What is your number one concern in your life right now? For many, concerns overlap, concerns about health, finances, relationships, finding a job and so forth. When we experience simultaneous concerns it can be really difficult to find clarity, and work out how to proceed, how to find solutions when every turn seems to be met with more concerns. When we put all our concerns into one big grab basket, we can feel defeated, overwhelmed and sometimes hopeless, which then perpetuates the cycle of distress and defeat. If you find yourself in this situation consider trying Three Steps – Three Actions. A simple yet effective solution that doesn’t cost a cent, to begin getting out of the grab basket of defeat, and on the road to feeling more calm, focused and action oriented. When we feel calmer we are able to think more clearly, and be more effective in problem solving. So, take a moment to undertake Three Steps – Three Actions. Be patient. It is very easy to jump back into the grab basket and hope and wait for a solution, but remember you know what it is like in there, and you wouldn’t be reading this if the solution was in the basket. We need to get out of the basket and begin to see what incredible resources are within each of us, enabling us to get back in the driver’s seat in life. That doesn’t mean doing it alone, and you may need to seek the knowledge, guidance and support of others. Make it part of your plan.
Step 1 : Write down the top concern that comes to mind.
Eg. ‘I lost my job’.
Step 2 : Under that concern write the first three issues that come to mind under that area.
‘I don’t know how I will pay my bills.‘
‘I don’t know if I will get another job.’
‘I don’t know where to start.’
Step 3 : Write down the top three things you keep saying to yourself about this concern.
‘Here I go again, I am always struggling with finances.’
‘The job market is so tight, what if I don’t get another job.’
‘It’s not fair, I’ve always worked hard’.
Action 1 : Under each of first three issues that come to mind, write an action that you can take today to address that issue. It might be as simple as making a phone call to a provider.
‘I will make a list of all my bills, so I know exactly what I am dealing with.’
‘I will find out the job agencies in my area and make an appointment this week.’
‘I am starting now by looking openly at my current circumstances’.
Action 2 : Under each of the top three things you continue to say to yourself about this concern, write a supportive coping statement to contrast what you continually say to yourself.
‘I have found myself in this place of financial struggle a few times now, think it is time to understand my relationship with money, get a budget, and get help.’
‘I don’t really know what is available. I need to explore my options’.
‘It might not seem fair, but if I indulge those thoughts I will only feel hopeless’.
Action 3 : Check in with yourself at the end of the day and tick off those actions as you completed them, and give yourself a pat on the back!
Taking a few moments each day, over as many days as required, to get all of your concerns out of your grab basket (one per day) and into full awareness with an action plan, will reduce your anxiety, allow you to feel increasingly calm, and more in control as you begin to take actions toward addressing your concerns. It doesn’t cost anything, it is simple, and before long you will have a plan to manage, and a plan of action, and you will begin to think outside the box, developing solutions to your concerns, and enabling you to feel more in control, and more present and peaceful in your life.
Give it a go!