In the past month or two, a few people that I know have shared their feeling of being stuck. We had been talking about the uneasiness many of us are feeling due to the Covid restrictions. Then almost out of the blue, they said, “I just feel like I’m stuck. I’m not sure why, but I’m tired of it.”
One of the people is a new acquaintance, so I resisted the temptation to put on my ‘coaching hat’ and start asking questions. Like, “When did it start? Did anything happen to cause it? Why do you think you feel that way?” The others are people I know well, and so I was able to ask them some of those questions.
They expressed that maybe, in a way, the monotonous flow of life during the pandemic had put them to sleep. They no longer seemed quite as clear about what they wanted, or what they could expect next. That could be, but while our pace of life may have slowed, the amount of information coming at us every minute of every day hasn’t lessened; it has probably increased.
It is this point that I think is one of the culprits for being stuck.
Too many choices!
Too much information on too many subjects available to us in an instant.
A few years ago, I remember doing a google search and in one-tenth of a second, it yielded over one million results. For some reason I happened to notice it that day, though it’s at the top of all/most searches we conduct there. I sat with the information for a moment, realizing the impact of this reality. That largely we have access to all knowledge at any time. That thought, while exciting, was also overwhelming.
No wonder people are stuck. How on earth can anyone process the sheer volume, not to mention complexity of information available to us?
To deal with this tsunami of information, I created ways to help me curate the content that I consume. My idea is that if I can lessen the number of choices I have to consider, I’ll make easier and quicker decisions, thus alleviating some of being stuck. Try these:
- Go directly to the source whenever possible. Many of the search engine results are reposts of information that they didn’t create, so it might have their slant or bias added.
- I carefully read the source of media before I open a link or post. I did some research a few years ago to determine media outlets organized by their bias or ‘leaning’. I found a few that were more aligned with my own biases (we all have them), then picked a couple that were different from my views. This is one of the sources I’ve used to help me: https://www.allsides.com/media-bias/media-bias-chart.
- Read reviews. Leverage the experience of others with a particular product or service, saving you the time and energy, freeing up time to enjoy the purchase you make.
- Set mental or physical timers. This is what I do with my Spades game app, and how I prevent myself from going too far down multiple rabbit holes when I’m trying to decide on the perfect new entertainment center.
Curating the content is just one way to shift into a pattern of flow instead of getting bogged down as you continue doing research, seeking some magic words that will motivate you to action. Otherwise, you risk being mired, stuck.
While you’re on a roll with clearing, you can also begin to clear other areas of your life. The more space you make in your mind and in your homes, the more room there is to move, both physically and emotionally.
Then lastly in dealing with too much info, sometimes we just have to shut it all down. Turn off all the devices. Give our ears and our minds a break. Sit outside. Go for a walk without ear buds. Sit and appreciate the beauty that surrounds you.
So if you feel stuck, start by limiting the incoming. The incoming information and stimulation. Our hearts and minds need a rest. Maybe that’s all being stuck really means. Our systems simply need a break so they can rest.