Last week I wrote about buffering. Just to recap… Buffering is any action you engage in to avoid feeling an emotion. I admitted that I buffer with food aka emotional eating. Many of us buffer emotion with social media, etc.
I buffer when I have a task that I think will be long, complicated or difficult. I tend to look at Facebook, check my email or find some other little task to complete rather than tacking the challenging one head on.
Brian Tracy even wrote a book about buffering called Eat That Frog: https://www.amazon.com/Eat-That-Frog-Great-Procrastinating-ebook/dp/B001AFF25W
He doesn’t state it that way, he calls it procrastination, and of course it is procrastination, but I would say that’s more than that too.
If you go a bit deeper, consider why you procrastinate a task. Why don’t you want to clean out the closet? Conquer that filing project or start writing that paper? Chances are it’s because of the uncomfortable thoughts that you are having about that task.
Let’s take Operation Messy Closet as an example.
The closet is a mess, it’s disorganized, there’s stuff on the floor, it’s difficult to find things and it takes you more time than necessary to get dressed each morning because of it. So you keep thinking that it’s time to clean it up. Only every time you have free time you find another less important, small task to do. My personal favorite recently… doing the dishes.
Or you decide to watch Netflix. Or eat. Or really just ANYTHING other than start working on cleaning up the closet. All of that is buffering. Stop and take a moment to feel what it feels like to have a messy closet, to have thoughts like “I’m such a slob”, “why can’t I keep a clean closet”, “I’m not even disciplined enough to clean this place up”, etc. That’s uncomfortable, am I right?
What if.. instead of going to eat some chips to not feel that uncomfortable feeling in your body (feelings are in your body AND mind), you just sat with it? I promise that the feeling won’t kill you or cause you bodily harm in any way. It just doesn’t FEEL good to have these thoughts, but I would argue that it’s GOOD to feel them. It means that we are human, we feel emotion and when we feel these emotions, and allow them, we are processing them. After a while the fear of the emotion losses it’s power over us.
We get the power back.
We can live life knowing that, we control our thoughts, our thoughts control our emotions and we can handle any emotion our brains create. You are in control. Realizing that is a huge step toward taking control of your life.