Helplessness: that dull, sick feeling of not being the one at the reins. When did you last feel like that –- and what did you do about it?
As a student in the International Baccalaureate programme, I often find myself feeling helpless at the numerous approaching tasks, assessments and challenges. I try not to look too far ahead, instead concentrating on what’s coming right ahead. Usually, that’s my solution to reduce the helplessness. But a few days ago, I found another, quite surprising method to deal with it.
In my Theatre class, we are starting a new unit called ‘The Strange’, which will eventually come to focus on the practitioner Bertolt Brecht. In the first lesson, we were asked to think of a simple, strange action to do. It was supposed to be easy. Think of a strange action, anything strange, and perform it in the available space. But being who I am, the first thought in my head was I can’t do this. I’ve never been very good at improvisation or acting silly in front of people. I often feel too embarrassed to even begin to think creatively. This time, however, I decided to push aside those thoughts for a moment and to think imaginatively. To my surprise, a bunch of ideas were lurking beneath my discomfort and worry of making a fool of myself.
This may seem like something really simple or obvious, but I tend to worry a lot. This little experience has not made me worry less about other things, but a little corner of my mind is now more aware of the fact that good ideas, and maybe even eventual success, may be hiding behind a cloud of worry. You only have to push those worries aside to shine.