• This was an excellent prompting for me right now. I find that the winter doldrums set in and I have a hard time getting motivated to be active. It’s much more appealing (especially for those of us in the frozen north) to curl up in a blanket and drink hot chocolate while watching reruns of “The Big Bang Theory.” There must be some primal gene that signals our brain to want to hibernate. I will fight to overcome the “strange paralysis.” Thanks, Lisette!

    From Trudy Simmons
    January 24, 2013

Are you stuck in the problem?

Are you stuck in the problem? Do you have a problem and all you can see are road blocks that prevent you from solving it? You have a string of excuses why this and that won’t work. You’re afraid or too lethargic to try anything? Then it’s time you stepped into the solution.

Within each problem there are various solutions. However, we often get stuck in the problem. A strange paralysis takes over and we can’t seem to move in any direction or even see a way out for that matter. Normally it’s fear, complacency or pessimism that holds us back from positive change. Often, we nurture an addictive relationship with our excuses. Does this sound familiar?

A phrase I am forever using is, “Sounds like you’re stuck in the problem and not in the solution.” So how do you fight fear and paralysis in order to get into the solution? You start by listening. As you discuss the problem with others, really start to hear your responses. If most of your sentences begin with, “Yes, but…” “Well I can’t because…” “But if I do that…” then you’re in the shoot-it-down, default mode. Change your language. As suggestions are offered simply say, “I’m going to think about that” or “That’s a possibility.” A subtle change in your verbal response creates an energy of openness that can shift dynamics from the impossible to the possible.

An old-fashioned brain-storming session on paper is also a good strategy. Just let the possibilities fly without judgment. Doing so will loosen up those tight constraints we often impose on our brain. Then, look at what you’ve written and see if there is one small change or action you know you can take toward a solution. It doesn’t have to be an action intended to solve the entire problem.  Even the smallest achievement can cure the paralysis and get the ball rolling.

The important thing is to recognize your reluctance to even entertain possibilities or your stubborn attachment to hopelessness. Awareness is the first lifeline out of the problem.

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