Maybe you’re feeling derailed in your life or your job. Can’t get up the inspiration to cook. Perhaps you don’t quite have it in you to exercise like you used to. Maybe you find yourself staring at the computer screen, unable to create your next post/essay/letter to a friend/chapter of your book/poem/article/creative masterpiece.
There are times when I feel like I can do anything and everything. But sometimes, I feel truly stuck. I walk around the apartment aimlessly, eating granola and yogurt out of the container. I try to find my way back to the computer to write something and wish for motivation to come and overtake me.
But nothing happens.
‘Cause when stuck-ness comes and stakes a claim, there just seems to be nothing I can do to over come it.
Then I remember. There is a solution.
The best way for me to get out of the stuck-ness is to do the EXACT OPPOSITE of what I’m feeling. I have to practice contrary action.
If I feel unmotivated to write, I have to write for one hour.
If I don’t want to cook, I cook something.
If I can’t bear to look at myself in the mirror because I feel uncomfortable in my skin, I go for a walk or a hike in a canyon.
If I feel lonely and don’t understand why no one is calling me, I pick up the phone.
If I feel anti-social, I go out and do something with friends.
It takes a lot courage to practice contrary action–especially when my emotional back tires feel like they’ve fallen off and I’m in a steep pitched ditch. But as soon as I practice the exact opposite of how I’m feeling, suddenly I experience something like psychological tune up. And off I go, speeding down the highway to happy destiny.
Suddenly, I feel like like writer again.
I remember how fun it is to be in the kitchen.
My appreciation of love and friendship returns to me.
I get comfortable in my skin.
I put on a flirty dress and put on make up.
Contrary action may not be the easiest tool to use, but it works. So if you’re feeling lonely, do something nice to for someone else today. If you don’t feel creative, pull out the crayons and draw a picture. If you don’t want to leave your house, take a walk around the block and find beautiful things to take pictures of. Reach out to a friend. Hug a tree. Make a bag of granola and send it to someone you love. Make a gratitude list. Step up the computer and write.