Are You Chained to An Emotional Prison?
You feel stuck in life; chained to an invisible force. Even though you can't see it, you can feel its pressure. It's there, as binding as real chains.
The feeling of being stuck hits just about everyone at one time or another. It is so powerful, that you actually feel as though you cannot take any action--a deer in headlights. The good news is: You CAN set yourself free!
Let's take a look-see at some of the things that may be keeping you in virtual chains:
You might be afraid of failure. Of success. Of making a decision that could turn out to be "wrong." You might be fearful of criticism and judgment. Eliminating fear is one of the biggest means to getting yourself unstuck. First, you have to define your fear. What is it, really, that is keeping you from making a move? It may not always be what you think; that's why you have to dig deep. Here's an example: You're in your 40s. You want to go back to school, but hesitate to sign up. You come up with lots of reasons why: not enough time, not enough money, no babysitters, etc. Is that the real reason? Maybe when you start to explore, you discover that you're embarrassed about possibly being the oldest person in your class. You fear being humiliated if you're called on for the answer and don't know it. The money, the time, and the babysitter do a great job at covering up the real reason. So ask yourself, what is the real issue behind the excuses?
Fear is one of those things that sounds worse than it is. Fear is a concept that our minds make real; so real, in fact, that even the idea of fear is enough to cause fear. Crazy, I know. But true.
Another thing that might be keeping you locked up are the constant distractions. Nowadays, it's quite easy. We have so many more distractions than we used to. Why, a person can spend endless hours on Social Media alone, watching YouTube, posting pictures of your last hike, quotes, silly cat videos, etc. I know, for one, that Google gets me quite often. I'm sitting at my computer writing, and then I have to look something up, verify a fact, or what have you. Before I know it, I'm on a page looking at landscapes of white sandy beaches, dreaming about possible vacations. How did I get there? You'd be surprised. I bet it has happened to you as well.
Distractions are common. They're like little demons. They can tempt you out of almost anything you need to do. Be careful! If there's something you need to do, put away your phone, stay away from the cute cat videos, that lead you to the cute baby videos, that lead you to the elephant-and-its-family-out-in-the-wild videos, and so on. Don't laugh, this is a true thing that happens. Be warned. If you want to get unstuck, stay away from Social Media and Google!
3) Feeling Overwhelmed.
This one gets me a lot. Maybe it gets you too. There's something you have to do and instead of breaking it down to doable parts, you look at the whole thing. At this point, you turn around and walk away. Feeling overwhelmed can stop you in your tracks. There's an easy cure for this. If there's a task you need to do, look at it, see how you can break it down. Is it by section, by hour, by day? There is a way to work it by deconstructing it. No one can do the whole thing; it's next to impossible. But if you say, "Okay, I'll start with this portion today. I'll do the next one tomorrow." This allows you to see some end in sight. You're more likely to follow through with your first task. Let's say, for example, that you let your laundry go. You've been quite busy and now you're looking at multiple piles of dirty clothes. You cannot possibly do the five loads all at once. Start out by sorting them in order of importance. Maybe you'd like to have clean underwear. Start with those. How about the clothes you'd like to wear in the next couple of days, and so forth. You may not be able to do all the loads at once, but at least you've made a dent, right?
4) Resistance to the pain!
Maybe the thing you need to do will cause you either physical or emotional pain and you keep putting it off. Imagine that you need to go to the dentist for a deep cleaning. You've procrastinated so long, that now the appointment will more than likely take several hours and be more painful than usual. So you wait. And wait. You know it's only going to get harder, right?
The Key to Freedom is this: do the very thing you don't want to do, the very thing you've been avoiding. Welcome whatever experience is coming your way. Don't look at your "thing" as a problem. Use another word. Words are quite powerful. So instead of saying, "I have a huge problem!" Say, "I have a challenging situation," Or, "I have been presented with an opportunity." Doesn't that sound so much better? It will also feel better. You'll notice an immediate difference in your body.
Emotions are tricky. Don't allow them to determine your behavior. If you're too close to the situation, speak with someone you trust. Get their input. They might help you come up with a solution.
Before I close, I encourage you to ask yourself these (2) questions to help you get unstuck:
1) What can I do right now, no matter how insignificant it seems, to get me started? For instance, if you're a writer suffering from writer's block, sit at the computer, bring up the document and just type a sentence. You can always change it later. Just type. Or, if you have to make an appointment for something you are resisting, look at the calendar for available dates. Jot them down. Next day, call up the place and make the appointment. You can make it several weeks in the future; that will give you time to get used to the idea.
2) Can I give myself permission to take one small step? I can stop anytime.
You are what's keeping you from moving. So allow yourself to move forward by doing something. It can be the smallest thing, but you will be surprised at how powerful getting started is. You might be thinking you have to finish something, when in fact, all you have to do is start. The rest will take care of itself as long as you keep going.
Remember, you have choices. You might be stuck because you are not open to other possibilities. So open yourself up. Talk to someone who can help you explore different options.
Sometimes all we need is just a little push in the right direction.