Sometimes you need to talk. You need to slow down, and stop. Stop rushing around and distracting yourself. Think more, feel more. Stay in what’s happening right now. Contemplate, cry, accept, share.
Other times you need to just get on with it. You just need to speed up. Stop overthinking, and start moving faster. Stop planning, worrying, overanalysing and delaying. Just do something. Commit and tick the first thing off the list.
Which one do you think you need right now?
Meg is a whirlwind. She is very goal driven, and a high achiever. She has great pride in her big promotion to CFO, her recent personal best on a marathon, and her starring role on as a trustee for a national charity. She is the one you turn to, in order to get things done. Her home runs like a well-oiled machine, checklists, routines and expectations are clear. In a crisis, she is pretty helpful too. When her sister got sick, she immediately stepped up and made it her personal mission to successfully project manage the journey of her serious illness. She is a great person to have on your team, things get done. Her high energy can be a little daunting, but its admirable.
Meg hit one of life’s obstacles when she damaged her achilles and had to stop running. And her organisation was swallowed up in a huge corporate merger, and her job was looking shaky. Her sister wasn’t getting better, she was stable, but the miraculous cure hadn’t appeared.
Meg started to feel agitated. She didn’t like the feeling that there were things going on that she couldn’t control. She surprised herself by slipping up and making a mistake in a big presentation she was giving at work. She started scrolling through her phone a lot. She surprised herself even more when she stopped wanting to get out of bed and started taking sick days. She commenced a house-wide decluttering exercise to try and kick start her motivation again. She stopped sleeping, and sat up in the middle of the night listening to podcasts, trying to bore herself back to sleep. Then came the day she avoided her sister’s phone call because she was feeling paralysed, not knowing what to say.
Time to slow down. Time to stop. Time to think more and feel more. Time to let herself feel the disappointment she was feeling over her job. Time to acknowledge the fear she was pushing away about her sister. Time to be honest with herself how frustrated and scared she was that she might not run again. Time to admit that she couldn’t control everything. And to realise that nobody expected her to. And to acknowledge that life was sometimes terrifying and exhausting. And that even if she wasn’t saving the world, that was OK too.
Molly is a wise soul. She is calm and considered and is the one friends turn to when they need a hug. She is much loved, with a wide circle of friends and family who adore her. She is an avid reader, and maintains a beautiful, welcoming house, full of paintings she did as a student. Everyone likes going to Molly’s house.
She has always wanted to be an interior designer, and often gives friends free advice on what colour to paint their walls. She has looked at a few interior design courses, but can’t make up her mind which one to do. She works part time, doing accounts for a friend from home, and is reliable and trustworthy. She loves pilates and walking her dog, but has stopped doing both since she had children. She went to a yoga class with a friend for awhile, but stopped it when her son’s basketball practice got moved to a late finish time.
She is a bit of a worrier. Currently worried that her daughter has a learning problem, and that her son doesn’t find it easy to make friends. Her Dad died young, and she worries about her own health, and how much of his issues might be inherited. She avoids the doctor, because it is too stressful, what if they tell her bad news? Her mother was a bit distant and harsh with her as a teen, and she has read every parenting book available, in an effort to not repeat the cycle with her own, much-loved children. One of her friends was widowed recently and she has spent days wondering how she would cope if the same happened to her.
Her husband has been wanting to move to a new house for the last few years, but she is reluctant, and not entirely sure why. She is not sure she can manage the stress of finding a new place and moving. She has always dreamed about visiting the art galleries of Europe, but doesn’t like to leave the dog in care. She loves watching foreign films on TV, and often stays up late watching them.
Her life is calm and orderly. But she has recently started to feel dissatisfied. She surprised herself by missing a tax deadline. She can’t be bothered explaining why. The thought of sitting down and doing it is making her stomach turn. She is turning 50 next year, and is hoping the occasion slides by with nobody noticing. She doesn’t know what she wants to do with the rest of her life. She is always exhausted, and finding the energy to walk the dog eludes her. She has started feeling irritated by the kids, by their enthusiasm for so many after school activities, and their assumption that she will drive them around to everything. Her best friend just opened an art gallery, and for a reason she can’t fathom, she hasn’t bothered going to look yet. She is tired, feeling unappreciated, she has lost her enthusiasm for life and needs help.
Molly needs to change her pattern. Just start doing something. Stop overthinking it, just set the alarm, get out of bed and walk the dog. Choose an interior design course and enrol. So what if it’s the wrong one, just start and see how it goes. Say no to driving the kids everywhere and go back to that yoga class. Go and visit her friend’s gallery and get inspired. Start living. Start doing. Stop thinking, stop worrying, stop planning.
Do any parts of these sound familiar? How do usually solve things in your life? Is it time to try solving things in the opposite way? If you are usually a ‘do-er’ is it time to slow down and allow the feelings to come? If you are a thinker, is it time to get on with it? Just give things a go?
It is tempting to do things the way you have always done them. But if you go against your usual style, you may be pleasantly surprised that you get a different outcome too.