You have a list of things that you potentially could do, but you can't decide which thing to start with.
Or a list of stuff that you need to do.
Or no list.
Your mind goes into overdrive.
What should I do first?
What if I make a mistake?
What if I make the wrong choice?
If I do 'X' then 'X' might happen. If I do 'X' first what about the rest of the list?
What if I miss an opportunity if I am focusing on 'X'?
What does the choice to do 'X' say about my priorities?
About me as a person?
I should be....
It's paralysis by analysis.
Fight, flight or freeze
For a long time I thought survival mode resulted in one of two responses - fight or flight. When presented with challenging circumstances, we can decide to stay and face it or exit from the situation. Then I discovered the third 'F-word'. Freeze.
Freeze is when you feel so overwhelmed by a situation you do nothing. True, it can reflect an empowered choice to not take action but, it is when this 'freeze' is rooted in fear, that we need to be aware.
Sometimes the freeze isn't immediately obvious. If we fill our days with 'other tasks', it is easy to convince ourselves that we are being productive. We can get caught up in doing for the sake of doing and neglecting the things that truly need our attention.
Perhaps it's time for prioritisation.
Or are you procrastinating? Inaction is still a decision but, if remaining in a state of inaction feels uneasy to you, question why that might be. Is it because the action feels boring and time-consuming? Or is it because you are delaying your success? Your happiness? Does contentment seem like an abstract concept?
So often we can feel like our choices are being removed due to circumstance but, through taking considered action where we can, it is possible to regain a sense of control or, at the very least, feel involved in the process. It's time to change the temperature.
How to Defrost
One approach you can take is to write it out. Everything that is swimming around in your mind onto a page. No judgement, no editing, purely a head emptying exercise.
Then, divide these thoughts into categories - family, work, relationships, money. Choose headings that make sense to you.
Take a look at each category. Which needs attention first? Go with your instinct, don't overthink it.
How time is used is a reflection of priorities. On the list of things, how many relate to the requirements of others? Are you a priority? Look at the list and be honest with yourself - how badly do you want these things? Do you actually want them?
Now decide which one thing in this category would have the biggest impact. What is the first smallest action you can take towards that thing? Set a deadline for completion. For that one action. Nothing else. One thing at a time, one step at a time. It's all about momentum. Before you know it, you're moving again.
Let it go
Maybe you prefer to talk things out. Find someone you trust and ask if they will be your sounding board. But, again, be honest with yourself and about what you want from this interaction. Is it advice or just to be heard? Do you just want reassurance or to share accountability?
The truth is, you already know what action you need to take. So another option is just to trust yourself. Commit to an action and take it having faith that, no matter the outcome, you will handle it - including success.
Wishing Only Love,