Mental Health

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How To Get Out of a Mess and Back on Track

Published: 2021-01-07
How To Get Out of a Mess and Back on Track
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Oh, no! How did I get into this? How did this happen? My life was ticking along just fine - or maybe not all that fine, but it wasn't like this! It's a disaster!

Does this sound familiar? I'm sure we've all been there. Perhaps that's where you are right now. And if you are, the good news is that if you got into it, you can get out of it.

Okay, it's true, there may be some aspects of your situation that you cannot change. If, for example, you're sitting in a car that you just wrapped around an enormous tree a moment ago, you can't rewind about ten seconds and take it all back. After all, life isn't like one big shoelace that you can just undo whenever you want.

So... you’ve made some choices that have got you all tied up in knots and you don't know where to begin to try to put things right. And you've got goals to reach, deadlines to meet, pressures to keep going and see things through. But you can't even see the finish line right now, much less the path to get there.

First of all, just for a moment, forget where you are. Forget the fact that you're seriously in the soup and look ahead. Never mind what's wrong just now; what do you want to be right? Come on, push aside all the bits that are upsetting, distressing, disturbing, or fill-in-the-blank. Yes, you can. You are in control of your thoughts. You get to choose what goes on in your head. Your life and/or the situation might feel out of control at the moment, but it's temporary. The only constant is change, so hold onto that knowledge and begin by changing your thoughts. One. At. A. Time.

Set all your worries to one side for a minute.  See where you want to be. Just close your eyes and focus on what you want. Do not think about how you want this or that to stop, because then you're still focusing on "this or that" – that is to say, you're focusing on what you don’t want. Be very clear about this. Focus on what you want. For example, instead of thinking that you don't want to lose that race, think about how great it'll feel when you win.

This is an extremely important difference, and it is vital to your ending up where you want to be as quickly as possible. Firstly, it's because positive thoughts will make you feel better than negative ones. They'll crank up your energy and get you moving again. Secondly, because the Law of Attraction is at work all the time, whether you're thinking about it or not. So, if you focus on what you don't want, you'll only attract more of it.

When you're thinking about what you don't want, aside from the obvious negativity in it there's also an automatic desperation or fear-based quality to the energy. Think about the above example and how each of those thoughts feels. Notice how your body feels when you're focusing on "I don't want to lose that race!"

Now notice the difference when you focus on how great it'll feel to win.

There are so many ways in which we can pay attention to this difference throughout every single day. From, "I hope there aren't a lot of people ahead of me at the bank," to "I bet I'll hit every red light," to "I hope they aren't sold out when I get there..." I don't know how those words hit you, but I could feel my body tense up and my stomach tighten as I wrote them.

The more you pay attention to your thoughts and notice these kinds of negative, anxious, self-defeating ideas that randomly and automatically bubble up inside you, the more you can begin training yourself to choose positive thoughts instead.

Once you've got the hang of it, it becomes quite simple to flip negative thoughts into positive ones. So, when you're contemplating a goal or desired result, use positive words, see what you want, and hold that vision.

And another tip: If you're unhappy with the state of your life right now, as you're looking to the future and seeing where you want to be, don't be thinking, "Thank heaven [this situation] is over!" - because then you're still focusing on the situation!

To demonstrate my point, if you're rushing to get to an important appointment and you're worried that you're going to be late, don't be thinking, "I don't want to be late" - because then you're still focusing on being late and you're more likely to trip yourself up with little things that do, in fact, delay you to the point of being late. Instead, choose thoughts about everything going smoothly so that you arrive on time - or even a little early.

Every time you think of what's wrong, change that feeling, that thought, that image into the vision of what you want as if it's already happened (otherwise, "wanting it" keeps you in a place of still not having it) - and hold onto it for a few moments. Not only will it lift your spirits, it will also keep you focused on your goals, feeling positive and moving forward.

As for more immediate help with "how to get out of this," find one thing you can do today to take a step toward the way out. Perhaps you've been so distracted by the problem(s), your house is a bit of a disaster or there's a ton of filing or unopened mail waiting for you, or you've skipped way too many practices. Pick just one thing you think you can do today and do it. Make a dent in that mountain of laundry. Go for a run. Brush your hair. Do some stretches. Something. Anything. Just do one thing that begins to move you toward where you want to be. It doesn't have to be huge - but it can be, if you're up for it.

Do at least one of those "somethings" every day. If you can do more than one, go for it. That's great! Every one of them will just make you feel better and give you energy. And you know why? Because you'll be taking control of your life again. Soon, you'll be all caught up and back on track.

The more you feel like you're in the driver's seat, the more you'll look through the windscreen and see that vision for your future. Each time you see it, it's going to seem a little closer. Each time you see it, that vision will become a little clearer. And that will only make it easier for you to know exactly which roads to take and where you need to turn in order to get there.

You might well be in a really enormous mess or feeling completely overwhelmed right now. But you can unwrap the car from that massive tree trunk. You can get the front end repaired or rebuilt. Or you can get another car. The tree will heal - and so will you.

Yeah, you got yourself into this. But you can put yourself back behind the wheel and get out of it, too - one mile at a time.

Just see where you want to be. Then hold that vision...