” self-delusion.
But I can tell you clearly when I was most angry.
It was when I allowed myself to fall into the trap of “Victim Thinking”.
When I found myself thinking “it’s not my fault!” or “it’s not fair!”
I would find myself wallowing in that state…
And part of me would be thinking along the lines of “yes, I’m hurting, but look how tough I am to not give up!”
(yup, I was foolish enough to choose pain as a badge of honour…)
But here’s the thing – I’m lucky enough to have inherited, and been raised, to spot myself in that place AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.
Victim Thinking leads to victimhood. Period.
A victim is someone who gets what they deserve.
So, when it comes to anger, you have to believe that you deserve better.
Which means you have to be a better version of yourself, taking actions which put you back in control.
First, accept that your anger is YOUR response.
No-one else is making you angry.
You are doing it to yourself.
And it is a choice.
So, let me ask you – are you choosing to choose anger?
Yes? Then it’s time to stop the complaining. Stop the tantrums. Stop the blaming. Live with it.
But know that it does NOT have to be this way.
Ready to choose differently?
Then we should talk.
We’ve already seen how anger is the result of frustration, hurt or loss.
And for each of these sources, there is an antidote as old as time itself:
Frustration – PATIENCE
Hurt – ACCEPTANCE
Loss – REBIRTH
Now, these are all terms within the sphere of MINDFULNESS…
But before we go too tree-huggy, let’s be clear about what’s at the root of each solution.
Anger is fundamentally a reaction to blocked EXPECTATIONS.
And our expectations are a function of our NEEDS.
Put simply, we get angry when we don’t get what we need.
Or, more accurately, we grow angry when our needs are not met as we expected they would be.
Which is incredibly empowering, because…
WE ARE AT LIBERTY TO SHIFT OUR EXPECTATIONS, and…
WE CAN FIND OTHER WAYS TO MEET OUR NEEDS.
For example, if your relationship is failing and you’ve given it everything you’ve got – if she’s really just not into it, even though she’s the love of your life – you can stay in a angry, resentful, hateful state
(that ultimately damages only you)
or you can practice acceptance and rebirth – renegotiating your relationship, or even simply walking away
(it really is that simple, though that doesn’t necessarily make it easy 🙂 )
Once I saw that I could work on my expectations and my needs, I very quickly stopped being an angry person.
I chose to not choose anger.
Sure, there are moments I’m frustrated, hurt, or feeling loss – but the anger blows through me like the breeze.
Because I simply choose to look for the opportunity to reshape my expectations…
And I’m already acting in ways that meet my needs at a much higher level more of the time.
As a direct result of this approach, I find that I experience anger less often, and at lower intensity.
I’m just NOT an angry person any more.
So let’s talk about you…
Given that you’ve chosen to not choose anger, it’s time to look at your expectations, and the needs that are driving them.
You have fantastic opportunities if you can just step aside long enough to see them.
I’d like to help you do that.
Would you be willing to join me for a complimentary CLARITY SESSION – where we can dig into what’s happening and plot a roadmap out the other side?