Disclaimer: This post is about anger but IS NOT promoting anger or the expression of anger against others. As you read, keep in mind that I am speaking of healthy anger that put me in touch with my own choices and actions. I do not in any way advocate anger or the expression of anger against others. In fact, if you are routinely given to anger at self or others please seek help.
Sometimes you have to get mad to go to the next level. This is true whether you work for someone else or own your own business. Anger in many ways gets a bad rap. We shy away from it and have an arsenal of tips to diffuse it and calm ourselves down. We have time outs, cleansing breaths, yoga and soothing tunes on her iPod and most of the time that’s a great thing.
I live for the Zen. Seriously. I take great steps to anchor my days in a foundation of peace. But nothing compares to the fiery power of anger. It is raw, real and emerges from the deepest place when what you truly value is threatened, endangered or tested in some way. Anger puts us in touch with our passion and can move us to act without over analyzing or procrastinating. Anger can cause us to place our stake in the ground and take a stand forgetting momentarily our quiet, polite ways. And sometimes you need to get mad enough to raise your voice and be heard.
For years I was slow to anger and unfailingly kind. I did not seek the spotlight and quietly just put my head down and did good work. I got mad on behalf of others but never for myself. I was good at turning the other cheek. If I felt anger rising, I retreated to my prayer closet. Most of the time this was a great thing until it wasn’t. I was so nice that I was not being heard or respected. My needs were not at the bottom of the list they were not even on the list! I denied myself for others and watched as they achieved their dreams.
And then I got angry, not the vindictive, bitter kind of anger but righteous indignation – the head rolling, finger snapping how dare I kind of anger. For the first time I did not deny it but let it loose. I allowed the dam to burst and I rode the wave of action.
If your career or business is not where you want it to be then maybe it’s time for you to get mad. If you have talent and specialized skills that are just not receiving notice, perhaps it’s time to unleash your anger. You don’t need a secret magic quiet sure fire tactic. You do not need a drink or a pep talk. You just need to get so mad that you are no longer inhibited by nice, conventional reason that tells you to be nice your time will come. Your time is here if you’re mad enough to grab your slot.
I got mad. I got mad that I was quietly sitting on skills and knowledge that could truly benefit others because I was trying to be polite. I got mad that people were asking questions that I could answer but they did not know I existed. I got mad that I was comfortable not asking for what I needed. I got mad and I made things happen.
Am I still nice? You bet. However, I learned how to be nice without being a doormat. I learned that I can’t really meet the needs of others if I’m not willing to stand up for myself. I learned that even though 100 million people do what I do that it does not diminish what I have to offer. I don’t have to be the best I just have to be the best me.
Anger took me where nice never could. Anger pinned me down and forced me to look squarely in the mirror of my soul and examine my passion. It made me acknowledge that I matter and made me fight for my passion.
Zen is awesome but a little anger every once in a while can be a very good thing.
How about you? Does anger scare you and if so why? Have you ever used anger in a positive way?