If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging

A great football coach once said,” Just because you’re doing something wrong, doing it more intensely won’t help.”

Yet, how often do we do just that? We are making a mistake, getting ourselves into trouble – and, instead of backing off, reflecting, and doing it differently, we roll up our sleeves and do the very same thing even more intensely!

The same pattern exists in many areas of our lives. Many people have a great deal of conflict to manage. Whenever a potential new conflict arises, or the environment or circumstances seem to be encouraging that development, instead of backing off and looking  for new ways to defuse the situation, they charge straight ahead, as always – repeating their identical patterns and responses, taking the adversarial approach – and, once again, find themselves in the middle of another drama or conflict. Then, frustrated and stressed, they assume the world is to blame, or that they need to find more effective and more aggressive ways to deal with things. This is the essence of being in a vicious circle. The same essential problems come up over and over again, unless and until you see your own contribution – and vow to do something differently.

The solution is simple, but not always very easy. The trick is to recognize when your part of the pattern is being repeated; for example, “Here I am, arguing again,” or “I’m upset by the very same things – this sure feels familiar.” Then, rather than clenching your fists, feeling frustrated, filing your mind with stressful thoughts, and trying the same old thing, you instead relax, back off, and empty your mind. Soften and try to see the situation in a whole new way.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.