Is something tearing at you on the inside, a brick wall of a problem that seems impossible to climb? There are three ways to deal with such a wall. You can try to avoid it, at least for a while. You can slam into it, only to be knocked down painfully again. Like me. Until I learned to look up, see the rope and grab the knot. When a wall keeps reappearing, you know it’s time to do something different.
One of my walls was sugar addiction. I tried to fight the addiction and most days I fought a losing battle. Even though I would swear to myself in the morning that I would not do it, later I would gorge on cookies or donuts. Ten minutes later I would suffer a collapse. My energy was gone, my stomach hurt and my whole body hummed with the effects of sugar. I would stumble through the next few hours exhausted and angry at myself.
I was trapped in a cycle that felt hopeless and confusing. Expensive tests and hospitalization provided no answers. I needed outside help. Help came. A new doctor used intuition with his medical knowledge to provide a diagnosis. Sugar and stress were combining to wreak havoc on my mind and body. That hit me hard.
My doctor threw me a knotted rope, and I held on to it. I had to be willing to make some changes, so I did. I discovered I did not have to solve the problem in one move or even look at the whole wall. Just grab the next knot. I call this the “five percent rule.” The five percent rule means making one small change today. Once you do, momentum will help you to keep making progress.
I slid into old behaviors sometimes, losing my grip on the knot. Yet, overall I continued to move forward. The five percent rule helps you accept a setback with a little less self-hatred and without giving up.
That’s my story. What’s yours? Are you wiped out from slamming into a wall? Don’t avoid it. Try using the five percent rule to knock down a piece of the problem. Look up. Grab the first knot. It’s there. Talk to someone who has made it through a similar problem. You’ve taken a first step today by thinking about your situation. Next step is doing.
For more help, check out my Hope Lines Toolbox for some concrete ideas. Just click on the Hope Lines link.
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