First, let me just say….ow. I can’t walk straight. My legs are wobbling, it hurts to stand up, my arse feels like it’s broken and I’m writing this in a bathtub I may not be able to exit. I’m back … Continue reading
Yes, it was a bad television commercial for some kind of medical alert bracelet, but how many times have you found yourself getting caught up in one mistake and either a)letting it suck you dry and giving up entirely on whatever it was you were attempting or b)focusing so much on the mistake you just made that you make another because you’re so stuck mentally on a past error you can’t see what’s right in front of you?
I have lost weeks of my life and productivity and happiness and peace because I could not see past my own mistakes. Whether I sacrificed my mood, my attention, or my own perception of myself, I have made Mt. Everest out of problems that started out the size of mouse poop…that seriously ended up the size of two mountains and a mini-van because I didn’t deal with them in a healthy way.
(And don’t ask me how I know what the size of a mouse poop is. I just know.)
When you make a mistake, do you find yourself doing any of the following?
- Generalizing – “Well, I guess I’ll just add that to my long list of things I’ve screwed up” and then look back over your metal inventory of errors;
- Freezing – Getting so stuck in thinking through every dire and terrible thing that will surely come as a consequence of your mistake that you can do nothing else;
- Negative Self-Talk – I’m such an idiot, I’m a failure, and then of course calling your friends/associates not for help solving the problem but to talk negatively about yourself to them as a sort of self-punishment;
- Ruminating – where you literally can’t think straight or notice what is going on around you because your brain is so focused on what you had done wrong that you’re in a mental and emotional tailspin;
- Blaming – hoping like hell there is someone else you can pin the error on to take the heat off yourself in any way possible so you don’t have to own what you did;
- Hiding – Making great efforts to cover up your mistake or praying simply that no one else notices and trying to convince yourself you hadn’t noticed either
Take it from someone who knows and has been there: if you’re looking for a way to waste your life, breath, and energy and potentially endanger your health, job, self-worth and friendships, then feel free to continue, but it’s not something I’d recommend.
Here’s the difficult thing: whatever it is – it’s done. The only safe way to handle a mistake is to look it straight in the face, own it, take responsibility for it and whatever that entails. You then try to find a solution for it, make reparations, and problem-solve as effectively and as completely as possible and move on, trying not to repeat the mistake.
Moving on, by the way, means *really* moving on. Leave it in the sand. Drop it. Forgive yourself. I once heard it said like this: your body doesn’t ask if you are worthy when it knows there has been damage done. It just starts work on healing what’s there without judgement. Do that for yourself. Take the next best steps whatever those are, one at a time.
How many years of your life could we get back if we treated ourselves with the same objectivity when we messed up, and worked to fix our issues and mistakes without the judgment, shame, or mental mess that so often trips us up? What if we treated others the same way? Oh what a world we could create!
Get Back Up. Brush Yourself Off. Rub some dirt on it. Life is a giant adventure and you’ve got better things ahead and no time to waste! Get up and get at them today!
2015 was an amazing year for me in many ways. It was, as all years are, imperfect. But the most life-changing and best parts of this last year all really stem from the changes in my mind and my perspective.
To put it simply, my whole world has changed for the better, and it had nothing to do with external circumstance though I believe it is changing them too.
Some of the credit for this goes to falling into some of the following books at some of the most-needed times. They honestly just showed up when I needed to read them most!
If you are going through a tough time, maybe find the world to be more negative than positive, or maybe even just find yourself wanting desperately for your life to be better or even just to believe that it can, here are a few suggestions.
Some of these I listened to as audio books so I could re-listen on my drive to work or while I was doing other things. Others I read first and then downloaded audio. I make it a point to keep listening.
Keep in mind, I have had a strong history of skepticism, negativity, and a tendency to cringe at what seems hokey or overly optimistic. I suggest you adopt an attitude of suspension of belief. Just listen. Be open. Take in what you can and leave the rest.
The Secret by Rhonda Byrne – A little cheesy via audio but worth it.
- The Power of I Am by Joel Osteen . This was a stretch for me: I am particularly suspicious of good-looking, perfect-haired individuals. But this one called to me. It continues to do so and have started listening to the podcasts too.
It is my goal in life to share anything that I find good and helpful for me: the world is filled with amazing people that don’t realize they are amazing. The world is filled with broken spirits. I am imperfect but healing. I want to share that. So if you find this useful, please feel free to pass it on.
May your 2016 be far more than anything you can possibly imagine and beyond. I wish you healing, contentment and a renewed sense of who you are and what you have to give!
The Holidays and Christmas time can be overwhelmingly difficult for many. Filled with emotions good and bad, memories and ever increasing expectations, it is a lot to try and process on multiple levels. Not everyone has the blessings of a … Continue reading
Have you ever wondered who you really are, or have just kinda known that whoever you seem to be right now doesn’t really resonate with that inner, bright sparkly you? I have thought for years that maybe my natural state … Continue reading
“What Went Well?” Three little words. Three very simple words. And they have become a part of my vocabulary over the past month. I know about Gratitude lists; I have kept gratitude journals, I have gone through phases of writing … Continue reading
I may have mentioned before that I am fat. It’s not much of a secret. I don’t like to use that term, hate it in fact, but it is a medical reality. And I am struggling once again in attempt to fight it.
My inspiration is simple: I don’t want to be this big. I hate it. I sometimes hate me because of it. And that is not a good example to be setting for my kids.
When I went to a doctor recently because I seem to struggle with losing weight – even when I eat the right things, I was put through a battery of tests that basically said there isn’t a darn thing wrong with me. The dietician looked at food logs I presented, then back at me, perplexed.
I find myself holding my breath way too frequently: when I am waiting for a decision at work to be made on a candidate I’ve presented, when my to-do list far exceeds my normal life expectancy, and when I’m particularly worried that someone will notice I’ve forgotten to brush my teeth*(ew) in my rush to get to work.
I get stressed. I get anxious. I worry, about the important stuff and the totally non-important stuff. And I just found out hey, scientifically? Holding your breath apparently just makes all of that bad stuff worse.
Apparently, all that yoga stuff and meditation nonsense has some real validity to it: beyond the allure of the “in” exercise and the promise of a smoothie afterwards, there is a lot that we can do in the way of lowering stress, reducing anxiety, and achieving mental clarity if we make a conscious effort to take long, slow deep breaths. Remember to breathe OUT all the way too, or you will defeat the purpose.
When the idiot you work with (I just assume every place has at least one) does something to frustrate you, run in the bathroom and sit for a few minutes and slow down your breathing. Make it deep and even.
When you have a report due, and Excel is kicking your proverbial ass, go outside for 5 minutes. Again, breath deeply. Even if it is ridiculously hot outside, changing your breath and your environment can really help you get a fresh perspective on your problem.
You may feel like you have no time at all to do even that much: but if you take a few moments to recharge your brain, and quiet your heart, the oxygen that you take through slow breathing has massive restorative and energizing properties. Taking a few minutes to make your mind function more effectively will ultimately save you a lot more in the long run.
And even if you’re not stressed right now? Do the breathing exercises anyway. Try to do it a few times a day – maybe treat it like endurance training. That way, you’ll totally have it down the next time the poop hits the fan and you could really use some perspective and a highly functional mind.
*as a disclaimer, I *do* keep a spare toothbrush at work for these emergencies. 🙂
I’m not just blowing smoke with this statement: I just completed a test of it myself.
It is amazing how much negative self-talk and talking down to myself happens in this head. The things I tell myself I can’t do, the things I tell myself that I am not. But about an hour ago, I got to thinking a little too much, and I got a little mad at myself for buying into such nonsense. I decided to challenge a few of my negative assertions:
- Test Assertion One: I need my husband to put in the new car seat. I don’t know where this one came from except somewhere along the way I started doubting my innate ability to build and follow directions. (Actually, in fact, it’s just the directions thing. I’ve always viewed them as a backup plan. My husband disapproves and scoffs.)
Result: Utter Bunk. Annoyed at tripping over it and full of fire, I just went outside and installed that darn car seat, tricky buckles and latches and all. AND I tested it out with my daughter and she fits in it. I am 99% sure I did it right; regardless, I no longer have to stare at the damn thing sitting in the box a moment longer.
In the current mood I am in, my husband may well come home to find that the new shower head installed and the bathtub caulked. Well, probably not. But I totally could.
- Test Assertion Two: Because I am so out of shape I can’t do anything. Now, I don’t mean this in absolute terms: I actually walked this morning like a good girl. But I did so hesitantly, gingerly. I’ve been putting off weights, the elliptical, etc. recently, coming up with all kinds of excuses. When I was walking the dog a little bit ago, I started getting pretty down on myself – I could actually feel my arse jiggling and the judging eyes of the local geriatric community.
Result: Bumpkus! In what can only be called as sheer stupidity, and an utter shock to the pug, when I turned around at the end of the block to go home, I started jogging. I decided I was going to go all the way home, too. Now, I happen to know it’s only .30 miles from the curb to my driveway, but I would be lying if I said I believed I would manage it. Thud. Thud. Thud. I pounded down the sidewalk, feeling every extra pound and breathing carefully and one hand on my chest to check for heart attack. But I made it, dammit. I marched VERY proudly up that driveway.
I’m not going to be an idiot about it, but if I can run even that far, I can certainly pick up my game quite a bit. It’s my mind, not my body, that’s talking trash.
These are just two little tiny things that I challenged myself to do today. What something are you holding back on today? If I can do it, I know YOU can! Go challenge something and tell me what you did!