Sometimes it’s the simplest things that get us out of a funk.
But our minds never go to those simple things first.
We may feel like the funk is so big and painful that the answer must be of Mensa-sized proportions. We’re in a state of huge frustration, so the answer must be buried deep, or in our blind spot or somewhere behind a door that we can’t open.
But the irony of feeling like we’re maxed out with no relief in sight is that all it takes is a tiny shift to ease the pain.
The first step is to realize that whatever is ‘making us get stuck’, isn’t.
Eating in a way we know isn’t good for our body.
Being too tired to exercise.
Those crazy people we work with.
Those things aren’t what keep us stuck. And the first step is to quit looking at them as the culprit.
The next step is to literally step back.
Look at the big picture.
This is nothing new- we have all done this before. Sometimes we’re driven there because we need a fresh perspective on a specific problem. Sometimes we find ourselves there because of a holiday, like Memorial Day. Sometimes it takes a scary accident, or a force of nature. Sometimes it’s just a milestone, “oh-my-gawd-your-kid-is-how-old-now?“
No matter what it is, we all go there.
But when we do something so simple and so familiar, we tend to forget the power that it has. We fall into it, but don’t always use it on a regular basis. It’s not at the top of our minds.
But this tiny switch has immense proportions.
When we’re working hard and really focusing on something important to us, we can get caught up in the little things.
Cutting an exercise session short.
A month of tight finances.
A conversation that took you off guard and left you feeling icky.
When we get caught up in the little things, they can seem huge. Like they are single handedly changing our trajectory from peaceful productivity to certain doom.
We can make the little things rule our world.
And it’s ok. Everybody does it.
But staying in that place can frustrate us.
Don’t reserve looking at the big picture as your last resort. Don’t gloss over it like I used to by saying things like “it’s one day out of my life” (read: “screw-it”).
The final step is to use it often and deliberately.
Sit with that perspective. See the whole path to the end. See how small this one problem is in the grand scheme of things. Feel the understanding you get when you see the entire scope of your situation.
Hold onto that feeling while you take another look at those little situations.
Because doing that changes how you see them and turns frustration into support.
Overwhelm into clarity.
And big scary situations into hiccups along the way.
And it does it fast.
In my mind, the best tools are the ones you can use anywhere and in a matter of seconds. This is one of those tools.
It’s familiarity and simplicity can make us forget about using it. Or only use it in very specific times of problem solving or general evaluation of life and what we find important.
I use it daily. Any time there’s a hint of frustration or overwhelm, I back it up.
It’s a sure-fire way to prove that all you need is a shift in your perspective to change your whole situation.
We can all use a little bit of that wisdom sometimes.
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