Develop A Sense Of Agency Before You Try Something New In Your Life
Getting ready to try something new in your life or work?
Maybe you are starting a new business, applying for a promotion at work, putting yourself into the job market, or taking a stab at on-line dating (no pun intended). Whatever you are attempting to do that is new is a sign of hope. Hope is a good “starter” emotion. Hope is defined as: a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. We need a little hope to get started. But, as some wise unknown author once said, “Hope is not a strategy.”
The opposite end of the emotional spectrum, when it comes to getting ourselves to try new things, is desperation. You might think it is hopelessness—but it’s way worse than that. Desperation is defined as: a state of despair, typically one which results in rash or extreme behavior.
In the words of Jimmy Fallon, “Ew!”
On both extremes, our brains are hijacked by the emotion and not doing much to help us succeed.
If we have only hope and a global sense of optimism with nothing to back it up, then we are fooling ourselves.
On the other extreme, if we are feeling desperate, then we are likely behaving in a desperate manner (unconsciously), which actually repels other humans. This often results in a rejection that only adds to our feeling of desperation.
So, what can be done?
The goal is to move away from the extremes and toward a sense of AGENCY. If you can tolerate one more definition, this is a good one: action or intervention, especially such as to produce a particular effect. Agency is my favorite new word.
With hope, you will want to use agency to harvest that hope into action. Ask yourself what your intentions are and what concrete things you can do to increase your chances of success in the new area you are exploring. Let hope motivate you into action.
On the other hand, when you have that awful feeling of panic and desperation, you want to move toward agency and contain the desperation. It’s okay to feel desperate—we have all been there. But stay away from people and let your desperation have its moment—then move into action. Ask yourself what you can do to gain some easy wins while you get yourself back to a more empowered state of mind.
“You are free to choose what you want to make of your life. It’s called free agency or free will, and it’s your birthright.” Sean Covey