Managing tasks while fearfull

I came to a bit of a realisation this morning that many of the fears I have are irrational. In my mind, I make these fears so big and overwhelming that I cannot move forward with tasks because my whole focus is on this fear and not being able to get beyond it.

It can be something as simple as filling in a government form online. I will put it off for weeks until I’m forced (by the threat of a fine) to do it. Then I stress massively as I start the process of looking at the steps involved as a whole complete package, rather than as a series of mini-processes. I become quite paralysed into non-action and non-thinking ability. Normally, I would think about where this fear developed, rather than actioning anything. (This is a suitable ploy to avoid commencing the actual task at all.)

Recently, to overcome this fearful procrastination, I decided to look objectively at the actual steps involved, bit-by-bit.

I first make sure to set aside sufficient time without distraction to do this. That’s the first step. I tell myself I did well to do even this. Then I look at the next step. Often I would get overwhelmed and start to panic. I tell myself to stay calm; I breathe in deep; I get up and walk around and come back to working on the task in front of me. I keep telling myself I’m doing well. The objective is not to finish the overall task; the objective is to take the steps one at a time, despite feeling anxious. Instead of seeing the finished task as the whole objective, I’m viewing each step in the process as a whole objective within itself, in that moment. I chunk it down. I rejoice and praise myself when I complete each phase or step.

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.”

Eventually, I get through it. When I’ve done it once, I know I can do it again. It may not mean I want to do it again or that it will be easy and flowing as a process, however, the simplicity of doing it bit by bit works for me. Putting it into manageable pieces and allocating a certain amount of time to it works too.

If I have a number of tasks to complete, I divide my time up evenly between them then split the overall task into manageable bits. And most importantly, I reward myself with praise or “high-five” an imaginary friend or do a little dance. It needs to be a verbal celebration and physical too, if appropriate. This affirms to my mind and body that rewards happen when I do something worthwhile.

I’ll consider where this crazy fear came from another day, as that’s a whole other process. Though, I’m suspecting it has something to do with my childhood.

“You don’t need to see the whole staircase to take the first step.”

One Reply to “Managing tasks while fearfull”

  1. What a nice YouTube video it is! Awesome, I loved it, and I am sharing this YouTube record with all my colleagues.

Leave a Reply