Do You Have a Damn Breaker?

Sometimes I get stuck. I can’t seem to move forward with a goal or even several goals. I think about them in round robin fashion: Well, I want to submit more short stories to publishers, but I want to paint my living room, oh and I want to start exercising more but I want to submit stores but I should paint the living room first, no I really need to exercise more.


This can go on for months. Meanwhile I have less energy to do anything; I am not sleeping as well; my thoughts turn to self-recrimination about why I am not getting anything done. It is like water pushing against a dam.

Usually, in the back of my mind, there is one particular thing that I am wanting to do and not doing it. This is the one thing in my list of ought-to-be-doing that I am really avoiding. I am avoiding it because this one thing, in particular, requires me to get out of my ever-present comfort zone.

If I can just keep going around in circles trying to decide what to do first, damn, I can avoid that “damn breaker” and stay in my comfort zone.

Then one day, I start listening to my fears about doing the damn breaker. I take a deep breath and sign up for that exercise class, or submit that short story. I push myself, kicking and screaming, out of my comfort zone and into action. I do that damn thing I’ve been avoiding.


After a few moments of anxiety, I breathe deeply and feel the excitement that comes with stepping into the unknown or unfamiliar.

Less than Helpful Advice
Next time you’re stuck, figure out which one of those items on your list that you are really avoiding. That’s your damn breaker. Once you do that one, the other items no longer will be a problem. BTW, your damn breaker may not be on the list you’re ruminating about.

Meditation on my Inaction
What damn thing am I really avoiding?

About almondhead

I am a mental health counselor in private practice. One of the focuses of my practice is helping people with fear, anxiety and their ugly stepsister, depression. I became a counselor after a long career in the technology world, so naturally, I think of the brain as an engineering problem. It can help to understand something about how the brain works. I decided to start this blog as a way to help other people learn about fear, anxiety and relationship. (All our problems are really about relationships.) You can also find me at:
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