Critical Zone Strategies

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TypeE Critical Zone Strategies

If you find yourself firmly entrenched in the TypeE Critical Zone, the fastest way to a healthier, happier you is to jump out of the Critical.

Zone frying pan and back into the fire of positive creativity. Rekindle your sense of positive adventure. Take creativity and passion away from worry and return them to their rightful owner ¡YOU! Any of the following Critical Zone strategies can be initiated during one of your regular 2 a.m. wakeup calls.

It’s best to implement these strategies one at a time. Pick one from the Warning Sign you are experiencing and that seems the most fun for you and do it for a week. Add a second strategy or other TypeE Tip the next week and so on. Before you know it you’ll be out of the Critical Zone cooking with new ideas and activities that you love.

BOREDOM

The Best Remedy for Boredom is… ¡Jumping Back into the Creative Fire!

¡If you can avoid boredom you’ll rarely land in the Critical Zone! All TypeEs love new projects. The problem is that once they’ve become trapped in an old project, it’s tough to get out and when they try to think of the next thing they would like to be doing, their brain locks up. It doesn’t like to be confined to just ONE thing. Here’s how to break free from that trap

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Things You HAVE to Do

List the things you HAVE to do. They usually create a sense of dread, even if you’re just thinking about them. These items are stealing your time and life. Pass them on to others who actually enjoy doing them.

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TypeE Tip: Hand off as many routine tasks as necessary until you’ve opened up enough time to be creative once again.  

Things You GET to Do  

List the activities you GET to do. These usually enliven you. When you’re out of  balance, your list of HAVE to’s will be much larger than your list of GET to’s. When you’re in balance, the reverse is true.  

The GET to do section of your to-do list is enormous, while your list of HAVE to’s is practically nonexistent!  

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TypeE Tip: Hand off as many routine tasks as necessary until you’ve opened up enough time to be creative once again.

WORRY  

The second warning sign in the TypeE Critical Zone is a dramatic increase in the amount of time you spend worrying. But there is hope. Please write this next statement down and place it where you will see it on a daily basis:  

Your creativity bounces about shouting excitedly, “¡Let’s play! ¡Let’s play!” But you respond, “Sorry, I’m too busy right now.” At that point, just like a two-year-old, your creativity goes looking for a problem to get your attention with. And it will find one. A BIG one.  

TypeE Tip! Make a list of 10 wonderfully creative endeavors you’d love to be doing if you had the time 

  • Pull out the list next time you begin to worry.  
  • Spend 5 minutes playing with one of those creative concepts.  
  • Now return to what you were worrying about.  

You’ll be in for a pleasant surprise. What you’ll find is that it’s usually difficult to return to that original state of worry after those 5 positively creative minutes.  

2 AM WAKE-UP CALL  

At this point in the TypeE Critical Zone, you are solidly entrenched in running your project, even though you know you shouldn’t. You will get a wakeup call two to three hours after going to sleep, when your R.E.M. (rapid eye movement) or dreaming sleep, begins. Since you have been too busy during the day to be creative, your theta brain wave (which is present during dreaming, hypnosis, meditation and states of creativity) jumps to life and, thinking you are ready to play, wake you up. “Wow!” Your creativity shouts, “Am I glad to see you. I thought you’d never show up!” It then delightfully opens your eyes, ready for some fun.  

TypeE Tip! Before going to bed, turn the clock around 

When you awaken in the middle of the night, you’ll still look at the clock, but won’t see any numbers. This will give you an extra 10 minutes to try and fall back to sleep.  

If you’re not sleeping in a short time, you are now committed to being wide awake for about an hour and a half (the length of our usual sleep cycle), at which time you will begin to plan, speculate and — oh yes — WORRY — before returning to sleep.  

So instead of doing that, pick one of the creative endeavors you listed in the exercise above and spend some time with it.  

Worry is nothing more than creativity all dressed up with nowhere to go!  

CRISIS MANAGEMENT  

At some point you realize that you’ve abandoned a life doing what you love for a job in crisis management. That’s not a very smart trade, unless managing your own crises is what you love.  

Don’t make the mistake of trying to extricate yourself from the crisis by attempting to solve them all. There’s a common misperception that once everything is solved, you’ll be able to return to your normal pattern of positive creativity. Well, guess what? That goal is rarely reached. Unfortunately, it just digs you deeper into the crisis mode because your focus is still on the problems which surround you, not on the opportunities. 

TypeE Tip! Jump out of the frying pan and back into the fire 

TypeEs are designed to cook up phenomenal ideas, not be cooked by them. Quit trying to put out the fires raging around you and jump back into the fire of positive passion, where you belong.  

Choose one small creative activity you used to enjoy — dancing, painting, taking a night class, arranging those old photographs, going on a date with your spouse — anything you love to do, which has fallen by the wayside. Begin doing this new activity for one or two hours a week. One word of caution: Your creative activity should not have anything to do with solving any of your problems or you’ll just continue to perpetuate the current crisis cycle.  

Once a TypeE’s passionate aliveness turns into prolonged suffering, depression sets in. When this occurs, even the self-medication of alcohol, food, drugs or sex no longer have the anesthetizing effect they once had for TypeEs and they disengage from work, friends and family.  

This is the time to do something totally against the grain for most TypeEs. It’s time to ask for help. Help from your spouse, your coworkers, you spiritual advisers, your therapist, your friends. It’s also time to ask yourself this question if you are deep in the critical zone:  

¡“How bad does my life need to become before I recognize I have a choice! And, ¿I’m willing to make different choices and take different actions?”