Sunday, March 28, 2010

Shades of fear

When faced with multiple options, I often find it difficult to make a decision. I suspect this is an average situation for a nervous person. Recently I decided to paint my kitchen, and choosing a color can be a daunting task for me. There are just too many choices! But as Dr. Low reminds us, any decision will steady us, so I chose a color (“Bungalow Gold”) and got to work.

As I was painting, though, I realized that the color was way too dark. I decided to finish the kitchen so I could take in the whole view, and my hunch was confirmed; my kitchen “shrank” with such a deep hue. I could feel angry temper well up inside me, as I scolded myself for not making a better decision, and I also felt fearful temper, as I wondered how others would view my “mistake.” I take a lot of pride in my home, and I admit I often have strived to have the “perfect” residence, worthy of HGTV.

Yet instead of working myself up this time, I left the kitchen; went to bed; and re-evaluated the situation in the morning. I still felt the color was too dark, so I reprimed the walls and selected a different color (“Pear”). I also lowered my standards, reminding myself that this was not something that should threaten my mental health.

Before Recovery, I would have went into a full-fledged panic over this situation. I definitely would have called a lot of my friends—and, as Dr. Low says, to talk it up is to work it up. Although I forgot to endorse myself at the time, I’m endorsing myself now for not working up this triviality.

3 comments:

expwoman said...

I remember being horrified when my therapist suggested that all learning is trial and error, and in fact that's how we learn. It was entirely too scary a concept for me. I like how you dealt with this situation--getting in there, making a decision, living with it, and learning from it.

Mary said...

I like how you used objectivity by deciding to go to bed and re-evaluate in the morning. Lower our standards & our performance rises. There are always ways to fix a color that we don't like by repainting another color. Endorse for effort, NOT outcome. Endorse for sharing your example with us.

UA-communication-research said...

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David Keating
Department of Communication
University of Arizona
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