“What exactly do you mean by Tame the Inner Chaos?” a lovely acquaintance recently asked. Great question—so glad you’re interested!
Inner Chaos Defined:
Even if you’ve never used the phrase “inner chaos,” you’ve experienced it. I say this without accusation, and yet with certainty, since inner chaos is part of the human experience. Inner chaos is that pesky combination of negative emotions (such as confusion, uncertainty, fear, overwhelm, resistance, doubt, and frustration) with a racing, distracted mind, which generates and fuels these emotions with thoughts, beliefs, stories, and/or interpretations of what’s unfolding.
Inner Chaos—Why Tame and Not Eliminate?
Eliminating inner chaos might sound like an enticing lottery prize, but request denied. Inner chaos is yours for life! Remember, it’s part of the human experience. With elimination off the table, what instead? Learn and develop the life skills to Tame the Inner Chaos! Makes sense, right?
Yet, without the life skills for taming inner chaos, you will resort to your default programming, which longs either (A) to suppress the inner chaos via denying, ignoring, and fleeing it or (B) to mask the inner chaos with temporary pleasure and excitement.
A. While suppression strategies can temporarily delay the day of reckoning, they also enhance the eventual consequences of the inner chaos. Picture months and months of ignoring overdue bills to avoid the inner chaos that looking at them the first month would have evoked. The eventual financial consequences grow worse with time, and the inner chaos likely nudged you frequently in the intervening months.
B. The masking approaches, which are fun and perpetually available via entertainment, food, alcohol, shopping, and countless others, almost always have the potential for excess, which (you guessed it) generates more inner chaos! Almost every addiction is rooted in practices that are also temporary pleasure-seeking efforts to mask the inner chaos. Cultural phrases such as retail therapy, happy hour, and TGIF, capture this practice of masking well. Of course, fun, pleasure, happiness, and excitement are of far more value than a bandage for inner chaos. Understanding harmony and balance are part of the inner chaos taming skills!
The Purpose of Inner Chaos:
Yes, inner chaos serves a purpose. Analogous to physical pain, which gets our attention quickly and we want it to go away, inner chaos gets our attention and we want it to go away. Yet, we also know that pain is a signal, a warning intended to alert us that something in the body needs our attention and perhaps needs action. Just as suppressing pain signals or masking them isn’t healthy in the long run, neither are those approaches helpful in the long term for dealing with inner chaos.
When you’re ready to move beyond the default approaches listed above, you’re then ready to begin taming the inner chaos. Taming involves learning [CORE KNOWLEDGE] a bit more about the inner chaos (such as what triggers it and the purpose it serves) while also developing strategies [CORE SKILLS] for recognizing, contending with, and shifting out of the stuck places where inner chaos can trap you. You can learn more about the knowledge and skills for taming inner chaos when you explore any of these listed below:
- Stuff of Life Will Continually Challenge You
- Thoughts Generate Inner Chaos
- Inner Chaos Serves a Purpose: Meet the Cast of Characters
- Brain Has 2 Systems: FAST & SLOW
- Feel, Don’t Feed or Flee, Emotions
- Action Fuels Change
- Notice & Create Awareness
- Intentionally Choose
- Create Limits
- Curiously Doubt
- Shift Chaos to Calm
- Widen Your Perspective
With inner chaos tamed you’ll have Confidence, Clarity, & Calm, which facilitate problem-solving, achievement of your goals, quality relationships, and greater wisdom with decision-making.
Inner chaos is part of the human experience! It cannot be eliminated, but it can be tamed! Taming the inner chaos (confusion, uncertainty, fear, overwhelm, resistance, doubt) involves learning what triggers it and developing strategies to contend with inner chaos. To learn more about taming the inner chaos and how to develop Confidence, Clarity, & Calm, join my Facebook group with the same name or schedule a FREE Coaching Conversation to address your inner chaos specifically.
Photo by Daniele Levis Pelusi on Unsplash