I’ve been working on this series on the stories we tell ourselves about what things mean in our lives. When we’re stuck in inaction or can’t seem to motivate ourselves it’s simply a symptom pointing to a need for decision inquiry, not something fundamentally wrong with us.
Last week I talked about connecting to your values – why the decision matters to you – and how it can be an antidote to inaction. A second strategy when feeling stuck or uninspired by your decision is to look back at the decision and reframe the problem.
A reframe is simply looking at the decision in a new way zooming in, out, or from a slightly different angle. Ask yourself
- Did I solve the right problem?
I’ve talked before about my diagnosis of osteoporosis, and how initially I was in a state of panic and emotional overwhelm thinking, ‘I’m going to die of a broken hip and it’s going to be terrible. I have an old lady problem.” I started to solve it from that perspective and felt overwhelmed.
It took a few weeks but I backed up and realized I was solving the wrong problem! I asked a new question, “Who has a bone density problem who is not an old person?” An astronaut who has spent time on the space station. I reframed my problem into,
“What would NASA do?”
By reframing my problem I actually shifted HOW I saw the problem and created new solutions. Instead of saying to myself that I needed to be cautious and frightened of the future, I sought experts to support me in figuring out how to change my lifestyle. It got me in a decision-fit state, out of fear, and into positive action.
So if you can’t take action, did you solve the right problem? Try a reframe. Ask a different question and approach it from a different perspective. Instead of being an old person, be an astronaut. It makes life more exciting, and gives you a more compelling narrative for your life.