“I have no choice”: the emotional fog

The decision was made.

I was going to change jobs!

It had been on my mind for a while, but this time I wanted to change!

I started to talk about it around me, little by little, both to commit myself indirectly and also to see what it felt like to say it, and confirm that it was the right decision.

The first person I told, thinking I was telling her great news, answered without surprise that “it was time!

According to her, I was on the verge of despair in this position, so she had been wondering when I was going to make the move!

Same reaction with a close family member: “Yes I think it’s time!”.

Damn, but it was so obvious!?

And the nail was hammered in one morning by the plumber with whom I also talked about changing jobs. After a while, he answered: yes, I think it’s time!

They have definitely passed the word around!

When the obvious is not obvious

Perhaps it has happened to you the other way, where the outcome of a situation seems so obvious to your friend that you wonder why he doesn’t see it.

A relationship at a standstill, a career at a dead end, a project that is not moving forward, a habit that is not very helpful, …

When it’s about others, it’s always clearer.

When it’s about yourself, it’s always clearer for others!

So what makes this obviousness escape us?

Why do others have this heightened awareness of the situation when they are not even in it?

It’s as if there is a fog in front of us, as if it’s impossible to see more than 2 meters away, while others can clearly see the way to the horizon or almost.

This fog? It is an emotional fog.

In fact, what prevents us from seeing the different paths available to us are our blocked emotions.

They form a smokescreen that prevents discernment, reflection and awareness of things.

It is only when we have processed these emotions, that we have more or less released them, that the horizon clears and everything becomes clearer.

If, for example, a romantic relationship does not progress despite efforts and the only way out is separation, the person who is confronted with it will probably feel intense emotions linked to this idea of separation:

  • Guilt: he or she will not want to hurt the other person and will prefer to remain silent, and continue to lie to himself or herself
  • Fear: she does not want to be alone emotionally
  • Anxiety: she will be confronted with financial difficulties, which will create stress and fears

Each time the idea of separation will be the object of his thoughts, it will awaken different unpleasant emotions linked to his experience and which will largely compensate the interest to separate.

And the person will not separate right away (if ever!).

Or, unconsciously, he or she will generate situations to sabotage the relationship a little more until the partner makes the decision to end the relationship.

“I have no choice!”

Let’s take another example.

Is the job aspect not going well?

The position is no longer suitable? The atmosphere is toxic? Burn-out is just around the corner? The job is meaningless?

This person comes to see you and explains the situation for an hour.

After a while, you see that the solution is to change jobs.

And yet, the person does nothing for months, even years, even if it means becoming bitter.

And yes, the idea of changing jobs will probably generate some not-so-pleasant thoughts:

  • What if I don’t find a job elsewhere?
  • What if I’m wrong?
  • What if it’s my fault after all?
  • What if I don’t earn as much in my next job?
  • What if somewhere else is the same or even worse? I know what I’m leaving, not what I find!
  • What if I can’t train for another job?
  • What if I don’t like it either?

The thoughts will awaken emotions that will prevent the person from making a career change.

These emotions will paralyze the person in this situation and when asked why they stay in this position, they will answer “I have no choice!

The person in question will feel these emotions more or less consciously and their decision making will depend largely on them

But for the people around him, they are little or not visible and it is the incomprehension.

Until …

When it’s too much, it’s too much…

So on the left side of the scale, there is this desire for change, a call to something else, on the right side, a pile of unpleasant emotions that weigh their weight.

The scales are tipped heavily to the right!

You can press your finger on the left side of the scale to cheat a little, but it doesn’t change anything to the situation.

So what is it that makes it tip over at a given moment?

What makes the person wake up and decide to change?

Two possibilities for the desire to change to prevail:

  1. either the weight of the emotions on the right becomes lighter, because they are released, the fears are transcended, the fog disappears
  2. or the call to change becomes too strong, the malaise linked to the current situation becomes too important to be ignored

In the first case, it can be done gently, the work on oneself releases the emotions little by little and one morning, the obviousness jumps to our eyes and we take action.

In the second case, we have a huge weight on both sides but the left side wins and we start a change despite all these emotions. But it’s painful, it’s difficult, we struggle against ourselves to take one step after the other, with the permanent risk that the scale will break because of the excess weight on both sides.

The scale that cracks in the middle is a burn-out.

I choose not to have a choice

We always have a choice…

But I will often make a choice to avoid experiencing unpleasant emotions.

In the situation I am in, I study the options in my head, and each option will generate more or less intense emotions depending on one’s experience.

And in order not to have to live these emotions, I will make a choice.

Except that everything happens so fast in our head (hello to those who think “too much” 😉 ) that we have the impression of “not having the choice”.

Because the choice is made unconsciously, in the background of our consciousness.

We always have the choice … it’s just that we don’t like some consequences of this choice.

Observing our thoughts, feeling our emotions allows us to better understand our decision making process and what blocks us in a situation today.

It is to bring more light within to see what is going on, that is mindful living!

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