If this sounds like you, this little story might help. Once upon a time, a monk who, walking along a mountain path encountered a man-eating tiger. Seeing a vine growing on the cliff face just below his path, the monk leaps off the edge grabbing hold of the vine. The vine begins to loosen and in the frozen moment before his fall and death, the monk notices a strawberry growing in the cliff face next to his vine. His last words before his death are, “What a magnificent strawberry, I think I’ll eat it.”
This story illustrates being totally in the moment. For the monk, there was no past, no future, no tigers, no cliffs; there was only that pristine moment filled with an appreciation of that magnificent strawberry. As you practice letting go of your doubts, fears, and negatives, you put yourself in a position of noticing the wonderful strawberries that populate your world. Living more in the moment takes practice and patience, but the payoff is enormous. You will begin to grow in confidence and self-trust. And once you’re no longer living with chronic anticipatory fear and worry, you can risk letting go of any struggle and become totally engrossed in watching a sunset, listening to an opera, playing with your children, or soaking in a warm bath.
When you think of a turtle, what comes to mind? Its shell, right? When life gets too rough for turtles, they just pull inside their old shells and wait for better times. Humans don’t have shells, but sometimes they act as though they do. Anxiety and depression can encourage turtle behavior. For the overly anxious person, pulling into a shell of avoidance may provide an effective vacation from chronic or intense stress, and for the beleaguered, depressed person, crawling into a shell can provide a sanctuary that makes the intolerable tolerable.
All turtle experiences have one thing in common: they allow you to retreat from some aspect of life where you feel a loss of control. Once in your shell, you feel protected and secure, in control. When used occasionally to recharge your psychic batteries, turtle behavior can actually be beneficial. Unfortunately, an innocent tendency to “kick back” and regroup, especially when combined with insecure thinking, can progress into a serious habit of avoiding life’s demands.
#avoidance #insecurity #selfcoaching
Imagine that you’re on your patio. You notice a cute little pigeon milling about, pecking and minding its own business. You toss it a few crumbs from a sandwich you were eating. The next day you go out to your patio and within minutes your little pigeon buddy reappears–with a companion. Enthusiastically, you throw out a few more crumbs. By the end of the week you’re inundated with hundreds of pigeons leaving your once pristine patio a shamble of feathers, droppings, and a cacophony of cooing. You ask, “What should I do?”
The simple answer is, “Stop feeding the pigeons!”
If you allow reflexive, knee-jerk, insecure thinking to flock into your life with needless worry, fear, or negativity, then you’re feeding the pigeons of insecurity. And if you insist on feeding your insecurity, the distasteful truth is that you will suffer. From now on, keep the image of the pigeons in mind every time you find yourself spinning with insecurity-driven thinking, then remind yourself to, “Stop feeding the pigeons!”
It’s a mistake to think that being courageous means you’re fearless. The courageous person doesn’t eliminate fear, he/she manages it.
A line from the comic strip Pogo read, “We have seen the enemy and he is us.” Take heart, because in life it is not adversity, hardship, or even bad luck that is our enemy—it is us! Insecurity, doubt, fear, and negativity are the enemy in us. Trust, confidence, hope, and optimism are the heroic in us. Which side will you fight for?
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