Transforming Anxiety into Personal Purpose

Dawna Jones
Jan 9 · 5 min read


1. a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.

2. desire to do something, typically accompanied by unease.

Crossroad with two paths: one leading up and one staying at the same level.
Crossroad with two paths: one leading up and one staying at the same level.

Humanity stands at the intersection of the most exciting time in human history and equally the most uncertain, unpredictable and volatile. Aware or not, every single person absorbs fear (and other emotions) broadcast through media or interpersonal communication or distant threats of violence or aggression.

When your personal purpose is not clear, anxiety is the calling card for bringing your purpose and energy into alignment. Transforming anxiety into clarity may not start with wrangling down a sense of purpose on how you make a difference in the world: in the workplace, at home or in society. Instead, it may start by working with your energetic sensitivity.

Health is a natural state of the human body and should also be natural in workplaces if companies hope to be economically sustainable. Yet workplace stress of the unhealthy kind, a result of workplace environments not designed for human performance, has a stigma attached to it. (In contrast, eustress refers to positive stress originating from a positive challenge.) Anxiety is an indicator that not all is well in the world. Workplaces can either channel anxiety into an inspired purpose or blame the employee. Most blame employees. If you look at anxiety as energy, then much can be done to restore balance. Although conventional medicine files anxiety as a ‘disorder’ and ‘mental illness’, it is more constructively understood as an invitation to be more aligned within yourself: who you are and why you came to the world.

Everyone has intuitive intelligence. Roughly 94% of your daily decisions are made automatically; the other 6% with your conscious awareness, although all the credit goes to the conscious decisions. The three strengths deliver data processed subconsciously to result in a precognizant knowing of what choice to make. For perspective, it takes 100–400 milliseconds to blink your eyes. People assess each other in milliseconds. In high stakes, complex, dynamically changing scenarios you have less than blinking time to make a defining decision. Gary Klein’s naturalistic decision-making model, simplified for inclusion in Decision Making for Dummies, illustrates the inner process.

All three strengths are intangible:

1. Innate knowledge is accrued from making a lot of decisions that worked or didn’t. An inventory of what worked under different and similar conditions provides your subconscious with an inventory of options to draw on in the future.

2. Non-local intuition: The instant transfer of information across time and space most often through a strong heart connection. For instance, you think of a person, and then receive a call from them.

3. Energetic sensitivity: The effects of energy fields are felt interpersonally and organizationally. Energy is not restricted to boundaries as the rapid spread of fear illustrates. Some are more sensitive than others. Unfortunately, the most sensitive have been labelled autistic when it is a specialized form of intelligence that has real value in the workplace.

Know it or not, you absorb the emotional state from co-workers, from the environments you are in, biologically from what you eat, from the news, from Facebook, and from every single daily interaction. When immersed in negative energy, you absorb it. Logically, anxiety increases. In positive environments, you feel happy. Moving through crowds of people can be exhausting. Unless you learn to work with your sensitivity, it will pull you in a thousand directions and you will not gain access to clarity on your personal purpose or achieve balance in life.

If you are even slightly aware that you are energetically sensitive, then to ensure it serves you means adding more finely tuned skills. Apart from the list, empath expert Judith Orloff suggests, these are some other ways to balance your physical and emotional energy.

Observe your thinking. Thoughts are your first indicator of what is in the air so to speak. Depending on what you notice, you can choose to stay or leave, move or redirect your thought process. Thoughts are data, without and emotional charge and not useful when judged or assessed.

Spend time in nature. Nature restores the brain to an alpha state providing you are able to shut the flow of chatter off. From a creative, relaxed state, you will make better decisions. Spending time with animals you love will also achieve that.

Physical exercise designed to restore. Qi Gong is one of the most powerful methods for restoring energetic balance to your emotional and physical state. There are plenty of videos on YouTube to experiment with. Alternatively, choose an exercise that helps you get out of your head, shut down the cognitive rant so you can isolate where in your body you feel imbalanced. Visualization is a great way to restore. Visualizing vibrant colours can revitalize weakened areas. Bringing peace to your heart, through loving, supportive relationships do a lot to restore damage from depleted emotional states.

At the end of a talk I did on working with your subconscious and conscious mind and intuitive and rational decision-making, someone asked if this was all ‘new age’. They were suspicious and skeptical. Today biology and physics work together with the power of the human spirit as a more integrated view of reality. For humanity to evolve, to co-create, be flexible, and invent better solutions to today’s challenges requires recognition that we are multi-dimensional. Mindset shapes the perception of reality. How you perceive reality directs choices. To move from a ‘prove-it-to me’ mentality to a global brain means accepting there is more to you than what you believe or think to be true. It will take everyone to engage in their personal purpose. In business, it will take leaving behind profit as a purpose benefiting shareholders in engaging in a higher purpose with wider benefit. It will take full-spectrum intelligence to perceive reality in a more expansive way: inter-related and inter-connected. We are only victims of circumstance if we choose to be. The power lies in your choice: personal and collective. Decisions can only get better.

Dawna works with progressive early adopter decision-makers to create a growth-oriented workplace and genuinely ethical reputations. A speaker and workshop leader, she is also the author of Decision Making for Dummies, has contributed a chapter on the new purpose of business to ‘The Intelligence of the Cosmos” by systems theorist Ervin Laszlo and a chapter to From Hierarchy to High Performance. She’s adept in the subtle skills of working with energy as a powerful force for well-being. She hosts the Insight to Action podcast for business innovators on Spotify, iTunes. Contact Dawna through LinkedIn.

Dawna Jones

Written by

Collectively designing a better world through conscious decision-making leadership. Inspirational Insights, Leadership, Strategic Insights, Author-Speaker.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade