The other day I was sharing with my own life coach how my current project has turned into a mountain. I was overwhelmed. I felt stuck.
“It will never be done by my deadline. I had to add over 20 additional time-consuming tasks to my list. Now I have to push my whole schedule back. I am forced to do so many other things I hadn’t planned.”
And on and on.
She noticed the drama in the way I was talking and brought it to my attention.
I continued to tell her, “But, those are just facts. It’s true. I can’t move on until I have those additional tasks done. I’ll never finish by my deadline. I have no choice. Those are just the facts.
She said they were not the facts.
I have a choice.
Nobody is forcing me.
I don’t have to do the 20 additional tasks if I choose not to.
It’s not a mountain. It is just a list.
We all go through this! As a certified Life Coach, people share things with me. Often, these things are causing them a lot of suffering.
These facts seem SO TRUE to them they can’t see any other option. I call this their “story.”
In the moment if feels so true to them. Just like in my example, it seemed so factual to me. I was just telling my coach the facts.
In the moment, when things seem overwhelming, a relationship seems hopeless, or your task list seems never-ending, just STOP for a moment. Take a deep breath.
Ask the question, “What else could be true?”
Then, separate yourself from your situation.
Take another deep breath.
Ask, “What else could be true right now? What if what I’m believing isn’t even true?”
It’s eye-opening. It helps you open up the potential, open up the possibility, that the thoughts you are thinking might not be the only way to look at your situation.
My client, Ruby, believed she was terrible at making decisions. Her lack of decision-making ability was the reason for her disorganized home.
I asked her what if that belief, that she is terrible at making decisions, isn’t even true?
I asked her, “What else could be true about your ability to make decisions?”
What if you ARE good at making decisions?
I started asking her what an organized person would do with a particular piece of paper. She went on to tell me exactly what an organized person would do. Wow! She knew what decisions to make!
Then, I asked her about her job. She told me she had won a special award before she retired. Making decisions was vital in her job. She was seeing it was possible that she could actually be good at making decisions.
What else is true? We explored more areas of her life where she is good at making decisions?
She’s actually great at making decisions around menu planning and grocery shopping,
She started to see how she was actually GOOD at making decisions.
Her old belief was never even true.
This whole time she believed she was terrible at making decisions.
Her story kept her stuck.
And this story that she told herself wasn’t even true.
But she had always believed it. Why?
When she believed her story, the result she got was disorganization.
What is it for you?
Think of some area of your life where you feel stuck.
Maybe you don’t feel connected with your husband.
Maybe you have a goal but you don’t know where to start.
What about thinking you don’t have enough time?
Or, you think your sister-in-law is rude and she needs to change.
Maybe you think you don’t do enough in your Christian walk.
What is your belief?
First, pray and ask the Lord to help you see His truth.
Often our sin, our pride, keeps us holding on to OUR story – the things we think are FACTS. Holding on to these beliefs is what’s causing our suffering and anger and pain and resentment. It’s keeping us stuck in the story, stuck from moving on, forgiving, being kind, growing, etc.
Ask God to give you a new perspective. What is His truth? How could the truth be the opposite of what you are seeing now?
The truth will set you free. Seek it out.
Then, ask yourself, “What is the opposite?”
Take your belief, your story, and ask your brain, “What is the opposite? Please, find me examples of how the opposite is true.”
When Ruby thought she wasn’t good at making decisions, we looked for the opposite – evidence that she WAS good.
If you feel disconnected with your spouse, find ways you ARE connected to your spouse.
When you think your sister-in-law is rude, find ways she is nice. Or, change the focus to yourself and find ways you are rude.
Be open to God working in the situation.
Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way. Psalm 139:23-24
Surrender the situation to Him. Be open to His truth.
If you want help talking through a situation in your own life where you feel stuck, sign up for a free call with me here.
Tracy Hoth, Simply Squared Away