The Conflict Between What We Do and How We Relate to It


Do you ever want to quit the projects you start, and you’re not sure why?

Or, you feel uncomfortable with a situation, and you want to fix it and make it “better” as soon as possible?

I’ve been thinking a lot about this cycle lately, and here’s a pattern I’ve noticed in my creative process:

I’m often not in conflict with WHAT I’M DOING.

I’m often in conflict with HOW I’M RELATING TO what I’m doing.

See the difference?


Here’s an example:

One project I’m working on right now is writing my book.

One way I’ve related to this project is by worrying that I’m not writing fast enough and the agent I’m in conversation with won’t like the direction its going.

Writing the book is not the challenge, then.

How I’m relating to it—by worrying about how the writing will be received and the speed at which its being delivered—is the pattern to get curious about.

Similarly, a friend called me recently feeling like “a super anxious crazy person who is about to lose her mind” because she’s in a period of transition.

At first she thought the phase she is currently in is the problem, and the solution is to find a stable and secure job as quickly as possible.

Then, we got curious and dived deeper.

Beneath her desire for stability, we discovered a fear of not being in control and a discomfort with uncertainty as the source and root of her anxiety.

Once we named what was really going on, it created a sense of ease and relief for her, and opened the door for her to imagine other possibilities and pathways.

It’s rarely WHAT is happening in our lives that creates discomfort and anxiety. It’s HOW we’re relating to those circumstances.

An invitation: What is causing tension in your life right now? How are you relating to that situation? How might you relate in a more empowering way?

Amber Rae