It’s often a case of high emotions in my clinic. Some clients come in with trauma, the afflictions of lifestyle choices and impediments, or a broken heart, for example. And some people come in to fix a problem that is not actually a personal problem. Rather, they are creating problems or issues, or focusing on something outside of themselves, as a kind of distraction from the real issue.

Problems vs Distractions

The kinds of issues people present with when they are creating problems are often centred on someone else or something else, outside of themselves and outside of their inner circle. Sometimes they are related to a third party that the client is focusing upon, even though they could choose to ignore the issue if they decided.

Other times these problems are serious issues and by no means am I suggesting that they do not deserve attention. What I am suggesting is that these problems are often so large that they sit in the realm of worldly events, environmental issues, animal and human rights and so forth, that simply have no opportunity for immediate resolution, if any resolution at all. They become a distraction for the client’s own disharmony, rather than enabling that client to focus on what they can fix, within themselves.

Sometimes we focus on our own lives instead of what some may consider to be the real issue, where we are then criticised for not caring or not doing our bit; but other times it is the other way around, where we are too focussed elsewhere.

With these large scale issues, the buffer zone between the client and the problem is often broken down so that these problems become an endless source of unmoveable pain, creating a pointlessness to any kind of effort. Suddenly we find an individual crippled with sadness over the hordes of starving children in the world, so affected that they cannot look after their own mental health, for example. On a much smaller scale, the client may be focussing upon a mother-in-law that they might only see twice a year.

Reasons for Creating Problems

Why might this occur? In my observation, the key reason we are creating problems is that we are actually using this issue as a distraction from dealing with our own life, especially when there is nothing immediate in our life to fix.

Imagine a person with enough financial means for a safe and relatively easy life. Imagine that their health is stable, and there are no dramas at work, if they are still working. They are wanting to be purposeful but they have run out of projects. The house is done, the kids are off on their journeys, the career is rolling along and so on. The person needs something to focus upon in order to feel powerful, purposeful or useful.

A Better Approach

We can all fall into the trap of creating problems using outside influences as distractions, even with all of the worldly calamities that indeed do require attention. With such issues however, becoming obsessive or depressed or otherwise destabilised by them is not going to help anyone, and so it is not an efficient approach in any case. The real issue in this type of scenario might be that the person feels ineffective to change things, and thus feels powerless.

I would be looking to see if this person feels powerless in any other area of their lives, as well as finding out what types of things make this person feel powerful. That would be a great place to start. When that person can feel powerful again, despite the state of the world, we usually find that acceptance becomes possible. I am not talking about complacency here, but acceptance that perhaps we won’t get to see things turn around, or perhaps we might only focus on a smaller scale version of the issue, where we might see some change.

Self-Check – Problem or Distraction?

There are always going to huge issues going on around us that can cause us great pain, and so many of them. It is about knowing when and how to fight, and sometimes fighting simply won’t help. All it will do is weaken your resources further. Think of yourself as being battery charged. You only have so much charge in the day. What are you going to use it on?

If, however, fighting for something outside of yourself has a shot at success, then go for it. If deciding to contribute your energy to a cause is important to you, then decide how much you can afford to give. Sometimes change takes time. However, really scrutinise your motives and be certain that you are not using this issue as a distraction against feeling a lack of purpose in your own life.

If you suspect that you have an inner issue that is perpetuating your need to focus on problems outside of yourself, then perhaps look at that first. We can help. Horizons Clinical Hypnotherapy Sunshine Coast.