A couple of weeks ago I wrote about 3 Lies Your Mind Will Tell You When You Are Afraid. The urges are common responses when we engage in behaviors where we feel at risk. The three responses are considered survival responses to danger. However, the perception of risk is as individual as personality. Perhaps you can recognize some of urges and their behaviors:
- Flight: Running away. Literally leaving. Finding reasons to engage in opposite behaviors. It’s easy to find other things to do that take us off course of what really matters. I call it avoidance.
- Fight: Being difficult, critical, judgmental and evaluative with others and yourself. It can feeling like wrestling with your own mind and the thoughts you may have. I call it reason giving. Thoughts may show up like Why? Why Not? Should and Shouldn’t? But what if…..
- Freeze: Procrastination. Not thinking about it (if that is even possible). Simply not doing anything to move toward what really matter.
We all do these things. The good news is it is normal and you can still make a choice to do what matters. How? By being willing. When something really matters to you it can feel like there is more risk involved. Hence, you may feel like you are struggling. Below are some things you can do when the struggle shows up.
- Grounding– notice your breath and focus on the present moment.
- Acknowledge – Accept you own feelings. I call this willingness.
- Connect – You heart knows what really matters. Your sense of passion and vitality live here.
- Take Action – Go for it. You can do it.
Willingness is a big step in this process. Willingness is to know you can experience the “uncomfortable” and still make a choice. Being willing is a skill you can develop. It takes practice just like any skill. Willingness is the secret ingredient to creating Pyychological Fexibility. The above process is part of Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACT). I like using the ACT model because it frees up a person’s energy to focus on creating choice. We all like to have a choice in how we want to create a life that is fulfilling and meaningful.