The other day someone wrote to me and asked: I’ve got multiple pages of writing on one very important and stressful topic.
Time to narrow things down a little. Time to really consider the beliefs rising within that feel so painful.
If you’re not sure, here’s what I like to do to get started:
First, I’ll make a list of interactions or moments with other people, incidents that happened, memories I have in my mind, that are all related to this topic of concern.
For example. Let’s say I’m worried I’m not doing a great job. (I had this thought the second day on staff at the School for The Work because I forgot to do something in my job description).
But let’s say it’s an overall stressful topic for you, when you think about work, employment, job, boss, your career. You’ve journaled on it. You’ve written about what you’d rather be doing. You’ve made a plan for yourself about how to change. You’re definitely troubled about the whole thing.
Now, make a list, as you look over your own journaling, of moments in time that were stressful when it comes to this topic. If you had a camera on these moments, and filmed the whole thing and saved them in your internal mental files, what memories would you say “prove” that this topic (in this case work) is stressful?
- the moment at a staff meeting when my boss asked for a report and I didn’t have it, and she looked very disapproving
- the moment one of my co-workers huffed with anger and said she had to do two jobs–hers, and mine!
- the moment I received the assignment to create a database for new patients and update it weekly
- the moment I’m in rush hour traffic taking 80 minutes to drive home, when it could take only 20 when not rush hour
- the moment I had so little money left because of unemployment (before I got my job), I almost lost my house–I was sitting on my couch looking at my bank statement