Where has the time gone? How can it be that we’ve set the clocks forward but are still seemingly in the throes of Winter—with random snowstorms, sleet, and freezing rain just one cold-front away?
Whether you like the snow or you’re a fan of warmer temperatures – change is coming! It’s inevitable. Stores are advertising sales on spring clothing. Home improvement and organization stores are capitalizing on our seasonal inclination to declare war on home and office clutter.
Dormant things come to life in spring. Dry, brittle ground becomes soft and fertile. It’s not hard to find renewal in our physical surroundings as the grass turns greener and flowers bloom. But what if your mental state hasn’t changed much even after warmer temperatures and additional hours of daylight arrive? What if you feel stuck?
Renewal requires a change of heart and mind – in particular, how we view our lives, our inner thoughts regarding our circumstances and problems, and how we choose to act.
There are 3 common limitations that keep us at a standstill when we want to spring forward into action:
This is the #1 emotion that keeps us immobilized. Fear prevents us from taking risks and trying new things. Obsessing over what could go wrong maintains a position of indecisiveness and inactivity. When self-protection or avoiding the “wrong” choice becomes your primary concern, you will have difficulty finding a fresh perspective on the situation and will remain short-sighted. Ultimately, fear is a dream thief that robs us of our desires.
• A “Rear view” Mindset:
This refers to the tendency to stay stuck in the past. Focusing on negative past experiences – either past hurts by others, or disappointments of some kind—can ultimately turn into a victim mentality. At other times, the opposite is true – we idealize the past. We overemphasize the things that were good, to the point of almost forgetting some of the negative we experienced during that perceived “golden age.”
People procrastinate for different reasons. For some, it’s simply because the task at hand is unpleasant. For others, it’s more about perfectionism and being unable to start until the conditions are right.
No matter the obstacle, there are several steps necessary for helping you move forward. These involve accepting mistakes, grieving losses, owning what you can control, connecting with others, and taking daily/weekly steps toward your goals.
What resources do you need to help you get ready for growth? Next week will explore this question in more depth.
This article is intended for general education purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional counseling or medical care. If you are interested in seeking professional counseling, please call The Stone Foundation at 410-296-2004.
Elicia McIntyre, a licensed clinical social worker, and graduate of Smith College School for Social Work, has 14 years’ experience providing counseling to adults, children and families in the Baltimore-Washington metro area. She has helped clients navigate life transitions, depression, anxiety and relationship difficulties. Elicia helps couples increase emotional intimacy, and foster healthy connections among family members. She has spent the past 3 years traveling nationally and overseas, providing education and intervention to military service members and their families on communication, stress management and building healthy relationships.