Peace of mind is a priceless commodity and something that is pretty scarce these days, as we live through the chaos of disruption and change. It is often disrupted by a Gordion Knot; something that cannot be unravelled. You need a creative or decisive solution to a seemingly insurmountable problem. Where are the Gordion Knots in your life?

The concept of the Gordian Knot comes from the times of Alexander the Great. As the myth goes, whoever could unravel the knot would-be ruler of the whole of Asia. Alexander the Great, after trying unsuccessfully to unravel the knot, stepped back, pulled out his sword and sliced through it in one cut.

The trick in applying this concept to life today is to be decisive and to take action. We so often let issues linger and this results in us worrying excessively, losing sleep, and having no peace of mind. This drains our energy and can throw us off course.

According to Elyssa Barbash Ph.D. in Psychology Today, worrying is one of the most futile or purposeless things that people can do, unless your worry can tangibly help you identify solutions that you can implement to prevent a negative outcome. Worry is often something that people do to feel as though they are being productive when really, they’re only creating more distress for themselves.

In what areas of your life can you actually create peace of mind so that you can stop worrying and leaking energy unnecessarily? We need to hold on to all the energy we can so I think this is worth looking at instead of ignoring. Where are the Gordian Knots in your life?

How to Take Decisive Action When Insurmountable Problems are Holding You Back

There are three specific areas of our lives where I believe we should look to create peace of mind:

  • Get your incompletions sorted. That long to-do list that never gets done, needs some attention. Take things off your list that are not important or delegate them to someone else to do. Even this can make you feel instantly lighter. What is left on the culled list needs some attention or it shouldn’t be there at all. Sometimes it’s just a decision away to take a moment to complete something that has seemed insurmountable up until this point.
  • Get your relationships in order. When your relationships with important people in your life are out of whack, it affects you. You can let things ride for a while until you feel like something is stealing your energy. If someone is not important to you, then let them/the issue go. If someone is important to you, or the impact of the impasse between you is destructive, then you need to clear the air with them. There are many different ways to deal with this, but my favourite is a framework we teach in my Courageous Communication workshop and can be applied in your personal relationships, as well as those at work in your team with fantastic results. It entails setting up a simple, clearing process that removes the emotion and the sting out of things that need to be said, keeping it neutral, honest and giving both parties equal opportunity to be really heard by the other.
  • Get your affairs in order. We don’t like doing this because it makes us look our mortality in the face and might show up our disorganisation too. I can help you with this. Get hold of a copy of my What If File Checklist. I can’t tell you how you will breathe differently if you get your ducks in a row in case a ‘what if’ moment strikes. Having had to wrap up my husband’s life after he was tragically murdered in our home, I know what I am talking about here. Your What If File needs to be checked and updated as things change in your life through marriage, death, divorce, business developments and investments among others. Stay on top of it.

So, what are the Gordian Knots in your life that need a creative solution or a decisive strike?


Our work lives are full of Gordion Knots. Sometimes we have to be politically correct for a while or play the game by someone else’s rules or agenda, but eventually, to save a situation or a project, you may need to decisively slice through a Gordion Knot. This may initially offend people or disturb them, but it may be the only way to move forward.

Ask yourself or your team:

  • Where are we being indecisive and why?
  • What are we afraid of?
  • What are we worried about?

Sometimes this conversation alone can provide you with the courage to get rid of a Gordion Knot that may be standing in your way of productivity or success.


  • I am busy watching Scenes from a Marriage and this provides many great examples of what happens to a relationship when you don’t tackle the elephant in the room. Take the time to get to know each other and aim to create workable, not picture-perfect relationships.
  • Incompletion list exercise:
    • Fold a piece of paper in half
    • On the left-hand side write down all your  incompletions that are draining you of mental energy just worrying about them
    • On the right-hand side write down the action you need to take
    • It’s funny how just writing them down and getting them out of your head, helps to reduce worry and get you focused and going in the right direction.
  • When I looked at where I was leaking energy due to incompletions and worries in my life earlier this year, the update on my personal What If File was driving me nuts. I just wasn’t getting round to it. It took my partner getting pretty ill with COVID to get my proverbial arse into gear. Wow, I felt so much lighter and more ‘in control’ when I had done it. Don’t wait.

Most of the time people actively worry because they believe they are actually doing something by worrying because they are giving their attention to a perceived or real threat. However, unless you can do something that will influence the outcome, what is the real purpose of worrying? Sort out your Gordion Knots or let them go.

If you want to raise the human potential of your team and help them be better prepared for disruption of any kind, as a business and motivational speaker and facilitator, I can help you.

Much love,
Nikki Bush
Human Potential and Parenting Expert helping you to win at work and life

Enjoy the podcast of the Azania Mosaka Show on 702, where we discussed this topic of disruption.