Now that you’ve practiced booting some of your inner trash-talking, how do you feel? If you haven’t had a chance to practice it much, don’t worry. Need a refresher on how to practice? Scroll to the end of Episode 1.
Let’s get into Episode 2. You’ve been beginning to practice booting inner trash-talking and you’re starting to feel a little less stress and pressure. You actually feel a little better. Remember — you came here because you’re not doing something you really want to be doing. Chances are good you still aren’t doing it and yet, here you are, feeling a little better.
Why would I trick you like this? Why would I get you to feel good about not doing the thing you want to do? You’ll find out soon.
Let’s talk a little about this ‘feeling better while things are still pretty much the same’ business. This is a big concept, so stay with me — We’re taught that the world outside of us determines how we feel and we’re taught this on the sly. No one said it to you, but they demonstrated it because they believed it. They ‘modeled’ that’s how things work and so you learned it.
Because of this learned belief, we try to control things so that we can feel good. Here are some examples of what thinking from this belief looks like:
- We might think we’d feel better if someone in our lives was different — “If she stops being that way..” “If he wanted to be with me…”
- We could think if we were different, we’d feel different — “If my skin was better..” “If I was more personable..”
- We may even think our entire lives should be on a different course — “If I was at the same place as my peers…” “If I would have done that instead…”
I’ll ask you pretty plainly, is it these conditions (her, your skin, what your peers are doing) that are making you feel bad? Or is it your thoughts about them?
Why do you need those things to feel good now? I’m not saying they can’t or won’t happen. I’m never suggesting you don’t go for what you want. I’m only pointing out that while you move in that direction you could let yourself be at peace with what is. Somewhere we picked up the idea we must tirelessly focus on what we don’t like about our lives or ourselves, almost like that fixes it. Let’s look at that practice objectively. Say you do focus on what’s ‘not ideal,’ what does it do for you?
Actually, a better question is, ‘what do you lose by doing that?’ I never want you to just take my word for things so I’ll tell you what I noticed and then encourage you to take a look for yourself.
What I notice happens when your focus is problem-oriented:
Your mood drops. You may feel guilt, shame, confusion, overwhelming pressure, stress, etc. Any of which ironically makes you less likely to feel confident and capable enough to go for things or even to feel good enough to let them come to you.
Your mind is distracted. You might feel pressure to understand how or explain why things are this way rather than working with them as they are.
- This is a pretty sneaky energy leak — Similar to the uselessness of inner trash-talking, spending a lot of time trying to understand things doesn’t actually work the way you think it does. You can’t Truly understand things because you’ll never be able to see all the pieces. This means that no matter how elaborate your understanding is, it still isn’t correct. The most helpful part of understanding is that it can give your mind permission to accept what is. “This is OK because its because of that .” -> acceptance. Knowing that acceptance is the real fruit of understanding, you could just start there and skip coming up with an explanation that makes it sound or feel ok.
- This is a little tougher to explain, but I’ll try — let’s say you have 10 people on staff in your head. 10 mental bandwidth employees. Ideally, you have all 10 Here and Now where things are happening. You make the best choices when you can be present with as much CURRENT information as possible. Now let’s say you have 4 or 5 of your employees trying to understand what happened 20 years ago and 2 or 3 employees trying to leverage that understanding to avoid the same pain. That only leaves a few guys on deck to actually respond to what’s happening right now.
Your health suffers. That’s right people. The biggest impact on your physiology is your psychology for several different reasons. You can study epigenetics, the nervous system, immunity, the cardiovascular system, etc, and you will find that chronic stress is the badest bad guy. Sure, that bad guy might show up as a smoking habit, improper eating, or poor sleep, but it’s him alright. So here you are, trying your hardest to ‘help yourself’ take action for the better by maintaining a problem-oriented focus and darn it if you aren’t hurting yourself in the process. See how ironic some of these habits of thinking are?
I’ll stop my list here as I’m sure you get the point — here is something we Think helps us that actually does the opposite.
Why do I keep circling and underlining this idea? To give you permission to stop. For some reason, it seems like we’re doing something bad or wrong if we aren’t feeling bad or wrong. We’re unintentionally trained to be in a state of unfulfillment and dissatisfaction and to think that people who are at peace or happy are lazy, dumb, or faking it.
Maybe some are, but maybe some see that it’s just more practical and effective to be at peace with themselves and their lives while they continue to grow.
That concludes episode 2 in the series for the stuck & frustrated.
Your homework is to continue to explore what inner trash-talking and problem-oriented focusing does for you. What do you get or lose with those practices? How does that relate to what you really want?
Stay tuned for episode 3.
If you know this is you and you’re ready to make moves ASAP, you can schedule an info call. I’ll hear where you are, where you want to be, and tell you what we can do to get you there and how fast. That would be for a customized program I build and facilitate for you. Learn more about packages here. If you only to begin to bust up the tension and stuckness, you can schedule a single session here.
See more of my offerings, podcast appearances, and social platforms here.