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About doing and letting go

Decluttering. Standards, constraints, dependencies. Getting away from the exterior, interiorly. Detached from questioning how you come across, making an end to selfie-mania. Does this make us free? Reaching a peace of mind with the world. Kind of. Or does freedom need creation? Having spaces of action and indeed using them. Creating something new. In the job area, the communities, in life. To make freedom reality. And turn self-determination into self-realization. Coaches Alisa Gunzelmann and Stephanie Fellner about the psychology of autonomy.

Alisa: The term freedom has had an enormous attraction on me ever since. Freedom to go your own way, to determine how we want to live. Free from exterior and interior constraints. Obviously, a prerequisite is that we get know ourselves. And therefore, a certain degree of reflectivity is needed.

Steph: This perspective implies also individual responsibility and autonomy. When limits and rules drop out, space becomes immense, the degree of uncertainty grows, there are an infinite number of options. This may be overstraining.

Alisa: Definitely. But sometimes the fear to have regrets afterwards for not having tried is bigger. It is really difficult to endure the tension between freedom and certainty, without losing the inner balance. Regular mediation practices are demonstrably helpful.

Steph: I find the Austrian psychologist Viktor Frankl quite inspiring in this context. In his book “Man’s search for meaning” he wrote: “Between stimulus and response is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” So, while most of what happens lies outside our influence possibilities, we determine our reality through conscious decisions on our response. The plan for our wild and precious life.

Alisa: This is extremely life affirming. It absolves us from the impossible challenge of wanting to control our surroundings and shows us our inner space of freedom instead. Which is always at our disposition. Like this, we can face every new moment in our lives with curiosity rather than with fear.

Steph: Absolutely. Then we don’t lose ourselves every so often remembering the past or in the never-ending planning of our future. It allows us to experience the current moment directly and more intensely.

Alisa: That much about theory. The implementation, however, is much more challenging and requires perseverance and tenacity.

Steph: It’s also important that changes always happen in communities. We are no isolated, independent units, even though we might feel like this at times. Therefore, relationship is the decisive factor when it comes to coaching. The relationship with oneself and the relationship with others.

Alisa: Connect to what matters to you and stay in relation. Those striving for freedom and self-realization, quickly find out: what remains is the bearing power of deep human relationships. Freedom without sympathy, affection or even love is meaningless.

Psychologists Alisa Gunzelmann and Stephanie Fellner offer professional online-coaching, workshops, and tools for personality development: www.re-gnosis.com