Avoiding the problem only makes it bigger. It’s time to stop running so you can enjoy your daytime and sleep better tonight.
So you push it away. It’s not exactly like running, but you certainly aren’t facing up to the problem that is smelling up your personality and your relationships like rotting fish.
What’s that smell?
It’s a problem.
Problems stink like rotting flesh until you clean out the wound. So what is it? Did you fail to stand up when you should have? Is that it? Is there a moment of cowardice that’s haunting you?
Or maybe it’s not one specific moment. Maybe it’s that thing you do on a regular basis. Maybe you don’t listen because you’re afraid you won’t be heard.
Whatever the problem, it’s time to face it. But how can you? You’ve become so close to the problem that you can’t see it clearly any more.
Until you define the problem, the problem defines you.
So the next time you feel things going sideways…
Slow down. Pay attention. Ask: what’s going on here? Then write it down, at your earliest opportunity, verbatim.
A verbatim is as close to an exact recounting of what happened as possible. So let’s say you’re in a meeting with your boss. And you feel irritated. And it’s a vague feeling, but because you’re paying attention this time, you can remember what happened, and write it down, verbatim, as soon as possible after the meeting is over: “I said this. She said that.”
Now that you’ve written it down, analyze what happened.
“Oh, okay. When she said ‘why haven’t you produced more this week,’ I felt angry. That’s when I stopped listening.”
The next time this situation comes up, change it. When you feel yourself slipping into that not listening mode, recognize it, and change your behavior. Stay in the conversation, and speak up so she can hear you better. Help her understand your point of view.
This is how problems are solved. Specifically; one step at a time. It takes time and patience, but it’s worth it because you feel better and more in control. And you sleep better at night.
Stop running. Face your problems specifically, one step at a time.
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