Why you aren’t doing that thing you’re supposed to do.
Yeah, that’s a vague title, but what I’m about to tell you applies to everything, so it seemed appropriate.
STRESS is a bitch.
It’s what’s holding you back from taking action or doing the thing that would remove your stress. It’s a vicious cycle, right? Let’s take a deeper look.
We all know that stress shows up in many forms:
- low energy
- health issues
What we don’t talk about is how it actually produces a response in your body that sabotages you. WTF?
Have you ever had to give a presentation to a group of people? You had your notes, you practiced, you knew the content inside and out. You grab the mic, take a breath, and freeze. You’ve suddenly forgotten everything you’ve studied and practiced!
Or when your boss calls on you in a meeting and you can’t think of a response, but 10 seconds later you have a million great answers.
Stress triggers the infamous “fight or flight” (or freeze) response. Later, after the “threat” subsides, solutions to seemingly impossible situations suddenly become simple.
Let’s look at the relationship between the Fight/Flight/Freeze response and why you aren’t taking the action that you need to be taking:
Freezing, or not doing that thing (whatever it might be) is about stress in our bodies. It prevents us from moving on after a stressful event until we’ve found a way to release the stress that’s literally lodged in our bodies, muscles, and cells.
Let’s look at an example. You’re being chased by a dog.
No, not one that looks like this:
But like this:
Within seconds, the amygdala tells your body to release stress hormones making your stress a physical problem, not just a mental one. It’s controlling how you think and how your body and brain function, your creativity, how you react to any situation. Quite literally, when you’re in “fight or flight,” stress is limiting what you’re capable of achieving.
Back to the dog, you’re running like you’ve never run before. You’re only focus is to stay alive. I magically appear next to you and ask you “what should the next step in your business be?” or “What’s one thing you can do today to complete that task?”
Other than saying “WTF?! I’m trying to survive! Leave me alone!” You’d have no response to any of my questions. But, the next day when you’re safe at home and taking a long shower, you have an epiphany and it’s the solution to your problem. Why is that?
It’s more than not having a distraction, it’s that your body wasn’t holding on to stress and you weren’t in “Fight or Flight.” In that shower scene, your brain (especially your frontal lobe which houses your creativity) was operating at full capacity, allowing you to tap into a place of guided action.
So the key to doing that thing you haven’t been doing or finding the answer is to remove the rabid dog from your life. It is almost physically impossible to take guided action when your body and mind are under attack.
So what can you do to shake the rabid dog and get into the hot shower?
Identify the rabid dog. It comes in many forms: a person, a job, a place, a situation, etc.
Spend an hour feeling, releasing, moving and eliminating. For me, that looked like feeling the discomfort, releasing the false belief I had about myself, going for a walk and severing ties from people and situations that held me back. Sounds harsh, but I’d prefer not to live my life running from a wild animal. What about you?
I'd love to hear from you!
What's your rabid dog? What’s your outlet to release it? Comment below.