Golden Visions and Associates | Coaching for Success
Thought for the Week
Your Success Thought for the Week of September 2, 2009
Stop Log Jamming Thoughts
Imagine a grouping of logs floating peacefully down the river.  They come up against various shorelines, readjust, and continue toward their destination.  Sometimes, one log will topple over the other, bringing more intrigue to the float. 
Then, one large, intrusive log comes barreling down the river, forcing other logs out of its way.  Some logs are pushed up onto land while others are jammed together, slowing down the entire process. 
The eventual elbow in the river will come along where, due to that one log jamming things up, nothing gets through. 
The same process occurs with our thoughts.  We juggle a flow of thoughts in and out of our mind throughout the day. One flows in, decisions are made, and it flows out making room for the next thought and so your productive flow goes.
Then, that one crisis bulldozes its way in, knocking all other thoughts out of perspective.  Our thoughts get jammed.  The more we have on our mind, the more this will occur.
Though it can happen during the day, log jamming thoughts seem more prevalent at night, just before closing your eyes or an hour into your sleep. 
Suddenly, you're wide awake trying to solve what is bothering you. If you're like many of my clients, you're on the blackberry practically before your eyes open. 
Here are some log jammers that may interfere with your effectiveness, day or night:
  • What if this?
  • Why did I say that?
  • I forgot to call this person.
  • Why didn't I explain that better?
  • Were my intentions misinterpreted?
  • How can I make them understand?
  • Why doesn't this person get it?
  • Why can't my talent be appreciated?
  • Will he/she ever stop annoying me?
  • Is it time to leave?
It's no wonder you lie awake without any sense of clarity.  Your thoughts are ramping up and jumping over the others, trying to say 'pick me' to worry about, 'no, pick me.'  You thoughts are log jammed together.
Breathe.  Though breathing is the last thing on your mind at that moment, it's vital to regaining composure.  Breathing helps restore the blood and oxygen flow to your brain that your log jam has depleted.
After breathing, these simple techniques will help you recover to your steady flow of thinking, day or night.
Physical Release:  If you are prone to lying awake at night, stress heavily during the day, or have a particularly wild week ahead, prepare your body for the added anxiety.  For some, a yoga or dance routine will do the trick; for others, step up your exercise routine.  Get up and move, physically shake things up to increase your body, mind and spiritual flow.
Mental Release: Develop new routines to unlock your log jam of thoughts.  Write them down with potential options or solutions.  Your pen or keyboard cannot move as fast as your mind so taking the time to write your thoughts down will slow them long enough to provide clarity.
Social Release:  It is lonely at the top, no doubt about it.  Challenge yourself to find someone with whom you can talk and brainstorm.  Clients tell me that those around them are too busy to "chat about my challenges," yet those around you have challenges of their own. 
Create a structure where both can be heard.  For example, half of the meeting is focused on strategizing your challenges, half for focusing upon your associate. 
You may find sounding boards in the least likely places as in people who are older, younger, not in your field, at church or the athletic club, retired or just starting out with a refreshing sense of creativity. 
And of course, there is the advantage of having your own strategic coach.
Unproductive log jamming thoughts happens to all of us from time to time.  The key is to know the triggers, and then to find preventative or ongoing solutions so that when that obtrusive log or thought heads your way, you're prepared.
This week, become keenly aware of those triggers and have a plan to keep your dynamic thoughts floating smoothly toward their optimal destination.
Enjoy your discoveries and have a grand week!

To see more of my published articles, including ''Beyond 360 Degree Surveys,' go to:Golden Visions & Associates, Coaching for Executive and Leadership Success and then click on Writing and Wisdom across the top.

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Permission is granted to either reproduce copy or distribute "Your Success Thought for the Week" for September 2, 2009 as long as this copyright notice and full information about contacting the author is attached. The author is Ann Golden Eglé, GV&A, Golden Visions & Associates, Coaching for Success, 541.385.8887, PO Box 1696, Bend, Or. 97709.