Shrapnel from our life experiences can get lodged in the crevices of our active minds, the delicate folds of our hearts and the busyness of our days. Gradually they choke the free flow of positive thoughts, feelings and actions. Eradicating whatever is choking us may not necessarily give us perfect lives. However, we could experience a renewed desire to live authentically and nurture healthy relationships. We could unearth the motivation to consider and explore new directions for our careers. We could be emboldened to take some risks to achieve our dreams.
If you find it difficult to move forward and make positive strides in your life, you should identify and eradicate what’s choking you.
1. Internal negativity
While you may be fighting against external negativity, you may be choking on negativity from within. Do you listen to and believe the self-sabotaging thoughts, attitudes and words you unleash on yourself? Are they so loud that they trample and silence the positive whispers? Do you long to get back in touch with the person beneath the choke-hold of false perceptions, unreasonable expectations, regrets and fears? Attacking with full force could send you into a tailspin of emotions and ill-advised actions. So, go step-by-step. Take one issue, one self-limiting belief, one fear. Scrutinize it. Locate its weak point and pry it from your mind. Replace it with a clear thought, idea, desire and vision to allow you to chart a better, more productive and promising path for yourself.
2. Draining relationships
Do the words honest, open, nurturing, passionate and unconditional describe your relationships? Maybe you feel pressured to be, look and act a certain way before you are worthy to be loved. A scenario like this can choke you into submission or ambivalence. Analyze your relationship to detect what is choking you. Talk it out with the persons concerned. Seek advice if you must and do what you can to ensure that your relationships bring and sustain a combination of freedom, flexibility, understanding, sacrifice and compromise. Moreover, be prepared to let go those that have one aim – to choke you into compliance.
3. Career dissatisfaction
If you don’t enjoy what you do, feel marginalized by office politics that do not appreciate or reward your efforts and contributions, you can become disenchanted and dissatisfied. Your job might not only be sucking your dry, but also choking you. Career dissatisfaction can lead to mental and emotional stress which results in poor performance on the job. Additionally, spiralling depression filters through other areas of your lives. A heart-to-heart will your employer can help to clear what might be choking you. Revisit your job specs. Share any suggestions you have and ask for advice to help you get a fresh perspective on your capabilities, responsibilities and career aspirations.
4. Tolerating the intolerable
What are you tolerating that continues to frustrate you and drain your energy? Do you tolerate difficult situations and discourteous behaviour? Maybe you are afraid to admit, even to yourself, that there are people, situations and things that are hazardous to your mental and emotional well-being Take a good look at the areas in your life where you feel frustrated especially where you are being forced for some reason, to tolerate situations and behaviours that are downright intolerable. Take stock of the intolerable situations that are choking you and think of ways to change or remove them.
With so much demanding our attention and commitment, it is no wonder we are choking. If our lives are to be as vibrant, passionate and purposeful as it can be, we need to eradicate what’s choking us.
(Published in the Trinidad Guardian’s Womanwise Magazine on Sunday 13th January 2013)