Why Can’t I Make Myself Do That Thing?

Have you ever felt “paralytic overwhelm?”

I have, and I know some of my clients have too. It’s when one aspect of your life causes so much stress, you immediately feel overwhelmed and can’t seem to do anything to move through it, so you avoid it at all costs.

I get this weird overwhelm when I’m moving. It’s not so much the looking for a new place, taking care of logistics, or even decorating a new home.

It’s the PACKING. 📦 📦 📦

Not packing to take a trip, I’m pretty good at that! It’s packing to move to a new home. Whenever I need to pack my things up into boxes. It’s something about getting and building the boxes, figuring out what goes where, cushioning things adequately, making sure nothing will break, etc. etc. It seems very straightforward, but I will sit and stare at my stuff until the day I need to leave a place and be almost moved to tears with the overwhelmed feeling. And, then, I will avoid it at all costs.

For those who know me well, this trait perplexes them. I have moved home (sometimes across this country, sometimes to another country) approximately 53 times in my life. That’s not an exaggeration. It’s about the number of times I’ve moved. I have no problem uprooting my life in pursuit of adventure, a new job, a pull of the heart. But the act of putting my stuff in boxes can cause me to sit and stare at the TV wishing it would magically all happen on its own. Yes, I know I can hire people to do this, but I feel uncomfortable having strangers going through all of my things, especially sentimental items.

Your paralytic overwhelm might be over something different. It could be when you are looking for a job, preparing a presentation, planning a family event, or something else. These moments are an opportunity to stop and look at the stories you are carrying about that action.

Are you telling yourself:

💬 I’m not capable enough.
💬 I’m not smart enough.
💬 No one would choose to hire me.
💬 I’ll never be able to do this well.
💬 I’m afraid that…

Whatever your story, there is an origin story that created it. Someone or something along the way, even if well meaning, created that space for the Story of You to include this “truth” about your character.

The good news. It’s just a story. And stories can be re-storied. ✍🏼

Find the original story that was seeded in your mind, see it, sit with it, work with it, embrace it, re-story it, move through it, and actively use this to see that you are not your story about yourself.

You never were. And there’s freedom in that!

So the next time you are feeling a paralytic overwhelm when you “need” to do something… remember to search for the origin story, and reach out if you want help Unstorying.

2 thoughts on “Why Can’t I Make Myself Do That Thing?

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