Angst at work
I do a lot of work around difficult situations. Situations that people find themselves in that are time and energy consuming..
The other day, someone asked me ..”Well, what would you do in this situation?“
I’ve been pondering the answer to that (because I get asked it a lot). And I think there are three things you can do..
Some simple techniques that can make it easier
Can I do anything to move this forward?
Ask yourself (in the cold light of day, away from the heat of the emotion), is there anything specific I can do now that will move this forward? Is there a phone call I can make? Do I need to talk to someone to move this forward? Is there some specific action I can do or make happen that will change this situation?
If yes. Consider whether it really will move the situation forward. If so, do it.
Let it go
If not. Let it go. This article has a wonderful take on truly letting things go (not just letting them pile up inside). I find this one hard I have to confess. I spend too much time asking myself “but why?”.. Really, at the end of the day, many things (and people) don’t make sense. And won’t make sense no matter how much analysis and time is spent on them. The answer that all parents perfect, “just because” is sometimes a good answer. Sometimes it is what it is, and you don’t need to like it, but you do need to accept that there may not be anything you can do to change it. (As an aside — often, as soon as you genuinely and completely let go of the angst around something, it seems to resolve itself on its own. Life can be funny like that).
The ShoeBox Concept
Use the shoebox concept. The idea being that you have shoeboxes in your closet and the difficult ideas, people, situations etc each have their own shoebox. You park the situation in the shoebox, put the lid on it, and put it back on the shelf until you’re ready and able to reexamine the situation. Then, you bring it down, open it up and ask yourself the two questions above.
It’s so simple. But a great way of making sure that situations and people that are complex or complicated don’t take up more airspace or thought or emotion than they need to.
What do you think? Have you tried this? Would it work for you?