surinder: “hey, wanna come to the beach tonight?”
petra: “oh, i don’t know if i can make it to the beach. the weather probably won’t hold.”
steve: “sure, i’ll come!”
brian: “yeah, i’ll show up. if it rains, we can always leave early.”
dorothy: “no, i’m sorry i can’t make it. i’m busy working on my book.”
if all you knew about these five people were these little snippets and you’d have to judge who to hang out with for an afternoon, with whom would you most like to spend the time? who would be the least likely candidate?
i bet petra would be the least popular. poor petra. but she’s just a bit too indecisive and pessimistic, isn’t she?
we all have little petras inside of us. a gremlin that hems and haws and is supremely concerned with keeping everything as safe as possible.
these overly cautious nay-sayers keep us from having fun and thinking big. and they’re the most dangerous when they don’t talk out loud, when they just whisper in our ears, give us funny feelings in the pit of the stomach, or show us scary internal movies.
how do you deal with these hemmers and hawers and super-cautious pessimists?
- figure out what you want (e.g. spend time with your friends)
- notice the gremlins, notice what they’re doing – drag them out into the light!
- find out which of the gremlins’ concerns are valid and which aren’t.
- decide whether to address the valid concerns (e.g. even if it does look like it might rain – does it matter?)
- look for options
- say what you want. out loud!
practice 1-6 over and over. these gremlins don’t usually leave right away. but if you let them know often enough that they’re not welcome anymore, eventually they’ll disappear.
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(this post has been included in the personal development carnival of august 5, 2007)