The Art of Strengths Coaching

W is for Being A Warrior And A Worrier

Great workers get the right balance between being warriors and worriers. Sometimes the balance can get out of kilter, however, and this can cause problems.

One person explained their concern about this in the following way. 

How can I stop worrying? Sometimes I worry so much that I begin to feel negative. This can affect both me and other people. 

Great workers use worry as a drive to improve things. Being sensitive to issues, they aim to fix problems or work towards achieving perfection. As mentioned earlier, however, the key is to get the right balance.

If you are a warrior to 90% and a worrier to 10%, you may channel these feelings in a positive way. If you worry to a greater extent, you may seize up and not do anything.

Looking back, can you think of a situation when you get the right balance between being a warrior and a worrier? This could have been in your personal or professional life.

You may have done so when taking care of your health, helping a person or tackling a challenge in your work. You may have done so when acting as an individual, parent, coach, leader or in another role.

What was the issue that caused you to worry? How did you manage the feelings of concern? Did you do so in a healthy way or did you feel troubled?

What did you do to move into warrior mode? How did you find a solution to the challenge? How did you move into action to tackle the issue? What happened as a result?

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

Describe a specific situation in the past when you got the right balance between being a warrior and a worrier.  

Describe the specific things you did to get the right balance between being a warrior and a worrier.

Describe the specific things that happened as a result of taking these steps.

Let’s return to the person who wondered if it was possible to stop worrying. Unfortunately it does not work to say to a person: Don’t worry.

As the old saying goes, it is like saying to a person; Don’t think of a Pink Elephant. They immediately think of a Pink Elephant.

Sometimes it is hard to stop yourself having a feeling, but feelings are only the starting point. Feelings are a gift that provide the material for life. It can be useful to ask the following questions.

What am I feeling? How can I manage this feeling – happiness, sadness or another feeling – rather than let the feeling manage me? How can I use this feeling to help people or to build a better world?

How to help a person who worries about something? It can be useful to help them: 

To clarify how they can focus on what they can control in their life – such as their attitude, professionalism and actions – rather than focus on what they can’t control.

To clarify that it is okay to worry – because worry can help them to see how things can be improved and then act as a springboard to doing good work. 

To clarify how they can channel this feeling in a positive way – because doing something productive can lead to them have a different feeling.

Different people learn to balance being a warrior and a worrier in different ways. One view is that they may go through the following stages.

The Early Warrior Stage

Some people develop their warrior qualities early in life. A person may choose to follow their passion and throw themselves into exploring a particular field.

Young, energetic and fearless, they follow the learning process of absorption, adventure and achievement. Different people do this in different ways.

Looking back at your life, when did you begin to develop warrior qualities? You may have done so when pursuing a passion, playing a sport or doing some other activities.

What did you learn from pursuing this path? You may have learned to follow your interests, gather information and find solutions to challenges. You may also have learned to develop fighting spirit, overcome obstacles and keep working to reach your goal.

Looking at my own life, I learned masses from the age of 12 onwards by travelling around the country by myself watching football matches. This involved planning the trips, negotiating the travel and learning from the experiences.

Later on I learned from spending lots of time in the local reference library. My school record was not good – I failed the 11+ and was in the lowest class in Secondary School – but I loved learning.

Working in a factory between the ages of 15 and 21 was challenging, but there were other ways to develop. This involved reading many books and visiting the reference library to learn about people.

Pursuing this path proved to be joyful and inspiring. It provided the strength to develop fighting spirit and eventually getting full-time voluntary work with people.

Let’s return to your own development. You will have pursued your own route to learn about fighting spirit and some of the warrior qualities.

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

Describe the specific things you did relatively early in life to learn about fighting spirit and some of the warrior qualities.

Describe the specific things you learned from pursuing these activities.

The Worrier Stage

Some people develop warrior qualities but they may then become worried about events in a particular field. They become increasingly sensitive to what is happening in the world and see patterns that can lead to problems. Such worries can take different forms.

A person may believe in the power of educating young people but worry about how schools focus on league tables. A person may work to build a fair society but worry about forces that keep people poor. A person may care for the environment but worry about how people abuse the planet.

Great workers see both successful and unsuccessful patterns, so they spot early warning signs that things may go wrong. They then worry that the issues will not get solved. Such workers want to improve things and strive for perfection.

They may therefore get upset or angry if people act in ways that will continue to cause problems. Sometimes they feel depressed about the pain they see or the opportunities that may be lost.

Great workers begin to utilise their fighting spirit in such situations. They sometimes take the following steps to channel their emotions.

They develop positive ways to channel their feelings – such as counting their blessings, encouraging people, enjoying life, doing projects they believe in, exercising or doing other things that produce positive results.

They focus on what they can control in the situation – rather than what they can’t control – and translate these into a clear action plan that will produce positive results.

They aim to build on their strengths, do superb work in a particular field and get some quick successes. This builds confidence and helps them to feel they are making a positive contribution.

You can discover more about such strategies via the following link. This describes how people sometimes move from mourning to mobilising and making their best contribution.

Moving from mourning to mobilising

Let’s return to your own life and work. Looking back, can you think of a situation when you became worried about events in a particular field?

How did you manage those feelings? How did you focus on what you could do rather than what you couldn’t do? How did you harness your fighting spirit to begin to move forward? How did you get some quick successes?

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

Describe a specific situation in the past when you worried about things happening in a particular field.

Describe the specific things you worried about.

Describe the specific things you did to manage those feelings and begin to move forward.

The Warrior And Worrier Stage

Great workers build on their fighting spirit and refuse to be intimidated or to freeze. As mentioned earlier, they get the right balance between being warriors and worriers.

Such people focus on something they feel passionately about. They then translate this into action by taking the following steps. 

They focus on following their philosophy and principles to do positive work. They aim to do work that helps people or the planet.  

They translate their philosophy and principles into doing a specific project. They focus on a project where they can play to their strengths, perform superb work and have a good chance of achieving success. 

They translate their principles into practice, perform superb work and achieve their picture of success. They showcase their work by producing success stories that show how people can – if they wish – follow similar principles to achieve success. 

Different people pursue these themes in different ways. Here are some people who have built on their warrior qualities and taken these steps.

Kiran Bir Sethi created the global movement called Design For Change. This encourages children to pursue their ideas for a better world and translate these into action. She explains the approach on the organisation’s website.

Children and adults learn through the Design for Change Challenge that “I Can” are the two most powerful words a person can believe. Children who have discovered this are changing their world.

This year, Design for Change reaches 34 countries and over 300,000 schools inspiring hundreds of thousands of children, their teachers and parents, to celebrate the fact change is possible and that they can lead that change!

The challenge asks students to do four very simple things: Feel, Imagine, Do and Share.

Children are dreaming up and leading brilliant ideas all over the world, from challenging age-old superstitions in rural communities, to earning their own money to finance school computers to solving the problem of heavy school bags – children are proving that they have what it takes to be able to ‘design’ a future that is desired.

Here is a video about their work. You can discover more via the following link.

https://dfcworld.com

David Bornstein, Courtney Martin and Tina Rosenberg co-founded the Solutions Journalism Network. This provides stories that show how people are finding solutions to challenges.

Here is an excerpt from their website and is followed by a video about their work. You can discover more via the following link.

https://www.solutionsjournalism.org/

Our mission is to spread the practice of solutions journalism: rigorous reporting on responses to social problems.  

We seek to rebalance the news, so that every day people are exposed to stories that help them understand problems and challenges, and stories that show potential ways to respond.

Even hard-nosed investigative reporters agree that the news provides an excessively dismal view of the world. Audiences regularly come away from the news — even high quality news — feeling powerless, anxious, and resentful.

When the daily news product makes people want to tune out and disengage, it doesn’t bode well for the news business — or for democracy. 

We believe that journalism can do better. It can provide a view of the world that’s faithful to reality. It can strengthen engagement with audiences and rebuild trust. And it can sustain itself financially.  

However, it needs a major disruption — not just around better platforms or packaging, but around the news product itself. 

Solutions journalism heightens accountability by reporting on where and how people are doing better against a problem — removing excuses and setting a bar for what citizens should expect from institutions or governments.  

It offers a more comprehensive and representative view of the world. And it circulates timely knowledge to help society self-correct, spotlighting adaptive responses that people and communities can learn from.

We help reporters, producers, and editors bring the same attention and rigor to stories about responses to problems as they do to the problems themselves.  

Doing so, we believe, can elevate public discourse, spur citizen agency, and reduce polarization. It can strengthen democracy. When added to the mix, it improves the overall quality and impact of journalism.

Ellen MacArthur became famous for her round-the-world yacht racing. Whilst on the yacht she became increasingly aware of environmental challenges. This led to her focusing on the need to live with just the resources available and to cut out waste.

Ellen began exploring the concept of the Circular Economy. Here is an introduction from her Foundation’s web site. This is followed by a video in which she gives a fuller explanation. You can discover more via the following link.

https://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation works with education and business to accelerate the transition to a Circular Economy.

The circular economy is a generic term for an industrial economy that is, by design or intention, restorative and in which materials flows are of two types, biological nutrients, designed to re-enter the biosphere safely, and technical nutrients, which are designed to circulate at high quality without entering the biosphere.  

Let’s return to your own life and work. How can you continue to get the right balance between being a warrior and a worrier? How can you continue to follow your philosophy and principles?

Looking ahead, can you think of a situation when you can channel your passion into doing a specific piece of work? This could be in your personal or professional life.

You may want to encourage people, create something beautiful, build a successful prototype or do another activity. You may want to do this when acting as an individual, parent, coach, leader or in another role.

What can you do to find or create such a project? How can you set specific goals? How can you increase the chances of achieving success? How can you encourage yourself and get some early wins?

How can you maintain your warrior mode? How can you translate any worries into doing superb work? How can you do your best to achieve the goals? How can you inspire other people by producing and sharing success stories?

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

Describe a specific situation in the future when you may want to get the right balance between being a warrior and a worrier.  

Describe the specific things you can do then to get the right between balance being a warrior and a worrier.  

Describe the specific things that may happen a result of taking these steps.

Share

    Leave a Reply

    You can use these HTML tags

    <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>