Getting Out of the Quicksand

Lately, I’ve been working on myself by focusing on God and school. I’ve been attending therapy sessions to help me think through life and thus far it’s been nothing but beneficial. I had a few requirements of my therapist, of course, a black female who believes in God, and Agnes pulled through. I’m glad to have someone to talk to that won’t pass judgment, but instead will listen to what I have to say and point me in the right, excuse me I mean sane, direction.

My first therapy session included me explaining what was going on with my life and picking a stress toy, thus the Rubix cube and chessboard. These are the strategy games I like to employ which helps my brain work towards something less stressful and relaxes me. During my most recent session, my therapist said something that I knew but never acknowledged. She gave me a scenario that goes a little like this: 

You and a friend are in quicksand. What is a way to ensure both of you will get out? 

I answered, “Well, one of us has to get out first, then pull up the other.” After these words passed my lips, it clicked. I knew but then began to acknowledge that I am not responsible for others. I have no children and am not the guardian of anyone. 

I tend to be a pretty compassionate and giving person. I love to give, though I would give without boundaries. My therapist told me that it’s ok to want to give but I need to set boundaries in order to get out of the quicksand. If my friends and I are focused on helping each other get out of the quicksand then we’ll both be stuck. 

I’ve grown up in a survival mode mentality and getting out of that mindset has proven difficult. For example, I was planning on getting a car, specifically the 2015 ForTwo, for a great deal of $250 per month. Once I told my therapist the car took premium gas, her jaw dropped. She broke it down for me. 

I would be paying $250 per month for the car payment. Insurance at the very least would be $100, though doubtful since I am under 25 years. It would cost me at least $50 to fill up the tank, which could last for a week depending on the amount of driving I was doing. Then the oil changes came into play which ranges from $20-$50. I would have been spending $600 per month for one item. I was not able to see the folly of my decision until it was dissected by my therapist. Thus, the survival mentality I had adapted now became aware to me. 

Image via Laci 

Throughout this session, one thing was apparent, I am impatient. I focus on how to get things done in the fastest way instead of changing the question, as my therapist suggested. Change the question and you change your focus. So instead of focusing on how to get it faster, focus on how to get it in the most efficient way. This survival mentality was now being challenged.  

In order to change my mentality, I need to change my focus by changing the questions I ask myself. Also, it is imperative that I write as it is a tool that has been a great stress reliever in the past and present. These are the first steps towards me getting out of the survival mode mentality I have been taught, which is my first step towards personal success. I wanted to share this experience with you just to help you realize your own unhealthy mindset. Yeah, those habits that you know are not producing the results that match your goals. Ask yourself questions to change the focus.