Defense mechanisms are sneaky buggers. They’re totally internal, but they disguise themselves as being external. Do any of these sound familiar?
- “I can’t get anywhere on my print-making business because I’ve got too much work around the house to do this weekend.”
- “Once I get this credit card paid off, I can finally move out of this crappy apartment.”
- “I have this book idea I’ve been messing around with for a while, but every time I start to get somewhere on it, a big project comes up at my day job and I get knocked off track.”
Most of us human beings are amazingly good at putting up roadblocks at the end of the driveway and then complaining that we can’t get anywhere because the road is closed. And most of the time we don’t even realize we’re doing it.
Something that’s come up with my clients– not to mention something I’m guilty of, myself– is the trap of Being Busy.
And why not? “Being busy” is seen as virtuous in our culture. Being busy doing things for other people, even more so! Nobody would fault you for calling your mom, spending the weekend at work for a crunch project, taking care of your sister’s kids for a few hours, driving your brother to the doctor, helping a friend get the kinks out of that amazing prop he’s building to take to the next convention, and putting in a few hours of volunteer work at the community center. I mean really, they need your help, aren’t you kind of a jerk if you don’t do those things?
When you’re in the trap yourself, it seems so reasonable and natural… but when you look at it from the outside, it’s obvious what’s going on. By constantly having something SO much more urgent than your own project, that you just HAVE TO do today, not only do you get to stay snug in warm in your comfortable present situation, but you also get to pat yourself on the back for being Virtuously Busy.
And by some amazing coincidence, there’ll be a whole new set of things to be Virtuously Busy with tomorrow!
This is where a coach comes in. Your coach prioritizes YOU– not your mom, your co-workers, or your friend’s amazing prop-making hobby. All your coach cares about is whether you’re getting anywhere on the goals YOU want to achieve. And as an outside observer, your coach can see the Virtuously Busy trap for what it is, and help you navigate your way out of it.
Now some of these external things may very well have real consequences that need dealing with, but even there your coach will help you sift through and figure out which ones are essential and which ones are just fear wearing a rubber mask.
Sound helpful? Need a guide to help you out of the Virtuously Busy trap? Want to put the power of coaching to work for you? Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a complimentary session today.