Learning Strategies Blog

Stuck between a rock and hard place?

by Paul Scheele

When everything is on track and you run into a roadblock, often it is a paradoxical problem that gets you stuck.

This dilemma, double bind, or seeming no-win situation is a unique class of problems. It is when we get stuck between a rock and a hard place. These problems arise as the unintended side effects of our problem-solving strategy. The harder we try to solve it, the worse the problem gets.

When you are in such a paradoxical situation, your thinking must break away from your typical views of the problem.

You must solve the problem of how you approach solving your problems. Instead of dwelling on the problem, look at your goal and generate successful new choices in how you think, feel, and act in paradoxical situations, and the New Option Generator Paraliminal can help you.

It is not intended to provide one answer or solution, but to clear your ability to handle the situation in new ways. It helps broaden the range of options you can exercise.

Session A makes all your creative resources available to you in the situation in which you may have been feeling stuck. On Session B you direct your powers to accomplish the end results that will benefit you most.

The set-up for Session A is very important. You must identify an issue or goal about which you have been feeling stuck. Think about the fears and desires you have on this issue.

Your physical posture is as important as your mental preparation. When listening, sit or lie back with uncrossed legs and have the palms of your hands facing up. If sitting, have one hand on top of each leg, palms up, without your hands touching each other. In each hand you will imagine placing one half of the dilemma or paradoxical issue you will be resolving.

In the left hand you will put all the fears you have surrounding the issue. Imagine what might take place in the worst-case situation for this issue. Imagine all of the energies you have put into this fear–all of these related feelings and images–then place these in your left hand. Feel, see, and even hear a full representation of the fears associated with this issue.

In the right hand you will imagine the opposite of the fear. Imagine taking action and having it work out the way you want it to. What would you choose to create? Think of all the desired, positive feelings and thoughts you have surrounding this issue, and imagine holding these in your right hand. Imagine that you can feel, see, and even hear this full representation in your right hand.

Collapse these two seemingly opposite realities by bringing your hands together. This has the effect of popping out the end points of your comfort zone. Break through the ends of the bind that have held you in limitation. Instantly your options increase regarding this issue—freeing your mind, body, and emotions to be in a positive new state of awareness, freedom, and balance. That’s why we call it the New Option Generator.

You can do this process on your own, but I think you will find it easier and more effective when guided by the New Option Generator.