I love metaphors.
I find when working with people that metaphors are so much easier to grasp, especially when we’re working with really fuzzy concepts that don’t have a physical way to grasp onto them.
So I use metaphors ALL the time with my clients.
Sometimes they’re silly, sometimes more serious, some a little gruesome, and yet what they all have in common is the uncanny ability to lead someone to an “aha” moment or a “huh, I’ve never seen it that way before.”
Today’s metaphor comes to you from a bit of a spiral I recently felt myself in.
Have you ever been in a space where you’re so up in your head with the “what if” talk that you are suddenly a million miles away from where you started? And usually not in a positive light?
I’m right there with you.
It happens to all of us.
And I mean ALL of us.
Even the people who spend their life in the personal development space. We all get caught up in our stuff sometimes.
And when we do, it looks a little something like the little guy in the image above.
The little hamster is running and running and RUNNING and getting NOWHERE.
Our worry and stress and doubt and comparisons and judgments are exactly the same way.
They wear us out AND they don’t get us anywhere.
They don’t accomplish anything for us; aside from making our situation worse.
In fact, sometimes we get so caught up that we don’t even realize it’s happening and hours and days and weeks go by and we continue to become more and more exhausted thinking of worse and worse situations.
What can we do about it?
The first step is actually acknowledging that we’re on the wheel.
We have to notice that we’re spiraling and acknowledge what’s going on, this is not fun my friends.
We have to actually shine a light on the issue.
And then we have a choice.
That’s right, I said it, we actually CHOOSE to continue the path we’re on or change it.
We either choose to continue running around on that little wheel feeling worse OR we can choose to take a deep breath and move on. Hop off. Change the thought. Think of a more positive possibility.
The truth is, we can never predict what is going to happen next and we certainly can’t plan for every possible outcome, because there are an infinite number of possibilities.
People hate it when I tell them it’s a choice to keep feeling stressed and worried (fun fact, I hate acknowledging it myself) and yet, that’s exactly what is happening.
We can allow our thoughts to run wild or we can choose to divert the thought.
Instead of stressing, we can come up with an action step instead.
This can be a tiny step (breathing, thinking of a positive idea, getting off the couch, calling a friend) or a huge action plan (A then B then C…).
What’s important is that we interrupt the spinning wheel.
What have you been running around in your head recently?
What thought has been plaguing you, exhausting you and getting you nowhere?
What are you going to do about it instead?
Just think of that little hamster wearing himself out and remember, that’s you!
Cut yourself some slack, step off the wheel and DO something for yourself.
You’ll thank yourself later.
Breath deep my friend, it’s all going to work out!