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GenerativeNLP Newsletter Issue 7

Real life dilemmas. Solved.


Dilemma 7: "I have all these ideas about things I could be doing, but for some reason I'm holding back and going round in circles thinking about it..."

This month's real life dilemma aims to offer some guidance on how you can move past the position of endlessly hovering on the cusp of taking action. We'll be doing this by presenting two scenarios. One that leads to the dilemma, and one that doesn't. We'll then explore the main differences between what's going on in these two scenarios, and finish with a summary of the thinking process that will help you to resolve this dilemma for yourself.

Scenario 1

It begins with an awareness of something that's missing in your life. A gap that you want to fill. You focus all your attention on that thing that you don't have and spend a lot of time thinking about things that you could do to have it. Ideas come to you and on paper, it all seems to be there, yet for some reason the next step (taking action) isn't coming easily to you. You hesitate, you think some more about it, you question your ideas. Days, weeks, months, years pass by, and with the passing of time comes a growing urgency. This is because the thing that's missing has grown even bigger (in your imagination at least!). It's so big now, that you just can't stop thinking about how much you need it/should have it. That thing that is missing in your life has consumed you completely. You go over your previous ideas, generate new ideas, but still you hold back from committing and taking action...

Scenario 2

It begins with an awareness that doing nothing is the only kind of doing that you need to master for now. This means letting go of wanting things to be any other way than the way they are. When you become a student of doing nothing what you are in fact experiencing is what it's like for your body/mind to come to rest. You're giving yourself a reprieve from feeling you have to do something to change the way things are. With this pressure lifted you get to know yourself in a whole new way. You're giving yourself the space to experience a way of operating in your life that's driven by a highly resourceful way of feeling inside yourself, instead of being driven by the thing that's missing in your life (or the fear of things being missing in your life).

When you graduate from the school of doing nothing, you leave with a knowing in your body of what it's like to be truly at peace. You refer to it as operating from your centre. Part of your training also included learning how to be present to the world around you instead of lost in your head. Being present has meant that your relationships with people have changed and because your senses are heightened you're noticing so much more in the world around you generally. It's like your lenses to the outside world have had a super clean!

Because you're now experiencing what it's like to operate from your centre (and you like it so much), you make a commitment to yourself. You promise yourself that you're going to organize your life around being this way - to pursue a path that will allow you to maintain this way of being. But this isn't all. You go a step further still.

You also set your sights on becoming the kind of person you want to be in the future. Your "future you". With these two reference points (your present ‘centered' you, and your future you) you begin to find that making decisions and taking action comes easy. You just check-in with your internal compass. If I do "X", will it allow me to maintain this centered way of being inside, and will it keep me on track/ move me further toward what I want to be true of myself in the future?

The main differences between these two scenarios

Difference One: The person in the first scenario isn't operating from their center. They aren't at rest within themselves. This is witnessed by their frenzied thinking about action - thinking that results in more thinking, but never action and results. The person in the second scenario is operating from their centre. They are at rest within themselves and this can be seen by their ability to make decisions and act on them.

Difference Two: The person in the first scenario is driven by a need to move away from what's been missing in their life up until now. They have an orientation toward the past instead of the future. This is the opposite to the person in the second scenario.

Difference Three:The person in the first scenario isn't really sure what they want (even though they're clear about what they don't want). The person in the second scenario is clear about what they want, and further still, they know that it has everything to do with a way of being inside them self.

Difference Four:The motivations of the person in the second scenario are internally driven (they want to be a certain way as they move through their life). Although the person in the 1st scenario is aware of something missing in their life that they want (e.g. more money) they aren't internally motivated enough to actually do anything about it.

Top tips on how to resolve this type of dilemma

  • Tell yourself that there is nothing that you have to do. Take the weight off your shoulders by giving yourself permission to take a holiday from coming up with ideas, schemes, and grand plans.

  • Get to know what it feels like in your body when you are at your best - centered and at peace. Practice being this way.

  • Write down how you'd like to be remembered when you're gone. What kind of person do you want to become?

  • Make a commitment to organize your life around 1) maintaining this centered way of being inside, and 2) making sure you're on track to becoming the kind of person you want to be.

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