There are so many instances in my life where I’m not sure what to do. Perhaps, it’s that I’m not sure what to say. This, of course, is in regards to social situations.
But this feeling isn’t just about my interactions with others…as awkward as those might be. There are also situations I find myself in where I’m at a loss…for what to do with myself. So what do I do?
Like most problems I encounter, I have to simplify things. We all have to go back to the basics. There are manners to follow…even for interactions we have with ourselves.
When I’m not sure what to do, the first thing I do is sharpen my tool. Do you know what I’m referring to? If you have a certain amount of time to cut down a tree, you should use at least half that allotted time to sharpen your saw or axe.
How I sharpen myself is by tuning in to my body. And that tuning is achieved through questions. If I already don’t know what to do, that probably means I’m not feeling my best.
That leads to one of the most important questions of all. What do I need to do to feel better? What kind of intervention do I need?
Do I need food or drink? Do I need social support? Do I need to move?
Perhaps what will help me feel better is the exact opposite of that. Maybe I need to fast. Maybe I need to isolate myself. Maybe I need to lie down.
Somewhere within those mechanical, chemical, and psychological extremes is my answer to feeling better. And once I feel better, once my axe is sharpened, I can back to the business at hand. It’s time for the tree to fall.
Once I feel a little better, clarity can be had. But clarity about what? I already don’t know what to do.
Doing is just one part of the equation. The equation is two-fold. I have to also know how I feel.
And how I feel is a good starting point. If I don’t know what to do, I probably don’t know exactly how I’m feeling. But I do know that how I’m feeling isn’t particularly good.
Getting to an answer is often about refining our questions. We turn, “What should I do?” into a different question…one that incorporates the whole equation.
Words have to transform, as well. “Should” turns into “can.” It doesn’t matter what you should do if you cannot do it.
“What can I do so that I feel better?” is the simplest of questions…and it often is enough provide the right answer. But the deeper problems require more specific questions. “What can I do about feeling like ______ ? With more specific identification of emotions comes the specific answer to…what you can do about it.