Distraction, Fantasy & Set-Ups


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Distraction. You know the feeling—when you want to do anything other than what you’re doing presently. Maybe you’ve got to weed the backyard or finish a major project for work. Perhaps dealing with that one family member or neighbor feels like it will do you in for good. We usually want to distract ourselves whenever we feel physical or emotional pain, fear, boredom, or any other uncomfortable emotion. Distraction is all about emotional dishonesty because we want to ignore or leave the true reality that is in front of us. When we enter distraction, we refuse to deal with the truth about our lives. Like all destructive behaviors, distraction is driven by shame. Like all shame-based behaviors, distraction worsens the very problems it purports to solve.

In this course, you’ll learn about the surprisingly close connection between shame and distraction, why we distract, and when we distract. You’ll have the opportunity to discover you own distracting patterns and find out why you are bound by them.

One particularly powerful distraction is fantasy. We fantasize very often, about nearly anything, to distract ourselves. Fantasy, like a drug and like any other distraction, alters the brain chemistry and causes pleasurable (but temporary) sensations. This course includes details about this potent but often-overlooked distraction.

All of our distractions set us up to feel even more uncomfortable than before we engaged the distraction. They support us to put ourselves in “binds” or “paint ourselves into a corner.” Breaking this vicious cycle is empowering, exciting and very possible. This course includes tools to help you recognize and change your distractive habits. As you do so, your ability to keep commitments will increase, your ability to love genuinely and give will be strengthened, and your connections with yourself and others will grow stronger and deeper.

This course includes:

  • 7 video segments:
    1. Distraction
    2. More Distraction
    3. Fantasy
    4. Set-Ups
    5. Set-Ups involving Other People
    6. More Examples of Set-Ups
    7. More Details about Set-Ups
  • Total video run-time: approx. 35 minutes
  • Written homework activities

In this course, you’ll learn:

  • How distraction is related to shame
  • Why we distract – what causes us to desire distractions so strongly.
  • Common distractions. This is an opportunity to recognize your own “favorite” distractions
  • Details about fantasy
    • Why fantasy is so popular
    • What give fantasy its power
    • The difference between fantasy and planning for the future
  • How distractions create set-ups
  • Why distractions and set-ups are dishonest and destructive
  • How we give ourselves permission to distract
  • Why distraction is so powerful – why it is difficult to exit the cycle of distraction
  • How to overcome distraction and get out of the vicious cycle
  • Why it is important to stay in reality
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