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Being in a hurry and Avoidance Mode

Spam Filter For Your Brain - Episode 65

I wanted to talk a little bit today about why we get in a rush and why we try and dash through things to get to the other side. Seems like a very basic thing, doesn't it? All very obvious. We're just trying to get stuff done. Anna, I'll skip through this podcast. I don't need to hear it.

But wait, maybe take a little pause with me. We are all very busy, I'm sure you don't need to be listening to things that you already know. And so I thought I'd maybe sprinkle a little bit of seasoning on top of how you're already thinking about your time management and, frankly, your exhaustion and possibly your near burnout scheduling time management things.

I think really, really often we are rushing through things, that we dash at things because we're trying to escape from an emotion that we don't really like. I think it is a really interesting notion that if we get through all the really hard stuff now, then we're just going to have this pool of delight waiting for us on the other side. And of course, that sounds like absolute nonsense, but I think that's what most of us genuinely think. I'm going to run through the fire here because the other side is a little oasis of bliss. And I really notice when I am rushing at a task, when I'm rushing at a plan, when I'm rushing to solve a relationship where I am not feeling very particularly comfortable. The reason why I'm doing that is because I think the other side of it is going to be bliss. And where I am right now is an inconvenience.

But what becomes available to me when I'm willing to notice with curiosity what's going on for me right now and what it has to teach me? I know that when I am in a rush and a hurry to get away from something or to escape a situation, whether it is a work thing or whether it is a difficulty with a friend or a misunderstanding, it's because I'm not willing to pause and reflect and see what this bit of life, this bit of interaction, this bit of communication, has to teach me about myself.

And that sort of feels like quite a shame to run away from the bits of us that are probably going to be our greatest teachers. I think when things are all rosy, we're relaxed, and we're sat on a beach with a book, chances are we're not often learning particularly much about ourselves (of course, you can it depends on what you're reading), but it is in these times when we're tested that we actually learn a lot about how we interact with other people, how we speak to ourselves in these circumstances and frankly, whether we like it or not, and whether we want to do something different.

So I always try and notice when I'm in a rush, to be able just to take a deep breath and a pause and go what am I trying to escape from? What am I not willing to experience? What am I not willing to feel in my life? And quite often, they're the classics: fear, shame, resentment, jealousy, discomfort, that kind of thing. And then when I've identified what those triggers might be for me, then I can sort of trace back, okay, what's the thought that's going on for me that is making me feel like that? Do I like the thought? Is that what I want to be carrying forward with me, even if I do get to the oasis, the other side? Do I want to be folding that thought up nicely and popping it in my bag? Or do I want to inspect it a little bit and maybe give it a little bit of an air out? And I'm thinking of those old sort of rugs and the carpet whackers, let all the dust fly off them a little bit and just see if it's maybe something that I want to leave here. And if it's showing up here, where else is it showing up in my life?

These moments of blerrrrggh are the only way that I can kind of band them all together. The way that we band all of these things together has so much to teach us about ourselves. It has so much to teach us about how we interact with our lives. And when we are in a rush, ironically, we think we're just getting through the hard bit because it's going to feel nicer.

But that's pretty much half of our lives that we're running away from. If we're always running away from it, we're always going to be exhausted. Because what we're saying to ourselves is, there's a bit of me that is not okay. There is a bit of me that I'm not willing to sit with. There are things that I do and things that I think that I'm not willing to be around for myself in brackets. And therefore, of course, other people would never want to be around me. It's a real little slippy, little slide that we are going on when we try and escape the emotions that we're not comfortable with in our life.

And, of course, it's a really natural thing to do. But when you know better, you can do better, right? Is it something you want to do? It's all about making conscious choices. There is no right way or wrong way. I'm not saying that my way is better than just running away from it, but I do think that it is useful for us to be able to make conscious choices about how we live the lives that we're in at the moment.

So just notice when you're in a rush, when you're in a hurry, what are you trying to get away from? Do you like it? Is it serving you? Is it getting you stuff that you want in your life? I think quite often I've been trying to look at my emotions a little bit like I advise my elders about call centres and junk mail and trying to get away from fraud banking scams that pop up every now and again and email nightmares that might pop into their inbox: The reality is that if someone's trying to rush you through something, they're probably trying to get you to do something that you don't want to do. They're trying to get you not to have to stop and think and use your rational online brain to assess whether it's something you actually want to do or not.

So, where can you apply that analogy to the way that you speak to yourself during moments which, frankly, are not so comfortable level? Hope that's useful this week. Hope you didn't rush through this amazing.

If you listen to it on double speeds. And I'll speak to you next week.


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