Here are 3 tips as gold keys to open the most stubborn time traps:
1. Tip: Time traps can pinpoint where fear rules your life.
Even if you want to live bigger, some part of you may hang back. It can be tempting to use a time trap to avoid embracing an important new challenge.
For example, let’s say you watch TV programs you don’t much enjoy, simply to unwind. That means you don’t pull apart the difficult aspects of the day, examining how you might take steps to reduce your stress level. As a result, you slide into a routine of dissatisfaction and discouragement.
Now consider the alternatives. Would taking positive action require that you to take new risks, or develop new skills? Envision moving forward, and see where you balk. Then focus on this spot as an entryway to develop competence.
By applying pressure at just the right point, you can convert inertia into bright energy! Try breaking down each challenge into workable increments, and devising a plan to move forward. Overcoming ambivalence towards trying something new will make time traps much less tempting!
2. Tip: A time trap can ensnare you by what it symbolizes.
The reason it is easy to fall into a time trap is because your motivation is subconscious. (Otherwise, it wouldn’t be a trap.) Maybe you slide into an unfulfilling routine because of its associations.
The good news is that you can weaken the hold of any time trap by finding the hook.
See if there is a hidden “if only” that keeps you revisiting unrealistic or lost opportunities. Then consciously invite new, viable potentials into your life.
Let’s say you’re glued to running websites that leave you thinking, “If only I had continued training for marathons!” You might step in with a firm but friendly, “Now is different! I enjoy my current exercise, and would like to do more. How can I rework my schedule to take that new Chi Running class they’re starting at the Y?”
Follow this up with a luxuriant stretch or foot massage. In this way you strengthen your value of fully engaging in the moment. You savor your aliveness and you make good choices, too. So much more pleasurable than ruminating over “what might have been!”
3. Tip: Listening for whispered messages in your time trap can help you develop a warmer relationship with yourself.
You can use your time trap to compassionately explore where you feel disconnected from yourself. By demonstrating genuine concern for your own happiness, instead of scolding yourself, you can encourage yourself to open up.
For example, maybe you spend hours online, working on puzzles before bedtime, to avoid difficult feelings.
The next time you reach for an unfulfilling pastime, physically remove yourself from that setting and sit quietly for a few minutes. Find a simple phrase, like “How can I help myself now?” to establish a mood of trust and inner confidence. Listen for a message from your heart, and give yourself the support youneed and deserve.© Copyright 2010 Paula Eder, Ph.D.