The Free Approach Rather Than The Fearful Approach

There are many ways to live life. Some people follow the free approach. Some follow the fearful approach. Some continue to feel free whilst also managing any fears. Let’s explore these themes.

The Free Approach

Some people learn this approach early in their lives. They may grow up in a family where they are encouraged to be true to themselves and also help other people. They are given the follow messages:

“You can be true to yourself and follow your own path. But it is important to do this in a way that helps rather than hurts other people.”

Such young people may also be encouraged to follow the interests they find fascinating. They may love learning, helping people, sport, dancing, drama or other topics.  

Some may pursue their hobbies and develop what are now called the Four Cs of Twenty-First Century Skills. These include Clear Thinking, Creativity, Collaboration and Communication.

Some young people have strengths that are not rewarded by some schools. They can therefore be helped to build on what they do best and, at the same time, learn how to manage their time at school.

Some are good at applying themselves to academic tasks and passing exams. This can be encouraged whilst, at the same time, helping them to develop the strengths they may have in other areas.

Some people follow the free approach when setting out on their careers. They are helped to find ways to do fulfilling work and, in the process, also get funding.

They are then more likely to take initiatives rather than become institutionalised. They sometimes develop the professional freelancer mindset even if they take a full-time role.

People who follow the free approach may have a positive attitude to dealing with events in society. They focus on what they have the freedom to control rather than being bogged down by what they can’t control.

The Fearful Approach

Some people learn this approach early in their lives. They may grow up in a family where they are not encouraged to be true to themselves. They may be given the follow messages:

“Be careful, fit in and don’t make mistakes. If you want to get on, sometimes you have to compromise. Don’t expect too much and you won’t be disappointed.”

Some young people may experience difficulties at school. They may fear being judged because either: a) they are not good academically, or; b) they are taught to continually compare themselves to others.

Successful students who are used to getting A grades may be afraid that one day they will get a B+. This could lead to inquests when they return home with the school report.

Some people may move into boring jobs to pay the bills. Some may put in long hours, compete with others and climb the corporate ladder. Some may no longer enjoy their work but are fearful of losing their share options.

Some athletes may forget their love of their sport and instead feel anxious. They may fear losing forget how to flow. They may freeze instead and not perform at their best.

Some people focus on events they cannot control in society and feel paralysed. This does not help them or other people. They may become more afraid and fail to enjoy the simple things in life.

The Free Approach Whilst
Also Managing Any Fears

People who take this approach may follow the principle described by Viktor Frankl in his book Man’s Search For Meaning, which chronicled his journey through concentration camps. Viktor said that, whatever the circumstances, people could choose their attitude.

People who take this approach have a positive attitude but are also realistic. One person expressed this in the following way.

“I try to build on what I can control. Certainly I have fears about some things happening in the world, but I deal with it by focusing on what I can do in my own life. That is the best way to help myself and other people.”

Some people take the following steps to maintain their sense of freedom and make their best contribution during their time on the planet.

They do what they believe in. They often focus on a specific purpose, follow their principles and work towards achieving their picture of success.

They do their best. They aim to build on their strengths, follow strategies that work and find solutions to challenges on the way towards doing superb work.

They try to build a better world. They aim to be positive, encourage other people and do positive work that helps people or the planet.

Let’s return to your own life. Can you think of a specific situation where you may want to follow elements of the free approach and, if appropriate, manage any fears? How can you do this in your own way?

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to complete the following sentences.

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