What is the Gray Area?
As a busy professional, are you experiencing a tremendous amount of stress in your daily life, both at home and in your work?
If you just answered yes in your mind, how are you dealing with that stress? What are you using, doing, or reaching for when you experience those tough moments?
What I’ve found in working with clients and in my own life is that the behaviors we typically engage in to relieve stress can oftentimes become addictive and they can actually prevent us from enjoying vibrant health, fulfilling relationships and career advancement that we deeply desire.
We find ourselves living in what I like to call a “Gray Area” of life. A place where we intuitively know we’re capable of so much more but just don’t know what actions to take to close the gap between where we are currently, and where we dream of being.
If you’re like most people, you probably engage in some type of self-defeating addictive behavior pattern to deal with the stress in your life. It could be one of many things from drinking every night after work, lighting up a joint, popping a Xanax, eating a pint of ice cream, scrolling through Social Media, or watching pornography.
You can also be addicted to your painful childhood stories that you’ve been carrying around with you for decades now about why it’s not possible for you to have the life you deeply desire.
Heck, it could be that you’re addicted to your phone!
Whatever your self-defeating addictive behavior pattern is, know this; you’re not alone. Most people have something.
So what is the Gray Area?
As a former Gray Area drinker, I was high functioning and didn’t experience what is typically referred to as “hitting your rock bottom”. I never got a DUI, lost my job or my marriage, but I was still secretly questioning my relationship with alcohol. I didn’t identify as an alcoholic in the general sense of the term but knew I was more than just a social drinker. When I did consume alcohol, it was hard to stop after just a few. I frequently found myself drinking more than I intended. I was confused, to say the least.
AA and society, in general, tend to define problem drinking in a binary way, stating you’re either an alcoholic or you’re not, that there’s no middle ground or Gray Area. I’ve found that this is simply NOT true, both with myself and through working with numerous clients.
Many more people fall into this Gray Area than those who identify as an alcoholic, by a wide margin!
The Gray Area can also be described as teetering between merely existing, like going through the motions in a “Groundhog Day” type of life, and the feeling of being fulfilled, excited and thriving in your life. All too often, we live in a fog where things appear okay just a few feet in front of us, but past that, it’s completely clouded with not much hope.
What I’ve found is a high percentage of professional men & women are dealing with tremendous amounts of stress and overwhelm. They’re struggling to find a work/life balance and feel as though they’re just existing and not really living the life they desire. They’re afraid of change and feel handcuffed to their current job which provides those 4 weeks per year vacation and generous benefits package. They long for early retirement when they’ll “finally” be happy. What they really want is to have the freedom and money to do what they want NOW, have balance in their work and personal lives and experience joy in the present instead of having to wait for another 10 to 20 years.
They’re convinced all their drinking, pill-popping, overeating, and other self-defeating addictive behaviors are part and parcel to managing a big, stressful life. “It’s no big deal since most everyone else is doing it so some degree,” they say. They falsely believe that if they just learned how to moderate their drinking and committed to a meditation practice or something similar, they’d be able to eliminate their stress and the fear of admitting they might actually have a problem.
I’ve found that what’s really happening with this type of person is that life is passing them by and the alcohol or coping mechanism they use is actually making their stress worse, but they can’t see it since they’re in a fog of busyness and overwhelm most of the time.
Living in the Gray Area is teetering between merely existing and fully living.
What they need to do is develop an invincible mindset, uncover the limiting beliefs that are keeping them stuck, come out of hiding behind negative coping mechanisms, and finally establish a healthy balance so they can start thriving in their lives again.
That is the process I take my clients through. I show them how to have the life they really want – one full of abundance and joy. I help them discover what their underlying issues are so they can move out of the Gray Area of life and into the Light where they can thrive.
From my own journey, I found that light. It took deep work but I can honestly say I’m incredibly happy with my life. Removing the alcohol was just the beginning. I found the courage needed to push through the fear so I could start living the life I was meant to have.
My wish for you is that you have the courage to fight for your fulfilling life, whatever that may be.
You can do it. You’re not broken, or powerless and you don’t need to accept a label that doesn’t feel right for you. You’re a powerful creator and deserving of so much for your life.
It would be my honor to help you with discovering this for yourself. And if you’re not quite ready, that’s okay too. If all I’ve done today is plant a seed of possibility, then I’ve done my job. It’s all about the awareness. Once you see it, you can’t “unsee” it.
It all begins with questions, my friends. And through questions, you will achieve clarity. Through clarity, you will find the freedom you desire and from there, ultimate joy will be discovered.