Is your inner rebel alive and well or have you learnt to shut it down?
Have you ever listened to and been inspired by a story about a wonderful human endeavour into the unknown?
- Jessica Watson sailing solo around the world at 16
- Douglas Mawson leading the Australasian Antarctic Expedition
- People recovering from horrendous accidents or illnesses
- A woman giving birth for the first time
It takes a certain amount of guts, grit and courage to be adventurous, as well as a healthy amount of inner rebel!
Were you allowed to be adventurous growing up?
I’d like to tell you a story.
A few years ago, we were staying at a coastal motel that had two levels and it was a third of the way up a steep hill with nice views out to the ocean. Because of the slope of the hill, at one end of the motel and car park it had an almost vertical, interlaced paver, retaining wall about two metres high.
One day when we returned to the motel, I noticed a young girl was starting to climb up the retaining wall. Being a climber
myself, I was quite interested to watch her progress. I must confess that I did have the fearful thought that I hoped she didn’t fall because it was concrete below.
When the young girl got to the top, she stood up on the small section of grass and I could tell she was feeling proud of herself. Wanting to share it, she called out to her Mum: “Mum! Mum!”
Her mother was getting some younger children and belongings out of the car and she replied: “What are you doing up there?! Get down from there and come inside!” The mother continued doing what she was doing.
The little girl’s face said it all.
She was crestfallen and her joy was shattered. I said to her: “You’re very clever for climbing up there. It’s really high. You did well.” She was marginally consoled, but started climbing down. I then said: “Take your time coming down.”
I really felt for that little girl. She’d pushed her comfort zone, done something adventurous, was feeling proud of herself and pretty much received a verbal slap.
Were you encouraged to develop your inner rebel?
The beliefs you hold about yourself will be affected by whether you were allowed to develop your inner rebel and adventurous spirit growing up. These beliefs will then affect your behaviours and choices as an adult.
What’s the real message you think the young girl from the story heard?
Of course, there are a number of possibilities:
- I always have to do as I’m told
- I’m only lovable when I live by my parents’ rules
- My younger siblings are more important than me
- I have to do as I’m told if I want to belong
- It’s not okay to try new things without permission
- There’s no reward in standing out
And maybe her subconscious mind was programmed with some other belief.
For the sole purpose of provoking thought and contemplation, let’s assume that the little girl lives in a fairly strict environment, is expected to do as she’s told, and not encouraged when she tries new things.
How do you think that impacts her behaviour at school, later at work and around anyone in a position of authority?
Maybe she acts out and resists, maybe she disengages, or maybe she anxiously tries to do everything ‘right.’
In any case, she’s not going to feel confident and self-assured and trust her own decisions. She’s more likely to have an external focus, be worried about what other’s think of her and/or believe the world happens to her, rather than be living from a place of internal empowerment.
Why we need our inner rebel
If you’re someone who suffers anxiety and panic, reflect on your childhood and the messages you received…
Were you encouraged and allowed to be yourself, try new things and break the rules occasionally?
Because let’s face it, sometimes you need your inner rebel to:
- Stand up for yourself
- Fight for what’s right
- Have healthy boundaries
- Face life’s challenges and setbacks
- Come up with an out of left field, brilliant solution that’s going to go completely against the grain of current thinking.
5 Key ways developing your inner rebel will help you break free from anxiety
If you’re dealing with anxiety and panic you’re probably starting to limit yourself and restricting the activities you get involved in. Developing your inner rebel will help you to break out of that in the following key ways:
- Rebels don’t like being restricted.
– Your inner rebel will help you to seek novelty, new challenges and new experiences.
- Rebels don’t like the status quo.
– Your rebel will help you to be curious, asking ‘why’ and exploring like a child?
- Rebels don’t like blinkered thinking or narrow-mindedness.
– Your inner rebel will help widen your perspective– especially when you become sick of your own repeating, negative thoughts and beliefs that keep you stuck.
– Your inner rebel will help you constantly broaden your view of yourself and your life and not accept any fatalistic thinking from old programs – the past is the past but it doesn’t have to be my future.
- Rebels don’t like being boxed in by societal norms.
– Living with anxiety and panic will often restrict your choices, as you try to stay in an ever-decreasing comfort zone. Your inner rebel will help you seek diversity, challenge predetermined social roles that may be causing you distress, and help you to reach out for support with different people and new therapies.
- Rebels don’t like conforming and want to express their uniqueness.
– Being authentic and showing your true colours is very difficult when your anxious or panicked.
– Your inner rebel will give you the strength to remain calm, stay connected to intense emotions, be open and vulnerable, be yourself and to connect with and learn from others.
There is no doubt that life is tough at times, for all of us. Having an adventurous spirit and a healthy inner rebel is needed to get through these times.
If your inner rebel has been shut away, please let it out again. You need it!
If you’d like inspiration for leading a more adventurous life, click here.