The Test Before the Lesson

Experience is the greatest teacher, but she always gives the test before the lesson. All week I have been very frustrated because I was given a task to do that I could not figure out how to do. I felt very resistant, to the point of tears, of throwing things, and of beating my head against the wall.

I just did not want to do it. Procrastination? Not this time.

When faced with this kind of frustration, especially when it seems so irrational and over the top, I use a method called EFT to calm myself. Created by Gary Craig, it’s a simple method combining NLP*, meridian points and affirmations to clear blocked emotional energy and to distract oneself long enough to climb out of the hamster cage. Gary’s website has free instructions and many examples from other practitioners.

So I tapped on my face and hands to calm myself, which let me feel better, but the resistance did not go away. Not this time.

Finally, I got up yesterday at 3:30 am, thanks to my dearly beloved cat, and sat down to record the pieces of my next product. It didn’t feel right, but I decided to mush on, figuring that once I got started, it would flow along.

Third time is the charm, right? Not this time.

Some days it’s good to have a J.O.B. so that I have to focus on something else for a while…at least they pay me. When I got home from work, there was a box containing a dozen CDs, the promised software and procedures from the James Brausch Intern Program. Finally I understood why I couldn’t do the task. I didn’t have all the pieces.

No wonder I couldn’t figure out what to do and the directions did not make sense. It was a test.

I am learning about running an internet business, much more than the procedures that anyone can do, but only 2% actually do. But the lesson was about being comfortable with uncertainty and listening to the inner voice.

There were three issues:

  1. The task seemed ambiguous because I forgot that the Brausch organization was sending the software, which was the reason I joined up as an intern. I could not do the task without that piece. Git R Done is not always appropriate.
  2. I allowed myself to get frustrated by continuing to push on a door marked “Pull,” instead of backing off, taking a deep breath, and getting a bit of perspective. There were other things to be done this weekend that I did not do because of my focus on this one task.
  3. I did not listen to the insistent inner voice that said it was not time to do this task. I worried that I would not get it done it in the time frame, that someone would think I was a slacker.

Using the EFT technique did finally allow me to see these issues, which is one of its main features. Until I could sort out my emotions and the thoughts that gave rise to them, I could not do anything else. Part of making wishes come true is getting all one’s energy flowing in the same direction. That takes a clear mental image of what you want with no muddying emotional swamp.

I have not completely sorted out procrastination, which arises from fear of failure, performance anxiety and crippling perfectionism, from managing time and setting priorities. One priority that has been neglected is taking time out for myself: sleep time, exercise time, and down time.

Without rest, both from sleep and from the release of tension that exercise brings, neither the mind nor the body can function. Without the ebb and flow of mental activity and mindless activity (carrying water and chopping wood, so to speak), there is no space for creativity and new insight.

Easy does it. When something seems hard to do, especially when you know the task itself isn’t that hard, take it easy. Use EFT to tap into your emotional blocks, and take the pressure off yourself. Then just do it, whatever the task is.

I didn’t completely lose it. Not this time.

Now I recognize that wait-and-see feeling, which is different from a lazy, oh-lets-do-it-later feeling. I know that I will always face uncertainty, that I will often not know what to do next, but that the answer will come to me, if I work on what else can be done right now, and if I take time to take care of myself.

*Neuro-Linguistic Programming Google: Bandler & Grinder, Tony Robbins

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