Taming your tiger

“Staying OK” (Harris A, Harris, T., 1985) is an early self-help book, using Transactional Analysis methods. early childhood experiences shape our lives: for the better or worse. I was struck by their description of how we can continue to fear a person, or situation, that no longer has the power to threaten us:

“It is as if [we] spend out lives locked in a cage with an enormous tiger…and all we know how to do is walk backwards. Anyone else can see the tiger is fifty years old, toothless and slowing down. Also, the lock on the cage is rusty. Escape is possible. We do not see what may be obvious to others because our seeing apparatus is not working for us.”

Whether it’s an ex-friend, an ex-boss, an ex-colleague, how many times have I failed to realise that my tiger is now toothless, and that I’m fighting an enemy who no longer has power over me. In the PhD jungle, toothless tigers are lying in wait. I fear the pile of unread books; sitting down to write, when writing is so hard; the journal reviewers who turned down my first draft….This is where the world of blogs, writing workshops and coffees with friends come in: talking about your fears with other people, makes them much less scary.

Let me know what toothless tigers you have successfully recognised as such, and escaped from…

“Lords of the Swamp” by Gabor Dvornik http://www.pixoto.com/cpt?category=animals&subCategory=lions-tigers-and-big-cats

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