One form of anxiety in missionaries, young people, and parents that is being overlooked
I'll keep this brief, because I know your time is important. First off, anxiety is something we all have. If we didn't have it we would be dead, but if we have too much of it we never live. The brain is built for two very important functions...to protect and predict. The brain takes in information continuously, formulates conclusions, and then uses those conclusions to predict our world and protect our lives. When anxiety is at its worst, what is simply happening is too much erroneous and unneeded predicting and protecting, leading to unhappiness and fear.
This unhappiness and fear can lead to the anxiety I'm going to describe. Now...(dramatic pause for build up)...the most common form of anxiety in young people today is...niceness.
Yes, you read me right...niceness. To differentiate, Nice people often hide strong emotions like anger, failure, betrayal, etc, and Kind people don't. Kind people are assertive, set boundaries, show genuine care for others, express and feel their emotions as humans are supposed to. Jesus was kind, not nice. He didn't waiver because someone didn't like what he said. Nice people often do. Nice people struggle to confront people who break their boundaries, or accept that it's normal to feel strong emotions.
We have parented in many ways with amazing intentions, but with outcomes creating nice people finishing last. You see, our young people form behaviors that do two different things: 1) avoid contention in almost anyway (pleasers). 2) attempt to be perfect in outward expressions...social media, dress, speech, etc, in order to escape rejection or failure (perfectionist). Add these together and you create a perfect storm just waiting to unleash its fury as soon as the typical comforts of life are "adulted" away..(i.e. going on a mission, heading to college, failing an AP class, etc).
We politely classify these amazing missionaries, young people or parents as perfectionist pleasers. There is no sarcasm intended in that phrase "amazing," they really are. Their hearts are so good and they truly desire to have peace and harmony in many ways. They desire to achieve great things and become great people. The only problem, their Motyv's in doing so are fear based, or in other words, anxiety based. Being fear based, their Motyv's will lead them to experience strong negative emotions in an unpredictable way.
This very person is a huge part of the mission of Motyv. If this little article helped you, don't let it simply slip away.
I mean this when I say it, if your child or yourself is someone who is reading this and maybe is even a bit defensive or simply relates to it, please know it's vital to dig into these things and change it.
Come join the Motyv cause.
Best, Shayden Bertagnolli