« 53 - Starkey And Gladstone | Main | So, You Wish To Write A Book? »

Through Lattice Windows: How To Know If What You Are Doing Is Hurting You?

"We often hear that change is uncomfortable and that we should give things time to settle down. But how do we know if the discomfort is healthy? It could be a signal, warning us of impending disaster,'' writes Leanne Hunt.

So you're moving along this track, having taken a decision and ventured into new territory. Things are a little rocky and you're wondering whether the path you have chosen is going to lead to freedom or to greater captivity.

We often hear that change is uncomfortable and that we should give things time to settle down. But how do we know if the discomfort is healthy? It could be a signal, warning us of impending disaster. Here are some questions to ponder if you are in this space:

How To Know If What You Are Doing Is Hurting You

1. Is "compromise a dirty word for you?
The word itself is neutral, meaning "a situation in which the parties in an argument each give up something in order to reach agreement". ". However, if it has negative connotations for you, chances are that you have given up too much and now feel cheated.

2. Are you feeling judged by others?
Some people are more inclined to voice their opinions than others. If you are bothered by the amount of criticism you hear from those around you, or by the suspicion that they are not saying what they actually think, you will certainly be feeling misunderstood and condemned.

3. Do you feel tricked by life?
Life is, by definition, the experience of a myriad organisms existing simultaneously, with no common goal other than ensuring their own survival. However, if you feel that life has conspired to disempower you, or that the world is against you, it may indicate a serious problem. Your victim mentality probably leaves you feeling hopeless and extremely vulnerable.

4. Are you walking on egg-shells, not fully committing to your new behaviour?
People who feel cheated, misunderstood, condemned, hopeless and vulnerable end up becoming paralysed because they are afraid of making things worse. If your actions are half-hearted or overly cautious, you have fallen into the habit of second-guessing yourself, which is intensely frustrating. It is as if half of you is trying to do one thing while the other half is trying to do another. The Bible calls this "serving two masters" and teaches that it is a recipe for disaster.

5. Do you feel that you might be letting yourself down?
Given that you only live once, it is important to use each day well and keep on "adding to your heart's treasure". If you are disturbed by the niggling thought that you might be wasting time, squandering opportunities or hanging out with the wrong sort of people, don't ignore it. Today could be the day you change everything. For the sake of your happiness, avoid getting to the point where you look back and wish you had acted sooner.

If, at this point, you are aware of anxiety, anger or shame about what you have been doing, take a moment to let the awareness sink in. It's important to realise that feelings of discontent need not translate into immediate action. We all have a different tolerance for discomfort, and there are few brave souls who willingly dive headlong into radical change. Most of us apply our learnings about self gradually, testing the waters, checking for negative feedback, calculating the cost and steadily increasing our faith as time goes by.

Still, once we have owned the fact that our behaviour feels like a negative compromise, the onus is on us to do something about it. While it is unpleasant to be hurt by other people's judgement,the sense of being victimised or the experience of self-inflicted frustration, it is far worse to be hurt by self-betrayal. Self-betrayal is the act of consciously shunning what we deeply desire, and doing so consistently over many years. It is almost like a policy of self-sabotage.

We are much like plants when it comes to personal growth. Our survival instinct urges us to aspire to new heights, seek openings, find nourishment and refreshment, and bear much fruit. if what we are doing is hampering that process, it is like stunting an otherwise vigorous and healthy specimen. The very best we can do for ourselves is to courageously pursue what our hearts desire, even if it takes us into difficult territory, because it is there that we will blossom into our full splendour.

Categories

Creative Commons License
This website is licensed under a Creative Commons License.