Over the last decade or so, anxiety has become far less foreign and taboo. This unwanted guest tends to show up when we least expect it. Those who have experienced anxiety and depression want to live free, and that is the reason why Nic McLaughlin created the F.O.R.M. formula.
It’s difficult living with emotions that bar us from achieving the things we want. Nic is a millennial NLP coach who experienced this first hand while growing up. At the time, he did not realize what was happening. This is common among people who experience fear of the unknown. A lot of times, anxiety is confused with stress, and it is difficult to acknowledge our own emotions. We don’t want to be judged and feel weak. Modern expectations imposed by society have trained us to keep up with certain demands in order to succeed. However, acceptance and acknowledgment of our reality can avoid confusion and help us deal with our mental health in a more productive manner.
Nic McLaughlin is someone who understood this at an early age. Although he struggled with social anxiety and depression, he was able to overcome both by channeling his energy to focus solely on things that made him and those around him stronger. Because of this, he was able to earn a black belt in martial arts during his most strenuous years. He advises people to take control of their thoughts by acknowledging where they are without judgment and then humoring the idea of focusing on the opposite of what stress tells them to do.
For example, if your thoughts want to control, focus on letting go of control. Don’t squander your energy fighting against yourself. Once you find yourself confident with the practice of focus, you will realize that happiness can be as simple as a change in mindset. The switch in a state of mind can be controlled at any moment just by visualizing a good memory to release happy hormones and empower super-human strength. In martial arts, the power of visualization can be the difference between a broken hand and a powerful blast through wooden boards and even concrete bricks. The idea is to reach past and strike through with absolute certainty.
Another powerful step in Nic’s F.O.R.M. formula is to learn how to embrace failure instead of focusing on success. In martial arts, Nic was trained to master his fall before mastering his strike. It was important to be aware that failing was an essential part of the process. The strongest warriors are not those with the most impressive strike, but those who master the fall. Taking away the fear of failure builds persistence, confidence, and makes the whole process more doable.
Nic constantly puts himself into experiences where he could practice his fall, challenging to step up his action anytime he talked down to himself. Experiences teach us to have faith that we can handle something we would normally fear. Overcoming fear can be a lot easier if we’ve already been through it and learned how to overcome it. For example, Nic had to evacuate his house due to a fire on two separate occasions. “The first time was terrifying”, he said, “thinking I was going to lose everything I owned. The second time was like a drill, and not only did I know exactly what to take, but I improved my process of taking what was important for the rest of my family”. Setting the intention to master his fear improved the quality of his fall, resulting in a success he never would’ve thought possible.
Nic always considers everything he has overcome and sets the intention to take his actions very seriously with the balance of a playful mentality. This combination allows inspired action and openly creative thinking to flourish. Nic states that he created the F.O.R.M. formula in the hopes of helping young adults deal with their emotions in a playful, yet courageous way.
The FORM formula stands for:
Focus on the present and get clear on what’s happening
Opportunities are everywhere and available to you as long as you learn to see them.
Reach past your comfort zone
Master in terms of play over perfection
As Nic states, “Relying on strength can only do so much, but funny enough, the form can improve strength and so much more. If you want higher quality results at the gym, you’d work on your form. If you want higher quality results over stress and anxiety, essentially you’d focus on your F.O.R.M.”.