How often do you find yourself in a room, looking for something that you are completely positive you had in your possession mere moments before? How much time do you waste scouring and scrutinizing every inch with which you had just had contact? How many times do you lift up the same cushion, despite the last several times revealed an equal amount of nothing? How long before you take a step back, out of the room, and place your hand on the item for which you were searching?
Perhaps you are looking for something in storage, on shelves in a pantry, or perhaps a book in a bookcase. You know the item is there, your confidence in its placement unquestionable. You simply can’t see it. You shift and move items, scan and recheck the inventory, and maybe even have a hand on what you are looking for, but it just can’t be located. You remove yourself from the room for a moment, then walk back in. And immediately you find it.
Let’s say you are searching for the perfect gift for an anniversary, or birthday, or any special event for someone extremely important. You spend hours online researching, and looking up suggestions, and pricing items, and find nothing that you feel truly matches the kind of gift you wanted to give. You take a break, get in the shower, and immediately the perfect gift comes to mind, and it’s none of the hundreds of things on which you’ve just wasted hours of research.
Maybe you are charged with learning and implementing a new system, or procedure, or program, at work. The old system didn’t seem to be flawed, and you knew all the intricacies intimately, and could work with this system without even having to think. Now something new is replacing that element, and you are experiencing great frustration. It’s time to take a step back, remove yourself from the frustrations, and return to the challenge with a fresh perspective, taking it one simple step at a time.
Too often, we are completely immersed in whatever it is that we are doing, or even too immersed in ourselves, that when we need an answer, it is obscured from our vision by overt familiarity. Or, we become so comfortable with our surroundings, that glaring flaws and issues in the environment are easily glossed over. Perhaps we have executed an action a thousand times over, then someone reveals a better, more efficient and effective way, yet we can’t assimilate, or refuse to, the new, better way, because we are so accustomed to one doing things in a particular manner.
Is this familiarity often viewed as a problem? No, likely it isn’t considered an issue, until a challenge occurs. When faced with something that upsets our semblance of comfort, normalcy, and familiarly, our reactions are usually panicked, irrational, and lacking clear vision and perspective. Our own closeness to the issue is a massive hindrance. But this frustration need not be crippling.
We can remove ourselves from the comfort. We can extricate ourselves from the familiarity. We can stop ourselves from repeating the same actions and thought processes.
We can find answers by changing our perspective. We can learn new things by being uncomfortable. We can enhance our lives by embracing the unfamiliar.
When we step back, and take in our world in a different way, we can even make changes.