The “Telephone Pole” strategy to approaching stressful situations

I’m sitting here in the dentist chair about to get 2 fillings replaced…

Absolute misery and stress for someone like me who hates teeth cleanings.

My shirt is already getting sweaty.

But I have a plan to get through this…

Or any situation that makes us anxious or stressed.

And it can work for you too…

I call it the “telephone pole” strategy.

When I was younger and wanted to get in “shape”, I would inevitably go running.

I hated running… it was torture.

But I had a mental game that would get me through…

I would find a telephone pole, mailbox or other visible marker out on the horizon…

I would tell myself just to get to that marker, then I could quit, or just find another marker off in the distance.

It made the discomfort feel like a small dose I could bear, the I could stop or set another mini goal that was tolerable.

And usually that kept me going further than if I just set an arbitrary distance before I set out.

Well I’m using the same strategy today in the dentist’s chair.

I am setting mini telephone poles…

Walk in the door

Get the numbing shots

Get the first filling removed

Replace that filling

Remove the second filling

Replace that filling

Get in my car and breath

When I think about all of that in totality…

My breath shortens, my body tightens, I begin to sweat…

But when I think about just tackling one step at a time, it feels manageable.

The beauty of this strategy is…you can apply it to any situation you are going through in your life.

Just compartmentalize all the steps into small digestible components…

Take that leap and start the first step.

Once you start…you have momentum and may not feel like the next steps are out of your reach.

Don’t get bogged down by the full weight of something, make your own mental “telephone poles”…

And I think the progress and growth you make will be surprising.

Time for numbing shots…

I’ve got this…and so do you!


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