What do I want?...

I had this idea, as we are setting our goals... and we do our (unconscious) best to keep them as realistic and achievable as possible, for multiple reasons..., we might be anxious to face disappointment, we might tell ourselves that we cannot reach for more as it would be a too much to stretch for, and too small of a return of our invested time and energy, or we have that ugly fear of not being enough (making a bad investment and losing the family money, making the wrong decision that now invites criticism and anxiety into your life, ...)

So we continue to play down our dreams, we start convincing ourselves that our dreams are not really that important, that we should focus on more realistic or achievable ones. This is also good for our sense of self-worth. It is a protection mechanism that protects or fragile Ego from being confronted with disappointment. We must also understand that this brings us nothing, except for the same old circumstances that we are claiming that we want to escape. But do we? Do we really ?

For sure you know as well as I do that nothing will come out of closing yourself off from the world and always engaging into activities that are familiar and safe. Nothing will come out of same set of behaviors that are being triggered by the same pattern of thought.

We can only do our best, at any given time! We should remember this. Learning to accept our decisional process plays a major role in how we engage with the world. Sometimes, more often than we would like to admit, we let ourselves being dictated by or emotions, we take decisions that makes us feel good, safe and comfortable, or we let us being moved by behaviors that are being a direct result of a set of distorted thought patterns. I will not get into all that here, but I will tell you that whatever the case may be, there is a way to skip all that might be sabotaging you, and apply a simple frame of questioning that you may find quite eye-opening, to say the least.

Whenever you face taking a decision that has a potential impact in your life, and you are unsure about it, there is a frame of questioning that stretches your mind to explore a variety of options that might have previously been hidden to you.

  1. What would happen if I will not do it?
  2. What wouldn't happen if I do it?
  3. What would happen if I do it?
  4. What wouldn't happen if I do not do it?

Write down your answers. Give it real thought and leave emotions out of it. The gut feeling is mind triggered as a result of a thought that activates a feeling linked to a memory or a piece of a memory that has been re-implanted as the years have passed from the innitial trigger.

You might be face with the decision to change the job. You get through the questioning framework, you have your appropriate answers, but at some point you have all these emotions rising up, your feelings are stirring up, you become anxious, your palms are getting sweaty, your heartbeat is accelerating and your gut is stretching... anxiety and fear, that are being triggered by the thought you gave to the matter, but that also activated an old memory of an event when change was not the best for you, for example from the 2nd to the 3rd grade as the learning became increasingly difficult, or moving to a new city and having to leave your friends behind..., all those times when change triggered loss, sorrow, anxiety, loneliness...

The result of this emotion is not convincing yourself that the reasons for changing your job are not really that pertinent, there is no real need to make the move, or perhaps not the right time, and so on... now we are sabotaging ourselves into believing that we do not actually need to change our jobs. We do not have to face again that fear that we once felt. it could be fear of the unknown, of not being good enough.

Now, there are a few techniques that we may use in order to ensure a very low emotion 'pollution' of our questioning framework, and you can do this right before doing your best to answer the qestions:

  1. Start a ritual: if you do this in your home, you may want to light up a candle, or to open a window to refresh the air in your space, prepare your favorite pen and journal, clean your space; and if you do it outside, in a park for example, you may want to have with you your favorite pen and journal, a thermos with your favorite hot beverage, a blanket.... anything that you can repeatedly do with ease and that relaxes you.
  2. Meditate, if you do not meditate, at least spend a few minutes doing your best to relax, focus on your breathing and releasing and tension you might have in your body-mind.
  3. Answer the questions as best as you can from your perspective.
  4. Do not change your answers. Use your better judgement and your first impulse to answer as best as you can, for you. Do not think how it would impact anyone else, unless it is crucially relevant: you may want to take into account that changing your job and moving in another city while you are married and have children, you will have to take into consideration how this will impact their lives and how you can ensure a smooth and easy transition for them as well. But this will be another set of questioning for later.
  5. Take a pause, relax and do not overthink it. Let a few minutes pass, even a few hours if you need, disconnect from the tension that migh have risen as a result of you answering the questions.
  6. Answer the questions again, but this time from another's perspective, this time from the perspective of the person who loves you the most, or your parent, or if that is not the case for you, then your hero/role-model/idol that you admire. Put yourself in their shoes for this, and answer the questions from their perspective, their point of view, but still referring to you, your life. Let's call it 'advice', an emotion free, fact based advice that answers your 4 question about the matter you are doing your best to achieve-
  7. Compile the answers, reflect, analyze, and use the information provided by your responses to take the best course of action possible.
  8. Accept the result, knowing that you have done your best.
  9. Learn from the process and repeat using your own adaptations that ensure a healthy and positive process.

I hope this helps.

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