Take motivation, for example. Say I'm feeling lethargic and resistant to the idea of doing something I fully know I need to take care of relatively soon. But when I try to take care of it, the resistance just rises and there is just a little flutter of fear.
But no, it doesn't matter. In the past, I would have either quashed the feeling or given into it and done nothing. Now, I have a different approach that has far more promise.
I see that lethargy, that resistance, and I pause for a moment. What's happening here?
First, I name it. Ok, looks like there's some resistance here, like I don't want to take care of it. Taking note of my own tension and a desire to go do something, anything else, I note to myself: perhaps some anxiety and possibly fear.
Ok, so that's what's happening. It's there, so now what?
I take a look at what it's saying. Yes, those things have their own running commentary. I can't do this because I've never done it before, I don't know how to. I'll screw it up, so what's the point? It'll probably be embarrassing when I do too.
Here's where I can note again, preferably with some humor and compassion. No wonder I didn't want to do this, there's all this just sitting here. Stuff I don't even want to listen to. Because of course logically that's all not that big of a deal.
And here comes the next crucial step. Now that I've taken the time to listen and hear it, I find a way to address those concerns. I don't know how to do this: ok let's make a specific plan about how I can find out how to. I'll screw it up: yes, that's a possibility, but there's a first time for everything, It won't be the end of the world. It'll probably be embarrassing when I do too: it's my first time! So what? And everyone I respect would fully understand that.
And now I feel better about it. I know what to do and I know what I'm dealing with better. And with that, here comes the motivation and the ability to deal with everyday life with far greater aplomb.
So I leave you with a quote from an unlikely source:
"Shine a light in the darkness, and you just might find a friend. Focus on the darkness and that is all you may ever see."
- Legend of Korra