Horizontal striving

I am thinking and feeling my way through this concept today, another Adlerian cornerstone:

Vertical striving versus horizontal striving.

All neuroses stem from living on the vertical axis, which means we rank ourselves in comparison to others.  We all do it from time to time in different situations and so forth.  When we live on the vertical axis all the time, we are not able to contribute to our community in a productive way. Life becomes a ranking game where you either win or lose.

Living on the horizontal axis means that we live under the belief that all people are equal.  No head is higher than one’s own, and no head is lower.  When we live this way, we cooperate and contribute.  When we live on the horizontal axis, we are not nervous, depressed, lonely, or overwhelmed all the time.  We feel good enough and we feel that all others are good enough, too.

This is where I am today, because I am really trying to remove that veil of inferiority that I’ve put over my head and had there for a long time.  I have been living vertically; I am either better than, or less than others, and feel like I am constantly being ranked.  It’s time to let that go.  It’s time to stop feeling scared and nervous about people.

Maybe by writing it here, I will be able to release this old and unhelpful perspective I’ve been living with.  This is something I really, really want to let go of.

2 thoughts on “Horizontal striving

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