The stories our minds tell us when we're stuck

I spend a lot of time in my own brain. In fact, it has been really interesting for me to reflect on my younger years. I would be in the middle of a conversation, look at the person I was talking to, and have no idea what that person just said. I was/am so stuck in my own head.

It isn’t that I don’t care about what that person is saying, it’s that my brain sucks me back into myself. I’ve heard that we burn the most calories by focusing on staying in the present. This is incredibly difficult for me. Is that considered narcissism?

I have often wondered that. But, ultimately, no, I am not a narcissistic person. I care a lot about other people. I just get stuck and don’t know how to get unstuck. THEN, I beat myself up for getting stuck.

  • “You’re not a good enough friend, you didn’t remember XYZ about that person”
  • “You’re not a good enough salesperson, how do you not remember what XYZ customer said on that call?”
  • “You idiot – they JUST answered your question”

How on earth is this productive? For me? Or for anyone? I think a lot about Byron Katie. She says when you have a self defeating or anxious thought to ask yourself, “is it true?” When I remember to ask myself this, oftentimes – no, it’s not true. But how do I continue to remind myself to ask myself this question in the middle of being stuck?

I think that’s the difficult part about feeling stuck. You feel so stuck you have difficultly remembering how to be unstuck – how to free yourself. How to differentiate whether or not it’s true. How to pause & pivot.

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


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