I woke up with a start. I do not remember what were my dreams, but my guess is that it was something that made me feel cornered, scared and quite so freaked out, because the moment I opened my eyes I felt how panic took over me. The first thought that got in my mind was 'We'll never make it on time with the German project' - the project for the problematic co-owner/huge-client. And truthfully we really might not make it on time. Thanks to their manipulative and somewhat psychotic project manager we were given 6 weeks and one developer to complete something that needs at least twice that much time with at least two developers in the team - the reason why I'm freaked out. And right now we have only 2 more weeks until the end of that deadline, and we still have quite a few things to do. Just thinking about all the small details that need to be integrated in the project sent my heart leaping in my chest and I felt dizzy with nerves. I could even feel cold sweat breaking out as I sat in my bed with my eyes closed, trying to get over that panic episode.
What could I do? Well... for one I started thinking about all those little details - we don't even have the specs written down properly for the developer. If we have them written down he might manage to integrate them rather quickly. They are not hard, just a bit catchy. But if I sit down and go through our given specs and extract them properly explained we might be able to make it. And this is what I intend to do this afternoon - I'll spend an hour or so working, but it's worth it. On Monday I'll go to work prepared with a solution in hand. And the moment I thought about it my panic episode passed and I was able to simply breathe out.
Do not let fear blur your vision. Focus on the problem and you will see the solution. Do not procrastinate, but get down to solving right away.
It's amazing how when you face a scary (or scary in your eyes) problem everything around you seems to get blurry, you feel lost, scared, like there is no escape, like that problem will come to you and hit you hard across the face and you will fail. Well.... at least this is how I feel most of the times when I face a problem, but then again I do tend to be panicky...
It is hard to ignore all those little voices that keep you distracted from the main problem, but just whisper to you how you would fail and all t he horrible consequences of that failure. But if you try to focus on the real problem, and you manage to keep your focus onto it for a while, slowly those voices shut up one by one until it is just you face-to-face with what is the real problem. And when you see it, just it, the solution is often quite obvious and simple, and it usually pops in your mind right away.
I felt like this when I was failing my classes back at university. The thought of failing brought me to horrible panic attacks, and all I could think about was how I'd fail, not manage to get a job, not manage to have a life, but then as I'd focus on the said problem - failing a class, the solution was right there - I simply had to study. Duh.
That 'duh' moment has always been there when I'd face a problem. It's actually quite hard to admit to yourself that the solution of something that seems so horrible and impossible is actually quite simple and obvious. And it's even harder to get yourself to actually doing it as you first have to win over your fear, then over the battle with yourself that the simple solution is actually this and that you need to get moving to do it, but if you get to the point of admitting it, it get easier to take a deep breath, stay focused and take the first step to solving that horrible impossible problem.
And isn't it like this?
Failing a class? Sit down, focus and study harder.
Don't like your job? Sit down, focus and prepare to search for a new one - make a resume, find sites for jobs, do a few searches.
Want to lose weight? Well... stand up and get moving.
Want to go to university? Find one, get the application papers and fill them in.
Want a relationship? Get out, meet people. Go online, search for dating sites, make a profile.
Don't have clarified specifications for your project? Sit down and write them down...
It's always so obvious and simple... but it is damn hard to get over yourself and do it... And sometimes it's so easy to forget to look for the simplest solution... But I do believe that if I keep my mind onto the problem, focus onto it, I will be able to get to that duh moment... and eventually to get over both my pride of admitting that it's truly a 'duh' and the fear of getting down to solving the problem, and then moving on and eventually facing other problems. But if you want to progress you will eventually have to get out of that stuck place and move on to the scary (at least for me) unknown future...