Thinking Differently – Paint & Prattle

Often we can get stuck in a cycle of repetitive thinking. We have a problem that we are trying to solve and we just keep trying to do the same thing over and over again. Does that sound familiar?

We are probably all aware of the famous quotation “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result”.

Until I researched this blog (yes I do research them!) I thought that was written by Einstein – apparently it wasn’t and first appeared in a 1983 novel but regardless of where it came from it makes a lot of sense!

So what was my problem? I had bought a lot of paint and wanted to repaint my dining room table and chairs and sideboard. No problem with that – however I bought the paint a year ago and almost every week I have resolved to start the job. And every single week I have done no such thing.

Does that seem familiar to you? For you it might not relate to DIY, it might relate to any task that looks too big, too scary, confusing, overwhelming or just plain boring. We can’t let the task go but we can’t do it either so we are stuck in a cycle of planning, failure, disappointment and maybe even shame that we are not doing it.

So I started to think about how else could I tackle this. I was also aware that a friend of mine had a similar challenge and was also not moving forward and getting frustrated. We also were both getting used to a very different routine in our lives and were both looking for regular connections to avoid feeling isolated in the week.

So Paint & Prattle was born.

For two hours a week we meet at each other’s houses and we help each other with our painting. Whilst we are doing that we have a good old natter which makes us feel connected as well as supported.

This has had a number of knock on benefits which have made me wonder where else I can apply this in my life:-

1 – The job that looked too big suddenly doesn’t. This means I am getting on with it in between the P&P sessions because I no longer feel like I have to do it all by myself.

2 – I have something to look forward to in my week (on a Monday) when I know I am going to have both a great social experience but also my project will move forward.

3 – I have someone else to bounce ideas off and the list of DIY jobs I want to do is now growing – which is great as it is giving me confidence about my creativity (which has not previously been a strength of mine).

4 – These benefits are all doubled as they are the same for my friend.

So where else can this be applied in life? What do you have in your life that you could apply this to?

How about: Garden & Gabble or Walk & Waffle or Jog & Jabber

Typically we are not good at asking for help but when we do, we often give benefits to the helper as well as ourselves. We are rarely alone in our challenges but if we don’t share them we will never know who else feels the same.

I’d love you to comment on this blog or my social media posts about where you would like to set up a version of Paint & Prattle to help yourself and others. If you are interested in coaching to help you look at your life differently then please contact me here.

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