Every fight is internal first. The conflicts appear first in your mind, causing fear, stress, and anxiety. Your adversary is built into your wiring, and it has existed far longer than you have, making it a troublesome foe to overcome. Here are acts of defiance to cure your attitude and empower you to act.
It is an act of defiance to turn off the non-stop negative, sensationalized, and fear-mongering news channels. There is a difference in being aware (watch this video) of what is going on in the world and allowing yourself to spend time monitoring the bad news in real-time, allowing it to consume more of your time and attention than it deserves. There are better, healthier, and more helpful choices you might make, like reading books, taking courses, spending time with the people who matter most, and planning your most meaningful work.
Avoid Being Separated
You are defiant when you resist the temptation to fall into the political tribes, allowing yourself to believe the idea that “others” are your enemy. The reaction when there are real challenges is to look for someone to blame. Our two-party system allows us to have the constructive tension necessary for solving problems in ways that create some balance, some middle way. Our political tribes, however, generate dueling narratives that split you apart from others. You gain no advantage by identifying other people as enemies, but you open up worlds of possibility by understanding different perspectives.
Defiance is not caving to the temptation of giving up doing anything productive and seeking comfort in the limitless distractions available to you. There is nothing wrong with a little distraction, but like anything, too much is unhealthy. Your time is not less valuable than it was before, and difficult and challenging events should provide compelling evidence as to how precious—and short—are your days. It is not now a time to give in to distractions when you could be doing meaningful work.
Defiance is maintaining a positive attitude in the face of a crisis, empowering yourself to act, and helping others do the same. There is never a reason to ignore the reality of a situation, pretending that nothing is happening, repression being another defense mechanism built into our species to prevent us from being harmed. There is also no value in being pessimistic, cynical, and disempowered. Your beliefs should be positive, optimistic, future-oriented, and empowered, and so should your action, the ultimate form of defiance. Optimism is defiance.
Act for Others
Your defiance and empowerment is found in your ability and willingness to shift your focus from self-oriented to other-oriented, focusing on helping others who need your help. If you want to feel bad, go inside and connect with yourself and talk to yourself about how awful things are now. Make it worse by telling yourself that things are going to be even more horrible in the future, and you have a recipe for suffering. A better strategy is to focus on people who need your help, shifting your attention from yourself to others, an approach that never fails to cause on to forget about their woes by helping others in need.
Your opponent has allies everywhere, including people who haven’t protected themselves, as well as those who knowingly and unknowingly feed others their fears. You also find the profit and attention seekers who prey on others by providing illogical, irrational, and groundless explanations with stories about nefarious villains responsible for chaos and destruction.
The advice I have offered here before is as accurate as ever now—and even more critical: Protect yourself at all times. Then start committing acts of defiance, empowering other people.
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Filed under: Mindset