When it comes to self-development, a lot has been said about how important it is to be able to experience self-control and to be resilient. Naturally, these are two incredibly important abilities to have in life.
If one is unable to control themselves, it is going to be a challenge for them to achieve anything worthwhile. Instead, they will most likely get caught up in endless distractions and trivialities.
One way to understand what can take place, if someone has no control, can be to imagine a child in a toy shop. In one moment they will be drawn to one area and, in the blink of an eye, they will be drawn to another area.
This child won’t be able to stick to any one area, which will stop them from getting an understanding of anything. The reason being is that as soon as they start to concentrate on one toy, they will end up seeing another toy and soon end up walking away.
A Wasted life
To behave in this way as an adult is going to stop one from being able to stick to anything. Just like a child in a toy shop, they can start something and then put it to one side shortly after.
There can the impact this will have on their career, along with other areas of their life. For example, if one can control themselves, it is most likely going to be a challenge for them to eat sensibly and to exercise on a regular basis.
Where has it all gone?
One could then look back on their life and wonder what they have been doing; it may seem as though life has just passed them by. Their emotions and their thoughts will then have controlled them, as opposed to one being able to manage these parts of their being.
Without the ability to keep their thoughts and feelings in check, it will have had a negative effect on their life. One will be like a small boat that is tossed around the ocean, not a big ship that can handle just about anything.
The Other Part
And if one is unable to keep going during the setbacks that arise, it is also unlikely that they will be able to achieve anything that is significant. As soon as things heat up, so to speak, they will drop out.
They might be fairly big built or they might not, but what they won’t have is the inner muscle that will enable them to keep going. Someone like this will want an easy like, not the strength to handle the challenges that life brings.
An another Analogy
This will be like going to a gym and not wanting to lift anything that is too heavy. This will make it easier for them to lift things, yet what it won’t do is allow someone to become stronger.
It could then be said that they will be wasting their time, and that it might have been better if they had stayed at home. Taking this into account, the having the ability to tolerate pain is clearly vital.
The Dark Side
However, while being stoic is going to allow one to handle life, it can have a negative effect if it is taken to the extreme. Or to be more precise, this can be something that takes place due to someone’s interpretation of what it means to be stoic.
Through reading up about it, someone can believe that they need to deny how they feel and to basically dominate their emotions. Their mind is then going to be in a constant battle with their body.
Being this way may allow them to move forward and to achieve their goals, but it can also set them up to have problems when it comes to connecting with others. Their emotions, the things that will allow them to connect to others and for others to connect to them, will be pushed down.
They are then going to be human, but they might come across as though they don’t really feel anything. This can then set them up to have a very lonely existence, and what they achieve probably won’t fill this gap.
A Deeper Look
What someone like this may find is that they didn’t have a good relationship with their emotions to begin with, with this being the reason why they were drawn to stoicism. Or why they came to believe that behaving in this way was what it meant to be stoic.
One could then continue to deny how they feel and believe that they were doing the right thing. This would have provided them with validation that they needed to keep the truth at bay: that they are avoiding how they feel.
This can show that they are carrying a lot of pain due to what took place during their early years. Perhaps this was a time when they didn’t receive the care that they needed in order to develop a healthy relationship with their emotions.
At this time in their life, pushing their emotions down would have been a way for them to handle the pain they were in. As a result of what they experienced, it would have also most likely given them the ability to be able to handle a fair amount of pain.
If one had an early childhood where they had to disconnect from their emotions and had no other choice than to tolerate extreme pain, it is not going to be a surprise if they are drawn to ‘stoicism’. This form of stoicism is then simply going to be another defence that one will use to avoid their inner wounds.
If one can relate to this, and they want to become an integrated human being, they may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided by the assistance of a therapist or a healer, for instance.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.