From a physical perspective, a solid shot to the head can knock a person unconscious. From a mental perspective, constant stress can render a person un-can’t-scious. What’s the difference?
Unconscious means you’re incapable. Un-can’t-scious means you believe you’re incapable.
Big difference. Here’s why.
If you’re feeling a little stressed these days, who could blame you? Our current all-you-can-eat buffet of global terrorism, economic uncertainty, political discourse and racial divisiveness is enough to make anyone feel a little queasy.
The stress of modern life is constant, palpable and penetrating, and if left unguarded, our state of mind is vulnerable to infection from anger, discontent, withdrawal and fear. We are a species that lives as it thinks, and if what we think is repeatedly oversubscribed to the darker side of life, we will pay the price in unhappiness, declining health, low self-esteem and an erosion of self-confidence.
In such a state of emotional fatigue, it is easy to forget that happiness doesn’t come from finding ourselves. It comes from creating ourselves. By forgetting to create the happiness we desire, we experience the void that our happiness would have filled. If such a process becomes habitual, happiness becomes increasingly elusive, and un-can’t-sciousness becomes increasingly routine.
We begin to think that we can’t be happy. We begin to think that we can’t succeed. We begin to think that we can’t adapt, cope with change, exist without medications, exercise regularly or that we can’t lose weight. We begin to think that we can’t accomplish what other people accomplish because deep down inside we must surely be flawed in some fundamental way.
None of these things are true of course, but in a state of un-can’t-sciousness we become detached from our true abilities, the abilities readily accessible to us in the more composed mentality of confidence and perseverance. Simply stated, “Yes I will” gives way to “No I can’t.”
The un-can’t-scious state, however, is fueled by fear and anxiety, two relentless invaders of sanity and serenity. Remember that unconscious means you’re incapable. Un-can’t-scious means you believe you’re incapable. But what we believed in the past is never cast in stone, and always subject to the power of choice. The ever-present ability to change the way we think, to choose a new direction, to alter our beliefs, is a constant behavioral option.
Whenever we choose to return to the present, the ground-zero of choice, the state of un-can’t-sciousness dissolves. It evaporates without resistance when we opt for confidence and optimism over fear and anxiety. Un-can’t-sciousness retreats immediately when we remind ourselves that most victories were preceded by defeat, and that the majority of those who eventually succeeded once endured similar burdens of failure and self-doubt.
Every encounter with un-can’t-sciousness can be a gift. It invites us to recognize the power of the human spirit. It offers us the opportunity to get up, regroup and forge ahead.
There is undeniable evidence that at some point, life will knock us down. But the scars and bruises of determination are the tell-tale signs of those who always get back up.
Executive Health and Performance Coach Billy Sheehan partners with time-challenged professionals to reengineer the relationship between their personal health and professional careers. The resulting balance creates the optimal environment for achieving the highest levels of long-term success.
Learn more at www.billythecoach.com