Ever feel like you're on a spinning wheel when you attempt yet another New Year’s Resolution? The spinning could be repetitive negative thinking or a multitude of jumbled feelings. The spinning may be the inconclusive thoughts as you analyze underachieved goals and the pattern that keeps getting you stuck. For others, the wheel may include a sense of feeling paralyzed--at a stand still, numb or detached. Maybe It is as though there is a clog in your brain. You feel unclear and can’t get motivated.
Behaviors are measurable; others can see us doing them. However, these measurables are determined by what is immeasurable. Our actions flow forth from our inner psyche---a conglomeration of thoughts and feelings which translate into clarity or confusion; motivation or stagnation.
When we are afraid of somehow not feeling good enough or failing once again, we develop “ways” to avoid those fears of failure or disappointment. Generally these “ways” can be categorized in two groups: we OVERDO or underdo (AVOID). Examples include,
OVER-reacting/eating/drinking/spending/sleeping; AVOIDING people/tasks/doing. And with each OVER or UNDER, the spinning cycle moves out of our head and into behavioral patterns, the fabric of life itself. Furthermore, when those “go to” behaviors don’t work, we then beat ourselves up. The swirling twirling negative thoughts continue. We may “agonize over our agony” and choose another “go to” behavior or way of thinking to relieve that awful feeling. And all those OVERs and UNDERs leave us right where we started-- feeling inadequate. We think, “Ah.ha. I have failed once again.”
So how do we get moving, motivated, break loose the clog, and stop the madness?
As you reach for your goals, whatever they may be, don’t let setbacks and underlying thoughts and feelings trip you up. Expect obstacles, disappointments and prepare for them in the best way so they don’t have power over you. This is not being negative---it is accepting human nature and the world we live in and preparing yourself for hope to always trump. When we do this, those setbacks will happen less and decrease in intensity. Recognizing the Pattern, Embracing Grace and Utilizing your Escape Plan will be the keys for movement and decreased moments of that swirling stagnation.
Jill Lillard, MA LPC