Driven to Distraction

By: Lara Dustin Scriba


(4 min. read)

 Recently, I started taking notice of the ways that I check out and avoid taking meaningful action, especially when it requires that I step out of my comfort zone. I have committed to a personal goal that challenges all facets of my being and am finding an incredible amount of resistance despite how deeply I am dedicated to my success.

I will have a to-do list written out, a list of personal goals to accomplish, or an agenda at hand, and inevitably, I will find some way to distract myself. The more emotionally invested I am in the outcome, the more distracted I find I become.

As soon as a task starts to become challenging, the discomfort builds, the chatter in my mind gets louder, and I find myself making another cup of tea, cleaning out the junk drawer, checking social media, taking a nap, having a glass of wine, or checking social media AGAIN… distracted and ultimately disappointed at the end of the day that no substantial traction was made towards meeting my goals.

Once I began to notice, the pattern was ridiculously predictable. Though I was frustrated, I couldn’t help but laugh at myself. My mind loves playing tricks, but I’ve learned a trick or two myself over the years.

I have the tools I need in order to embrace rather than avoid, nurture rather than numb, and create capacity within rather than criticize.

Bringing awareness to these unconscious behaviors has allowed me to flip the script and work with the energy at play. 

As soon as I start to notice the urge to distract myself or check out, I take a moment to pause and notice what I am running from or trying to avoid, feeling into my body for places of discomfort and dis-ease.

What is the quality of what I am feeling? Tightness, heaviness, tension, agitation, restlessness, sharp pain, dull ache, pressure?

Where in my body am I feeling it? My chest, head, belly, back, hips, shoulders?

I then take my hands and place them where I am feeling the discomfort,

and breathe into this space for a few breaths. To simply be with what is.

Some days, a moment is enough; others, I take myself to my yoga mat or go for a walk to allow the awareness and energy to move through me in a more dynamic way. 

For me, movement allows me to initiate a creativity loop. When my body is busy, my mind no longer obsesses about the task at hand, and there is a sense of spaciousness that opens up for the answers, ideas, or scenarios to seamlessly flood in. 

I then move from the physical body to the mental body. What story is currently running in the background? What are the quality of my thoughts? Positive, negative, doubtful, anxious, self-defeating, distracted?

What judgments do I have, or what type of reaction am I having as I notice these thoughts and feelings? Frustration, anger, judgment, acknowledgment, sadness, neutral recognition?

I allow myself to be a neutral observer and simply notice what is arising. Taking a few cleansing breaths to clear the energy and refocus.

What is it that I am truly needing at this moment? Validation, support, redirection, clarity, confidence, a quiet space, creativity, movement, rest?

What action can I take in order to take one step closer towards both meeting my needs and achieving my goal? Can I take one small, simple action, clear my workspace, carve out time to work when the kids are away, delegate household tasks to create more time, ask for help, and tackle the simplest task on the list?

I offer myself the opportunity to follow my intuition on how to best meet my needs AND my goals.

I love playing with the energy at hand, and by acknowledging what I am currently struggling with I then can creatively tackle both my agenda and tend to whatever emotional baggage I am dragging into a situation.

Rather than feeling uncomfortable and simply distracting myself to avoid the discomfort, I create a little space to be with whatever is showing up, taking time, pressing pause, and creating space to notice, be present, but also process what I am experiencing.

This may seem like another distraction, but it actually adds value to my experience, building self-trust and self-confidence along the way. Dispelling the myths my mind loves to spin, one false narrative at a time. 

I can tend to the task at hand with a deeper sense of clarity and connection when I work through what is showing up energetically and manifesting mentally, physically, or emotionally.

As I continue to commit to the goals I have set for myself, I am also committing to processing the discomfort that comes up along the way—paving the way to not only to my success but creating capacity within for the entirety of my experience. Ultimately allowing me to grow along with my goals, and consciously holding space for my dreams to become a reality.

Lara Scriba
                                                                     All Things Wellness, LLC
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