You can’t seem to get started with that project, get up on time, lose those pounds. You have problems making decisions, following through on commitments, throwing away those old newspapers. You don’t know what to do about losing your job, your health insurance, or even your keys.
All of these challenges can be strictly practical – a matter of figuring out what to do next, who to call, where to find information. But when we find ourselves spinning our wheels and not getting anywhere, we might be stuck in the mud of our own emotional inertia. Here’s an example.
Sharon wants to make a decision about whether to go to law school or take a job offer at an internet company. She collects all the information, talks to her friends, researches schools, but she still can’t bring herself to make a decision. When she thinks about going to law school, the idea of studying case law and passing the bar seems truly daunting, even though she loves the idea of arguing cases in front of a judge. More important, both her parents are lawyers as. Will she be disappointing them if she doesn’t go to law school? The idea of taking the job at the internet company is very appealing and allows her to move out of her parent’s house and get on with her life. But she’s afraid of letting her parents down. Sharon is an only child and she knows her parents are facing her departure day with dread.
Can you see how Sharon might feel stuck between a rock and a hard place? Do you think she is excited about the opportunities in front of her or distracted by her fears related to her parents? How likely is she to make the best decision possible or any decision at all?
When we see opportunities as burdens, it’s time to question whether we have turned a practical problem into an emotional problem. Whether it’s fear of making a wrong decision or feeling bad about not knowing how to solve a problem or change our behavior, that very fear derails our attention from what really matters – just simply what we want. Fear saps our energy for the things we would love to do. We often end up procrastinating and distracting ourselves with time-fillers. If Sharon attends to her fears first, she will most likely move forward to make a decision based on practicalities and not emotions.
If you feel you are stuck between a rock and a hard place, the Option Method can help you get to the root cause of your fears and separate practical problems from emotional problems. Check out our programs and give us a call.