If you’re feeling like your life is stagnant, you’ve lost your spark and generally feel stuck. If you feel like there are no fun options ahead, you could end up in a destructive, negative spiral.
Recently, I was asked to write a book and the deadline is looming. At first, I was so excited and honoured at being asked to write it, but the reality set in and I found myself getting stuck, procrastinating and doing anything if it meant I didn’t have to face writing. What was going on here??? Well, it turns out my inner perfectionist had come out to play and was testing me!
Life-paralysis was identified by Brené Brown in her book, ‘The Gifts of Imperfection’ as one of the issues arising from being a perfectionist. Through her research, she identified perfection hampers achievement, is correlated with depression, anxiety, addiction, missed opportunities and life-paralysis.
Perfection is a defensive move and I was trying to avoid judgement by getting in my own way. Luckily, I have robust tools to deal with it! Once you start to recognise where you feel stuck, you can start to address the blocks and move past them. This is where the Lightning Process comes in very handy.
Perfection was where I got stuck, here are a few more examples of where people suffer life-paralysis:
Health, relationships, work or environment
These are major aspects of your life and if you’re feeling stuck in any of these areas, you’ll struggle to grow as an individual and be happy.
Focusing on what’s missing
Spending your time and energy thinking about all the things missing in your life will bring more misery. Constantly focussing on what’s lacking will increase your awareness of them and your brain will start to actively look for them, making the reality of ‘lacking’ even bigger.
Having fixed ideas
Having a rigid idea about how things should be will keep you stuck. Everything in the universe moves towards change and it’s one thing that’s guaranteed. Being fixed to a certain belief or idea will stop you from being able to learn and grow past it.
A good way to identify any blocks is to take some time out, sit quietly and close your eyes – this is a great exercise to get out into nature for. Let your mind wander and see what images come up. Notice the ones you react to by shying away from, or trying to avoid, these are areas you need to pay attention to.
What emotions come up when you think of these things?
For me, the book was taking up a lot of my head space and I was trying to push it away, but it kept coming back. It was hanging over me and keeping me stuck.
As you start to recognise where you’re feeling stuck, think about what you want to do or feel instead. Make sure you think of these in positives, so you’re moving towards something. Create a metaphor – who or what represents what you want to achieve? This will give your brain absolute direction and an image to focus on.
Now create a plan of action to move towards what you want to achieve. What’s your first step?
In order to grow, you have to take a leap of faith. It can be scary but be kind and remind yourself, you’re doing your best. Be okay with taking imperfect action and you’ll soon be moving forward.
Change feelings of anxiety to excitement – how does it feel to tell yourself you’re excited about something? The feelings are similar, you’re just putting a new spin on them.
Change ‘I can’t’ to ‘I can’ and feel how powerful it feels to reinforce this to yourself and the more you say it, the more you will create a new belief around what’s possible.
What steps are you going to take today to move forward and stop this cycle of life-paralysis?
Contact us if you want help in moving forward with your life using the Lightning Process.