Just the other day I was loving how clearly the Dreamstepping process outlines where and how we get stuck when stepping into our dreams. I do love that. Except when I don’t. What I noticed today while reflecting was that I’ve had a recurring ‘to do’ item on my list since the new year and though I know exactly what transition is involved I’m discovering a particularly insidious strategy that my ol’ buddy fear is using to stall me.
Yeah, it was step one on one heck of a Doozy of a new years resolution.
For ages I’ve had the Dream to redevelop a piece of rental property I bought years ago. It’s been a ‘back burner’ dream the kind that I keep quietly simmering in the back of my mind and don’t really ever talk about except perhaps to my closest friends. (And then only with loads of protestations that it’s waaaaaay in the future, still in the ‘someday maybe’ category) Have you noticed that before? That transitioning out of dream-mode and into talking about your dream like it could actually happen is one of the scariest transitions out there? Well, that’s where I’ve been for about 4 weeks now. I know what the step is, I know who I need to talk to I even have the numbers written on a stickie right by my phone but somehow, the days just slip away.
Tricky Fear. Very tricky.
So here’s what I’ve noticed. This feels like a really, really big dream. Worse, it seems complicated, certainly way bigger than I can accomplish without help and worse still I decidedly do not have all the resources I need to complete the projcet. These are all really great ‘rationalizations’ that fear is using to great effect to stop me from picking up the darn phone.
So, here are the fear soothing transition strategies I’ll put to work:
- Set out perfectly clearly, like a script, exactly what I’ll say when I make those calls. Fear seems to amplify itself in an empty space. The more unknown the results of our actions the more likely we are to succumb to it’s wily tactics. A script that takes into account a number of possible results helps us feel safe again.
- Remind myself of all the reasons why my dream is perfectly plausible and a darn good idea too. Fear and appreciation cannot co-exist. Different brain structures entirely are in play when we appreciate. And radically different brain chemistry. If you want to sooth fear, appreciation is hands down the best way to go about it. As an added bonus, the happy state appreciation brings on actually expands our ability to think creatively, laterally, out of the box. If I could bottle appreciation I’m sure it could be a miracle cure.
- Imagine all the diversionary tactics I typically use to not-call and picture myself coming back on task every time. Just a few minutes of practice like this can short circuit hours of diversionary laundry-doing.
- Make it subtly difficult to do anything else. Clear my desk before Monday morning and sit the phone square in the middle of the empty space. Unplug my wireless router so I can’t check my email or surf until I do the deed. Slipping into auto-pilot is so easy to do and so mindlessly comfortable that we’re often hours into a distraction before we realize we haven’t tackled job one yet. Anything that brings us back to awareness, any disruption in the routine will help us re-trigger our beleaguered will power and get us over the hump of inertia.
Good strategies all. I’ll let you know how I make out. And if any of those strategies work for you, or spark ideas of your own, let me know!