Most of us try to correct things as we see them. Perhaps it’s picking up a piece of trash and disposing of it or writing down a to do when the idea pops into our head. It usually satisfies our brain, and we can move on to the next thing. But, sometimes things are more challenging or we simply don’t know what to do so we wait…….and we wait…..until something changes or an outcome happens that limits our options and makes the decision for us. While waiting can help to open up options and reduce the likelihood of us acting impulsively, it doesn’t really do anything for the interim distress we are feeling during the waiting period.
It is important to remember that that while we are “waiting” we are still suffering. Perhaps it’s a frustrating thought, or a sad feeling, or it could be a physical discomfort. Regardless, it is painful. So, what does waiting really get us if it doesn’t alleviate the suffering. Probably less than we want to admit. Doing “something” can often provide a relief, even micro doses, that can promote hope and subsequently motivation to continue to explore change.
For example, perhaps you are unable to foresee an outcome to a decision regarding employment. Even exploring alternate options or employers can open you up to considering a change. Perhaps you are struggling with chronic pain and haven’t found a resolution. Embarking on small activities or new ideas can offer distraction and allow you to see the possibilities of an improved quality of life.
We often get stuck in the idea that we need to complete a task or “fix” a problem completely in order to get started. This is not really true. The first step is usually the most difficult because it involves some risk, but the next ones are just forward motion and can build on one another. Before you know it, you are somewhere you didn’t think you could be. So the next time you are feeling overwhelmed or not sure of what to do next…..just start something and let your movement be the beginning of change. For more info on getting started click here.
Stephanie Phillips, LCMHCS, NCC, CCTP is a psychotherapist & owner of The Mindly Group, PLLC.