I have found myself not really myself the last couple weeks. And sure...I can tell you that work has been crazy busy, lots of things need immediate attention, there was none of the quiet time I need to be creative (which, for me, is as important to my well-being as food or air).... I was driving all over the place getting people where they needed to be.... I wasn't sleeping enough in my attempt to get everything accomplished... All those things are true, and yet......
They weren't really the root cause of my distress. When I (finally) stopped looking at the easy (and seemingly logical) answers for my unsettled-self, I noticed how fear was running my show.
Instead of acting (staying up late or getting up early to get caught up because there were things that needed to be closed out), I was reacting (staying up late or getting up early to get caught up because I was afraid someone would see me failing if I didn't get projects closed out).
Instead of acting (driving everyone where they needed to go because that is one of my responsibilities), I was reacting (driving everyone where they needed to go because if I couldn't get them there, they wouldn't get done what they needed to get done....and it would be my fault).
And I could go on and on (and on and on and on)......
But here's the interesting thing: Work is still busy. The holidays (with their tasks and responsibilities) are still here. Everyone still needs dropping off and picking up. Laundry is still be created. Dust is still settling on coffee tables. Voicemails, emails, text messages are still coming in.
But once I realized it wasn't the work that was exhausting and disquieting my mind -- that it was my fears--(that I wouldn't get caught up, that I was struggling and no one should see that, that if I couldn't get this all done and make it look easy...how much of a loser would I be?)
***And interestingly enough -- what bothered me wasn't that I would be a loser -- it was that I didn't know the quantity of "loser-ness" it would make me. The fear of the unknown -- that was my root cause!!***
- How much of a loser?
- What would happen if everyone wasn't delivered, on-time and dressed perfectly for the occasion, where they needed to be?
- What would happen if they emails didn't get answered within the customary 1 business day?
- What would people say if they saw me struggling to maintain my customary optimism and composure? (and btw, this one happened -- and now I know -- nothing bad happened)
Julien posted the other day that fear means it's not happening right now. That's a liberating thought. If you're fearing something, you're not going through it.
It seems like often-times, the Holiday season brings out many of our fears -- but we're so busy and there are so many easy, logical reasons for us to be feeling the way we do, that we don't look deeper to see that we are actually being driven by our fear.
So what about you? How much of the stress or disquiet you're feeling is actually, at it's root, fear of the unknown?