The Sneaky Nature Of Obsession
Self-Compassion is great for sneaky problems like obsession because it gives us enough objectivity to not get further tangled in our thoughts or behaviors. It does not take a crazy person to become obsessive about something. You just have to show some interest, then a little more interest, experience some uncontrollable stress in another part of your life, and then become ruthless in how closely the details of your actions must match the ideal. Boom, you are obsessed.
When Obsession Becomes Too Much
They say that you have to be obsessed to be excellent at what you do, and perhaps that is true to a certain extent, but as soon as that obsession starts to impinge upon your well-being, it is time to pause and re-evaluate. How do you know when it is time to re-evaluate? You will know it is time for a change, when your actions begin to adversely affect your work, your friendships, your passions, or your home.
Getting Unstuck From Obsession
It is clear that we are all vulnerable to getting stuck in obsession, so how do we get unstuck? First, write down the obsession. You cannot remedy the invisible. Second, write down your plan for this obsession, what it means to you, and what it means to your larger life goals. Third, see where you can scale back your efforts. Make it so that good enough is indeed good enough. The best editor I know used to say, “Take out that red pen once you have finished writing, and cut absolutely everything that you do not need. Be an editing monster!” Fourth, and finally, be kind to yourself. You obsess about stuff because you are a passionate person, and want to put something good out into the world. The world can be stressful, frustrating, and overwhelming. It is natural to want to control it or offset it with an activity of which you have more control.
Reward, Reward, Reward
Once this is done, take the time to pat yourself on the back. Remember, we tend to repeat and move towards that which acknowledges and gives rewards. If you are going to obsess about something, obsess about that! Wishing you the freedom to be passionate without obsessive, and compassionate where you might be critical.
365 Days Of Self-Compassion. Day 162. In The Books.