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The Great Dialing-Back

Friday March 25, 2022

Looking back to some of my favorite experiences and moments in life, they always started with a few things:

  1. Reflective Realization: Hey I’m way overexposed to this set of frustrating things!
  2. Emphasis on Direction: OK here’s what I wanna do—I want to END those frustrating things and DO something better.
  3. Dialing-Back: I lower my range of general activities and go off the radar while I figure it out and focus on these specifics.

I could say a lot about each of those points.

(And I think you could easily use those three steps, together, as a model for accomplishing a LOT of amazing stuff in life.)

But that last item, #3 above, is a big deal by itself. And nobody ever really talks about it.

Dial It Back

We can call that dialing-back “introversion,” if you like. Or “solitude” or “distancing” or whatever else seems to fit.

The fact is, it reveals a lot of strengths in introvert land.

I think I use the idea & related activities more naturally these days, than I did when I was younger. I grew up in a household that was focused more on Dialing it Up.

This is true of a lot of people I have coached, also. Typically my coaching practice intersects with their lives either just before, or during, their dialing-back phases. Some of these people were, like me, over-focused on making a big splash.

They needed to Dial it Back.

There are all kinds of side effects that come along with it, too, like:

  • Maybe you don’t spend as much time with friends, and they wonder where you went!
  • Maybe your family asks you—why so serious lately?
  • Perhaps you neglect some otherwise-important aspects. Maybe you haven’t gone for that daily run in months!
  • Or maybe you are letting other things slide.

But quite often, what happens on the other side of the dialing-back is a huge, general improvement. Those things in the list of side effects don’t matter as much, or are quickly and easily addressed, afterward.

So, the dialing-back stage is really, really interesting to me. I think it deserves a lot more credit and respect for what it can do, despite all the stereotypes of withdrawal, darkness, etc.

Filed in: Relationships /74/ | Therapeutic Practice /141/ | Control /105/

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