Thieves: Entitlement, resentment, and 'having no time'

RedFox

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Following on from the Adulthood and responsibility. Becoming - life vs death thread, these where two of the topics that brought me to see what the 'child mode' looks like.
For those that have read the narcissism books, you will recognise a lot of the traits as narcissistic.

Narcissism is ultimately what happens when you get stuck in the undeveloped 'child mode' and carry it into adulthood.

Entitlement and resentment for me go hand in hand, and one of the biggest narratives is around going to work and day to day responsibilities.
I felt resentful towards having to have a job, take care of and tidy up after myself.
I felt entitled to Not have to do any of those things!
Lastly, I felt I had no time/energy to do what I wanted - and the blame firmly rested on all the things I resented! When it came to giving to others I always felt "I have no time for this" and would secretly recent them asking.
What's more, I wasn't even aware of it consciously. On reflection, this is how I felt growing up and going to school.

I have come to consider each of these things as thieves, who if I indulge steal time and energy from me and all those around me!

So lets have a look at where these things come from, and what can be done about them.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-therapist-is-in/201103/10-steps-letting-go-resentment
10 Steps to Letting Go of Resentment
Replaying the past over and over has psychic and physical costs.
[]
Resentment refers to the mental process of repetitively replaying a feeling, and the events leading up to it, that goads or angers us. {It can also make us feel powerless and stuck/trapped. They 'repeated playback' is the brain attempting (through automatic unconscious mechanisms) to resolve the problem and find a solution. Doing so automatically never does!} We don't replay a cool litany of facts in resentment; we re-experience and relive them in ways that affect us emotionally, physiologically, and spiritually in very destructive ways. The inability to overcome resentment {A failure to overcome the problem your brain is trying to resolve by replaying it} probably constitutes the single most devastating impediment to repairing a disintegrating intimate connection, family rift, or severed friendship. {Or taking responsibility for your life}

Although resentments may be provoked by recent, specific angry conflicts between two people, they usually encapsulate an enmity that goes much further back. Your parent, child, sibling or partner may accuse you of a recent snub or slight but the venom is more than likely fueled by years of other imagined or real episodes of disrespect or disregard. For example, your spouse may become enraged by a broken promise or breach of attentiveness, but if they can't let go of it, it's probably ignited by a long history of neglect, exasperation, and frustration. Your parent or sibling may accuse you of forgetting an event like their birthday, but again, the most recent accusation is just the trigger for these feelings. The strong reaction of resentment almost never appears to be warranted by what sets it off. It's always the product of a long history of backed-up unhappiness. What causes the unhappiness that underlies resentment?

What we feel people did to us that was unnecessarily mean, hurtful, and thoughtless.
What people in our lives did not do for us that we feel they should have done.
When we feel the people in our lives have not done enough for us.

{In short, emotional invalidation that becomes trapped at the point it happened, unable to understand that time has moved on. We need tools to process those feelings, to free us from that trap.}

Resentments embody a basic choice to refuse to forgive, an unwillingness to let bygones be bygones and bury the hatchet. We review and rehash our painful past, even as we profess to want to let go of it. We do so because we believe the illusion that by belaboring our resentment, we will somehow achieve the justice we believe we are due. We cling to a futile need to be "right," which overrides the capacity to heal and be at peace with ourselves. We hang on to perceived offences because we don't know any other way of coming to grips with painful feelings of hurt, rejection, and abandonment. We need to learn to let go of resentment, because living with it can only bring us chronic punishment and pain, and prevent us from building up other relationships based on love, nurture, and support. Letting go of a resentment is not a gift to the person you resent. It is, rather, a gift to yourself.

Clinging to your angry, hurt feelings about someone to whom you once felt close will only hinder your capacity to move on in your life and learn to deal with the wounds. Letting go of your resentments, whether it leads to healing the rift, or to wholeness and peace within yourself, or both, is integral to not letting your past interfere with your present. Some time ago I read something about resentment which appears to have been written anonymously. It's worthwhile reading:

"The moment you start to resent a person, you become his slave {Or situation, such as needing to work to survive}. He controls your dreams, absorbs your digestion, robs you of your peace of mind and goodwill, and takes away the pleasure of your work. He ruins your religion and nullifies your prayers. You cannot take a vacation without his going along. He destroys your freedom of mind and hounds you wherever you go. There is no way to escape the person you resent. He is with you when you are awake. He invades your privacy when you sleep. He is close beside you when you drive your car and when you are on the job. You can never have efficiency or happiness. He influences even the tone of your voice. He requires you to take medicine for indigestion, headaches, and loss of energy. He even steals your last moment of consciousness before you go to sleep. So, if you want to be a slave, harbor your resentments!"

Poisoned Mind, Poisoned Body

Take a look again at that quote: "Living with resentment is like taking poison and expecting the other guy to get sick." This makes vivid one of the most crippling aspects of resentment—one you may be experiencing right now. If you're thinking about ways to get even and prove to another person that you're right and they're wrong, you need to remember that the person who is the focus of your animosity may be feeling just fine, enjoying life, and perhaps not at all troubled by any of the interactions that are renting space in your brain. Ultimately, resentment hurts you far more than the person toward whom you bear a grudge.

Fortunately, there are ways to get out of resentment's crippling grip. There are alternative, life-affirming, and healthy responses that will help you achieve freedom from obsessing about past injustices. There are choices you may not realize are available to you. How can you learn to get out from under these toxic feelings? Take the following suggestions to heart and you'll be on your way.

10 Steps to Letting Go of Resentment

* Approach resentment as the addictive state of mind it is.
* Realize that you are using resentment to replicate old dramas and acknowledge that you cannot change the past.
* Examine how your resentment may come from mentally confusing people in your present life with people from your past.
* Acknowledge that you cannot control those who have rejected you.
* Recognize that your resentment gives you only illusions of strength. Instead, highlight and validate your real strength and power.
* Learn to identify signals that provoke resentment. Apply the acronym HALT, widely used in 12-step programs: Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired.
* Practice cognitive behavioral techniques to stop indulging in resentment. Put a thought between your feelings of resentment and indulging in ruminating about them.
* Acknowledge your part in allowing the abuse to occur, forgive yourself for that, and make a decision to not let it occur again.
* Declare an amnesty with the person you resent and with yourself.
* Forgive when you can, and practice willful and deliberate forgetfulness when you cannot, keeping in mind that these acts are gifts to yourself rather than capitulation to the people you resent.

So we can see that resentment comes from past hurts and rejection. Along those lines, any time you feel resentment you can use that as a direct line to those past hurt, in order to be with the feelings and heal them. This is also related to boundary issues and standing up for your own existence.
Resentment if healed gets replaced with a healthy understanding of what should and should not be realistically expected of you from others. That is, you know if the boss is asking too much or not rather than being clouded by resentment from past wounds.

I won't quote it all, but the following sums up where entitlement comes from nicely.

http://www.transformationalwriting.co.uk/blog/entitlement-mentality-is-it-caused-by-a-lack-of-emotional-growth
Entitlement Mentality: Is It Caused By A Lack Of Emotional Growth?

There are many problems in today’s world and one problem is the much talked about entitlement mentality {i.e. Narcissism}. And this is a mentality that is seen amongst people of all ages and backgrounds.

Two people who have this mentality could be observed and what they believe they are entitled to may vary. And this is because the entitlement mentality exists on a spectrum and therefore different people are going to believe that they are entitled to different things.

But what this mentality comes down to is the fact that one will believe that they deserve to have what they want or what other people are having. And because they want it, they believe they should have it and it won’t matter if they have earned it or not. {Which also carries with it being unable to truely value things, people, relationships}

In their eyes, the fact they exist means that the world should give them exactly what they want and whenever they want it. And although this mentality is dysfunctional, it is often seen as normal and this is because it has become part of the fabric of society.
[..]
Childhood

During the first months of one’s life, they will have felt as though they were not physically separate from others. Their sense of empowerment and control came through seeing the people around them as extensions of themselves.

And during this time, one wouldn’t have had the ability to delay gratification; so if they wanted something, they would have wanted it straight away. To wait for something would have been incredibly painful. This would have related to the need to be fed and held for instance.

At this age, just about everything they wanted would have been provided by their caregivers and it wouldn’t have taken long for them to provide it. And as one was completely dependent, they would have been entitled to have what they needed from their caregivers.

[..]
The Real World

The above is just rough a guide of what will happen if one is given the right nurturing and is therefore able to grow out of their entitlement mentality. However, while the above is the ideal, it is not something that always takes place.

And then due to a lack of nurturing, one will physically grow up but their level of emotional development won’t really change. So if one feels like a child, and hasn’t emotional separated from their caregivers and realised their sense of personal power, then it is not much of a surprise that they still believe they are entitled to have whatever they want.

Emotionally Stuck

Their perception of themselves and others hasn’t changed since they were a child, and so they are still going to expect the same treatment from others. If they received the nurturing that they needed growing up, then they might have grown out of this mentality.

The entitlement mentality is then something that can appear in people who didn’t receive what they need to receive while they were growing. And as this mentality is supported in today’s world and there is very little, if any, focus on ones emotional development, it is unlikely to end any time soon.


Awareness

If one is in a position where they feel as though they are emotionally stuck, then it might be necessary for them to seek the assistance of a therapist or a healer.

The following is a blog from a Christian perspective on entitlement.
_http://anitalucasfreestyle.com/2015/01/04/entitlement-is-a-thief/
Entitlement is a Thief

Proverbs 18:9 “One who is slack in his work is brother to one who destroys.”

When trying to find a picture of laziness and idleness I came across this picture of our doggies. A lazy snoring dog is cute. A lazy snoring human being is not so cute unless that person is a helpless infant. That is the one time in our life that it is our job to sleep. That time of our life is the only time we are to be fed and provided for by others. We are to sleep the majority of the day to conserve energy for growing. Growing up to work. Yes we were created to move and to work.

This week my husband and I took vacation from our regular jobs to work on projects around our home. It has left us feeling very satisfied and accomplished. We actually are looking forward to seeing the final results of all of the small accomplishments compiled together in one large finished project.

We come into this world being owed nothing. Really what have we done to deserve any sort of hand outs, gifts, or greatness? God owes us nothing. This is the truth that our selfish human nature wants to deny. We puff ourselves up with the lie that we deserve all things that are good without putting forth any effort or struggle. This lie deceives us and robs us of the satisfaction that hard work brings. Hard work and tough times develop character. Hard work develops an appreciation for the hard work and sacrifice of others. Hard work develops endurance, perseverance, and strength within us. Only hard work can bring the satisfaction of seeing our own toil and strife turn to something that is good. This idea of entitlement is the greatest thief and form of slavery this country and world has known. It is a terrible lie that destroys individuals, families, towns, churches, and countries.

There are many verses about hard work, idleness, and sacrifice in the Bible. It definitely does a soul good to study them. It has been hard for me to narrow them down to just a couple for this blog.

Proverbs 13:4 “The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.”

Now take a moment to observe your reaction to reading the above blog post.
How does it make you feel?

Do you feel resentful? Do you feel you don't have time to consider it? Do you feel that it doesn't apply to you? Does it remind you of parents you Know where wrong!? Do you feel trapped? Do you feel justified in adding it to the pile of reasons you are such a failure in life (beating yourself up)?

If you feel any of the above (or anything similar), then it is a good indication that you have trapped emotional wounds that need healing.
Without grasping this, the thieves will continue to have free reign on your time and energy, and the time and energy of those around you!

http://www.coachwiththegreenhat.com/the-biggest-lie-i-have-no-time/
The biggest lie: “I have no time.”

If you want to change anything significant in your life you need to nail this lie.

Whether it is exercising more, changing the direction of your business or becoming a better leader to your team, most of us need to challenge this most insidious of self-limiting beliefs that what is stopping us is a lack of time.

I’ve written before that I believe effective time management is the very first thing needed to be a true leader – without that skill you just have over-busy, stressed managers.

So when can we tell we’re lying to ourselves?


The clues might come with thoughts or statements that begin “I can’t because…” Psychologists call this a defence.

Malan-Triangle-of-Conflict-with-text-644x483.jpg


When you say you don’t have time, what are you really anxious about?

As a coach I immediately would be curious about what lies beneath this defence. Rather than focusing on the defence and responding with “logical” counter- arguments, the room for real change lies in discovering what anxiety is being avoided.

What lies beneath is always emotional

So focusing on behavioural changes will only get you so far. Sustainable success will be achieved if you work out what is really holding you back.

It might be that you are afraid of the conflict that could arise if you said “no”. It might be that you feel comforted by being busy, as deep down you equate this with being in demand, being wanted or important.

You might be using busy-ness to avoid the tough stuff

Which might be tough action, tough conversations, tough self-reflection.

Five steps to reclaim your time

1. Learn to live above the line

Most people are familiar with the Steven Covey model that asks you to categorise your tasks into important or urgent, with the aim of reducing the amount of reactive tasks – the urgent ones – and replacing them with important tasks that are proactive.

Covey-Time-Management-Matrix-644x483.png


In discussing the Covey model, most of my clients rush to claim that they can’t drop any of the urgent tasks. And of course this is true. The only way you make real changes is to start ditching the stuff below the line.

2. Identify your comfort activities

Your comfort activity might be taking on too much. Such as attending high profile meetings, rather than spending time developing your team. Or it might be aiming to empty your email inbox or make endless revisions to PowerPoint decks and reports.

Or it might be putting things off by surfing the internet or checking social media.

3. Check your mood

Your comfort activities will be driven by an unconscious desire to feel better, to avoid the anxiety of the tough stuff. It is what psychologists call “giving in to feel good”. So keep a diary of your activities, but also track your mood.

Each time you find yourself tempted by your comfort activity, ask yourself: “what negative things will happen if I avoid what I should be doing and do what I’m used to doing?”

4. Work on your focus

Build mindfulness activities into your daily routine. Many of my clients report making clearer decisions with more confidence on days where they have practiced mindfulness.

Regular mindfulness exercises will help pre-empt the emotional sabotage of your comfort activities and can be used to refocus at moments of tension and stress during your day.

5. Practice saying “no”

People pleasers who over-commit or have difficulty ending meetings on time in an unconscious desire to keep everyone happy need to speak up.

If your big problem is too many back to back meetings arranged by others you could start by scheduling your meetings to start at quarter past or quarter to the hour. You will need to develop a habit of explaining that you cannot make certain meeting at all or you will need to send someone else.

The step too far

This last step is undoubtedly the most anxiety-inducing, which is why it is the step least likely to be taken. But, whether you are responsible only for your own actions or accountable for the actions of others, it is the true leadership test. It is the final step in nailing the lie that you have no time.

We can see that all these things come from the same place, emotional avoidance.
What ways do you avoid feeling uncomfortable things?

Some closing thoughts - avoidance of feeling tends to turn into addictions:

_http://www.raptitude.com/2011/05/procrastination-is-not-laziness/
[..]
Perfectionism breeds pessimism

It was a major revelation to me when I recognized a year ago that despite my preference for and sensitivity to the positive aspects of life, I am a pessimist — I have come to give potential downsides far more weight than potential upsides. This means that pushing projects ahead is — on the balance — a bad deal, because unless I’m pretty damn perfect there is much more pain to be had in doing that than pleasure.

This is obviously an inaccurate presumption, and I’m intellectually aware of that, but when it comes down to confronting it “in the field” it’s amazing how tricky the mind can be. I have a lifetime of habits routing me away from striving for prizes in life, and towards protecting myself.

For a procrastinator of my kind, perfection (or something negligibly close to it) thereby becomes the only result that allows one to be comfortable with himself. A procrastinator becomes disproportionately motivated by the pain of failure. So when you consider taking anything on, the promise of praise or benefit from doing something right are overshadowed by the (disproportionately greater) threat of getting something wrong. Growing up under such high expectations, people learn to associate imperfection or criticism with outright failure, and failure with personal inadequacy.

A person who does not have this neurosis might wish they didn’t make a mistake, whereas the neurotic procrastinator perceives the error as being a reflection of their character. In other words, most people suffer mainly the practical consequences of mistakes (such as finishing with a lower grade, or having to redo something) with only minor self-esteem implications, while neurotic procrastinators perceive every mistake they make as being a flaw in them.

So what they are motivated to do is to avoid finishing anything, because to complete and submit work is subject yourself (not just your work) to scrutiny. To move forward with any task is to subject yourself to risks that appear to the subconscious to be positively deadly because part of you is convinced that it is you that is at stake, not just your time, resources, patience, options or other secondary considerations. To the fear centre of your brain, by acting without guarantees of success (and there are none) you really are facing annihilation.

A backlog of avoided tasks accumulates, and each one represents another series of threats to your self-worth should you tackle them. So the fear mounts, knowing that there is a minefield of threats between you and the fulfillment of your responsibilities. You feel like you must do something and can’t do that thing simultaneously, which can only lead to a burning resentment of the people or forces that put you in that impossible place — your employer, your society, or yourself. A victim mentality emerges.

Because it is rewarding on the short term, procrastination eventually takes on the form of an addiction to the temporary relief from these deep-rooted fears. Procrastinators get an extremely gratifying “hit” whenever they decide to let themselves off the hook for the rest of the day, only to wake up to a more tightly squeezed day with even less confidence.

Once a pattern of procrastination is established, it can be perpetuated for reasons other than the fear of failure. For example, if you know you have a track record of taking weeks to finally do something that might only take two hours if you weren’t averse to it, you begin to see every non-simple task as a potentially endless struggle. So a modest list of 10-12 medium-complexity to-do’s might represent to you an insurmountable amount of work, so it feels hopeless just to start one little part of one task. This hones a hair-trigger overwhelm response, and life gets really difficult really easily.
[..]

On facing and healing the emotional wounds:

_http://www.boxingscene.com/motivation/29761.php
[..] 12. Living serenely does not mean that we deny problems or avoid the responsibility for solving them. Just the opposite-we find the clarity and presence of mind to deal with the issues of daily living in positive constructive ways. You cannot control all the circumstances in life; however, you can learn from them. You can choose to allow every circumstance to make you stronger, wiser, more knowledgeable, more skillful, and more loving.

You can control your ability to design your life and your philosophies. A philosophy of personal responsibility allows you to live from an inner core of integrity. It will bring a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment.

Further reading:

_http://growingleaders.com/blog/seven-emotions-follow-sense-entitlement/

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/in-practice/201303/9-types-entitlement-tendencies-and-how-overcome-them

_http://personalexcellence.co/blog/procrastination-lies/

_http://www.transformationaltimes.com/perspective-and-nourishment/79-gratitude-vs-entitlement

_https://www.bigquestionsonline.com/content/what-must-we-overcome-culture-or-individuals-gratitude-flourish

_https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140530211632-12731184-entitlement-versus-personal-responsibility

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/anger-in-the-age-entitlement/200804/entitlement-and-responsibility

_http://www.studentpulse.com/articles/362/you-owe-me-examining-a-generation-of-entitlement

https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Personal_responsibility

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_responsibility
 

nicklebleu

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Thanks, RedFox for this nice collection of thoughts!

I particularly liked the "no time" section, which is one of my false beliefs. When truly it is rather a misappropriation of the time, how limited it may be.

So I will try to focus "living above the line" more, which eminently makes sense! I know that I often give in to "unimportant distractions" at the expense of more important stuff.
 

3DStudent

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Yes, thanks RedFox. For me, I am a big procrastinator. It's like the only motivation sometimes is, "Well, there is no time left, and now I must do it. The chart with the urgent vs. important tasks seems useful.
 

nicklebleu

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
nicklebleu said:
Thanks, RedFox for this nice collection of thoughts!

I particularly liked the "no time" section, which is one of my false beliefs. When truly it is rather a misappropriation of the time, how limited it may be.

So I will try to focus "living above the line" more, which eminently makes sense! I know that I often give in to "unimportant distractions" at the expense of more important stuff.

Following up on my last post - we chatted about that last night on the weekly Australian group Skype meeting.

One thing that came up is the need to factor in time for relaxation. And we're always easily blaming ourselves for not doing enough (at least I do). What I realized is that I don't factor in downtime at all into my daily "To Do" list, which I think is an ommission. Because often I have a long list of chores and as the day goes by I get tired and thus more and more inefficient, until at some point I start to do "relaxing"'stuff like watching a movie or go for a run, but in a random and hapazard fashion.

So for me I think that I could probably benefit much from planning for downtime too, thus improving efficiency for the rest - apart from setting reasonable goals in the first time.
 

RedFox

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
nicklebleu said:
nicklebleu said:
Thanks, RedFox for this nice collection of thoughts!

I particularly liked the "no time" section, which is one of my false beliefs. When truly it is rather a misappropriation of the time, how limited it may be.

So I will try to focus "living above the line" more, which eminently makes sense! I know that I often give in to "unimportant distractions" at the expense of more important stuff.

Following up on my last post - we chatted about that last night on the weekly Australian group Skype meeting.

One thing that came up is the need to factor in time for relaxation. And we're always easily blaming ourselves for not doing enough (at least I do). What I realized is that I don't factor in downtime at all into my daily "To Do" list, which I think is an ommission. Because often I have a long list of chores and as the day goes by I get tired and thus more and more inefficient, until at some point I start to do "relaxing"'stuff like watching a movie or go for a run, but in a random and hapazard fashion.

So for me I think that I could probably benefit much from planning for downtime too, thus improving efficiency for the rest - apart from setting reasonable goals in the first time.

That's an important one. It takes me an hour or two to wind down before bed, so I've been trying to factor that in.
One thing I did notice when deliberately trying to factor in sufficient down time to be able to function at my best brought up a lot of anxiety and resentment!
I was back being a kid who felt hard done by not being allowed to stay up with my parents - I felt like I was missing out on something important (hence the anxiety). I also discovered the belief that somehow I was going to bed earlier than everyone else in the world :lol: - more resentment. This turned out to be incorrect, as I probably stay up later than I should thus later than the average.
I find it fascinating that resentment, anxiety, perfection etc rob us of objectivity (and time and energy).

Along with that, have a look at Scientists track down the neural basis of multitasking - and the articles it links too, as working smart is just as important. Multitasking/task switching takes time and energy to do.
Believing you have 'no time' can be because you are exhausted from not factoring in enough down time, and also from working in the wrong way or without discipline.
Work smarter, not harder
 

luc

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
RedFox said:
Along with that, have a look at Scientists track down the neural basis of multitasking - and the articles it links too, as working smart is just as important. Multitasking/task switching takes time and energy to do.
Believing you have 'no time' can be because you are exhausted from not factoring in enough down time, and also from working in the wrong way or without discipline.
Work smarter, not harder

I really liked the "work smarter, not harder" approach, it really works well in my experience.

Here's the gist from the link for reference:

http://scottiestech.info/2014/12/07/work-smarter-not-harder/ said:
Whatever your problem is, you need to solve it. Normally, you’d do that like so:

Define problem to be solved
Think of a way to solve it
Gather knowledge of how other people solved the same or a similar problem
Think some more of a way to solve it
Start trying to solve the problem
Struggle like a 2-legged goat on Mt. Everest
Get really frustrated
Work even harder
Get even more frustrated
Have a heart attack, stroke, or mental breakdown

So instead of doing it like that, he recommends:

It turns out that your brain is very much like a supercomputer in certain ways. Every second of every day, your mind is doing all kinds of hard work in the background, and you’re usually not even aware of it. If you want to read more about how this works, I highly recommend Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Blink.

The trick is to make your brain’s “background processing” work for you. It’s really, really easy to do.

How to Work smarter, not harder

Define problem to be solved
Think of a way to solve it
Gather knowledge of how other people solved the same or a similar problem
Think some more of a way to solve it
Start trying to solve the problem
Start to struggle like a 2-legged goat on Mt. Everest
STOP! Go do something else.
That’s it.

Well, almost. When you go do something else, there are a few things that must be true:

You must make sure the problem is well-defined in your mind, consciously
You must have tried different solutions
You must realize that even though all the previous attempts to solve the problem failed, you know there is a solution
You must believe that you can solve the problem

In my experience, this really works amazingly well, and it is also a great tool to outsmart procrastination I think. It goes like this: When I'm faced with a difficult task, usually involving some degree of creativity/thinking about a solution (as opposed to just having to "work something through"), and my internal "resistance" tries to stop me from even beginning the task (procrastination in the way RedFox' post described it), I tell myself: Well, I'm not going to complete this now, I'm not going to even work on this! But I WILL take a little time and just look at the task and observe the spontaneous thoughts/ideas that come up. A minimal effort is required - I just need to concentrate on the issue for a couple of minutes or even seconds. Then I put it out of my mind and do something else, or have a break, go for a walk, whatever.

Amazingly, more often than not, when I go back to the task after some time or even after a few days, the solution seems to just flow out of me, without me having to think about it a lot. After that, it's only a matter of battling my anxiety of failing to finish the job... It's really amazing what the subconscious mind can do for us, and I wonder whether there are other and more refined possibilities to use it.
 

RedFox

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
luc said:
In my experience, this really works amazingly well, and it is also a great tool to outsmart procrastination I think. It goes like this: When I'm faced with a difficult task, usually involving some degree of creativity/thinking about a solution (as opposed to just having to "work something through"), and my internal "resistance" tries to stop me from even beginning the task (procrastination in the way RedFox' post described it), I tell myself: Well, I'm not going to complete this now, I'm not going to even work on this! But I WILL take a little time and just look at the task and observe the spontaneous thoughts/ideas that come up. A minimal effort is required - I just need to concentrate on the issue for a couple of minutes or even seconds. Then I put it out of my mind and do something else, or have a break, go for a walk, whatever.

Amazingly, more often than not, when I go back to the task after some time or even after a few days, the solution seems to just flow out of me, without me having to think about it a lot. After that, it's only a matter of battling my anxiety of failing to finish the job... It's really amazing what the subconscious mind can do for us, and I wonder whether there are other and more refined possibilities to use it.

That's a really good point luc. I'm noticing more and more the expectations and time limits I impose on myself, which classes with this approach and leads to anger, procrastination and feeling helpless.
Instead I've been keeping those expectations in check and just seeing how things flow.
Usually it turns out I don't have enough information and am not defining problems clearly enough - which expresses in making lots of mistakes from trying to 'push through' my limitations. Working smarter is realizing I'm not objectively assessing my understanding of a problem. 'Pushing through' a lack of understanding just leads to a mess and feeling angry/helpless - kind of crazy when you think about it :lol:
 

luc

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
RedFox said:
That's a really good point luc. I'm noticing more and more the expectations and time limits I impose on myself, which classes with this approach and leads to anger, procrastination and feeling helpless.
Instead I've been keeping those expectations in check and just seeing how things flow.
Usually it turns out I don't have enough information and am not defining problems clearly enough - which expresses in making lots of mistakes from trying to 'push through' my limitations. Working smarter is realizing I'm not objectively assessing my understanding of a problem. 'Pushing through' a lack of understanding just leads to a mess and feeling angry/helpless - kind of crazy when you think about it :lol:

Thanks for sharing RedFox, I can definitely relate - me too, I realized that "pushing too hard" and beating myself up for the inevitable failure that follows doesn't work and just produces unhealthy thought-loops. I think learning is an organic experience, where there is a balance between serious effort - which of course is necessary - and letting go, accepting my current level of knowledge and being, and "trusting the process". What I do sometimes when these thoughts appear, like "oh I should have done this, I should do that, it's not enough", is that I try to gently guide them away - I let them fill my whole body, don't hide them but look them in the face, and then let them fade away consciously, imagining these thoughts in front of me with a gentle breeze slowly blowing them away. It doesn't always work of course :) Another thing, in line with the "Work smart" approach, is to allow myself to shift gear, to let a different little I take control, and to make the best out of the situation. Kind of, okay, I won't be able to do this or that now as I would have liked, but can I do something? Like household stuff, or whatever comes up. And even when I have zero willpower left and just give in, sometimes after just "letting go", there suddenly comes new energy to do something different that I hadn't even thought of! Fwiw
 

obyvatel

The Living Force
[quote author=luc]
And even when I have zero willpower left and just give in, sometimes after just "letting go", there suddenly comes new energy to do something different that I hadn't even thought of!
[/quote]

That is an important observation imo. We cannot make the new energy come at our bidding - it comes often after "letting go". However there could be an inner disposition which is more conducive for new energy to come in. Even when we are putting out a great effort to accomplish a task, our focus can be "let this get done" rather than "I should get it done". If the "I should" is taken out of the picture as much as possible while exerting effort to accomplish the task, we are more likely to tap into resources outside our control for the success of the effort.

If we go in with "I should get this done" we are working more out of our self-will alone. Sometimes it may be enough to get the job done, and even when it does, the results may in part strengthen our egoism. In the other approach, the personal effort may be the same, but the focus is on "getting the job done" instead of "me". IMO, this is an approach worth striving for.
 
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