Fear and the Couch Potato

Have you ever played an unfortunate game with your friends or significant other called “what do you want to do?” In this game, you go back and forth saying “I dunno” because you a) really don’t care, b) want the other person to choose because it’s easier, c) are afraid of voicing your weird choice or d) (some reason that I have not thought about yet). The game ends when someone gets exasperated and makes a choice or you both end up staying home.

I mention this game as an example of how difficult it can sometimes be to know what you want to do. It should be a simple question with a simple answer, but it gets complicated. Emotions get in the way. Old beliefs get in the way.

Since I have learned to be more aware of fear (thank you, life coach Noe Khalfa), I have been able to see how it can obscure what I want to do. First, I get scared – this morning I didn’t do the dishes because I was irrationally afraid that this would somehow make me a housewife. Then, I can’t figure out what I want to do – which scares me further. I envision myself becoming a couch potato because I can’t figure out what I want to do.

It’s a cycle.

I’ve been trying to figure out how to break it.

Yesterday I had some success with a simple fear. I am afraid of riding my bike by myself. With others, I am a fearless biker and happy to lead the pack. But I don’t like riding on city streets (even in Seattle) without someone else to watch my back. Instead of staying home (and inching closer to couch potato status), I went for a bike ride anyway. My whole day was improved by going on that bike ride.

Yesterday was like vacation. I felt pretty good!

Today I feel like I need to get to work .That is a bit silly, since I have only had a four day weekend so far (not a long vacation by any standard). But I think that is what is making it difficult for me to figure out what I want to do. My wants are clouded by my belief that productivity is essential to every day. I have a hard time when my boyfriend asks what I did that day and the answer is ‘nothing’. I need to have a list of accomplishments. But I want to be able to relax and follow my heart. My belief in productivity makes this difficult.

The irony is that I’m so scared of not being productive that it makes me a couch potato (but a stressed one). I am so scared of not being productive, that when I ask myself what I want to do, the answer becomes “nothing.” So I do nothing, but I’m stressed about it.

Either way, it seems I need to overcome my obsession with productivity in order to follow my new direction (doing what I truly want).

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