The day after I did my Focus Wheel with Susan (FW with Susan), I tried to do one for myself. You may remember that the purpose of the Focus Wheel is to shift one’s belief from a negative, self-defeating one to a more positive, hopeful one.
You see, for the last couple of weeks, I have been trying to accomplish some business tasks that I’ve never had to do before. While most familiar tasks can be mundane and unexciting, new ones can be absolutely daunting. And after traveling up that road of effort a few times and still not getting it right, I came to think, “Oh, this stuff is SO HARD!!”
Fortunately, I realized that reinforcing the difficulty of the stuff was just going to make it harder! So I thought to myself, “How can I reframe this frustration into something a little less intense?” And I came up with, “This stuff is time consuming.”
That was a good start. “Time consuming” didn’t have the sting that “SO HARD” had! But I still felt discouraged about the tasks looming ahead, so I decided to do my own Focus Wheel.
I drew the big circle with the 12 little circles around it. Outside of the circle, I wrote my current belief, which had to do with fear of failing.
Then, inside the circle, I wrote the belief that I wanted to have: “I can figure this out.”
The twelve little circles around the outside are for filling in statements that support your desired belief. I started to fill in ideas such as, “There is a formula to this,” and “so-and-so can help me.” However, I hit a snag: whenever I started to write something in the little circles, my gut flipped.
Gut-flipping is a sign that you’re writing something that you don’t actually believe. And the little circles are strictly for things that are true.
The things I had written were technically true; but, as I wrote, I became aware that I didn’t believe that these things were going to be enough. So I had to cross them off. In fact, I suddenly realized that I was not only afraid of failure, but terrified.
No wonder I wasn’t getting anywhere.
I had to cross off a lot and re-write my current belief, “terror” instead of “fear.”
The great thing that I got out of this was that I didn’t need intellectual input, help from others, etc. I wasn’t ready for all that. I just needed soothing. For most of my life, I simply would have beaten myself into submission and struggled through with the terror intact. This was how we were taught to do things. Now that I’m aware that my emotions affect my outcome, and I’ve learned to pay attention to them, it’s getting easier for me.
After filling in the little circles with true statements such as : “It’s okay to be afraid,” and “It’s normal for new activities to take time,” I was able to get a good night’s sleep.
When I woke up the next day, my spirits returned to a robust happiness and my day went really well. I can attack those new tasks in earnest and don’t feel afraid.