Thursday Thought: Just because I don’t see, doesn’t mean it’s not there

My coach, Jody Moore, likes to say that confidence isn’t thinking you’re great. Confidence is knowing that you’re great, and you’re not great.

I think this is so powerful to notice about myself AND others. Our human brains like to compare ourselves and each other. We like to kind of decide who’s higher and who’s lower. You’ve heard the phrase, “put her on a pedestal” or “look up to her”.

Ezra Taft Benson gave an amazing sermon on pride. He says that pride isn’t just looking down on someone else. It’s looking UP at someone else, also.

Pride keeps us from confidence. If we think we’re better or somehow less than someone else, we can’t really love ourselves or them.

Just because I don’t see someone else’s struggle, or someone else’s amazingness doesn’t mean it’s not there. Just because I don’t see my own struggle, or my own amazingness, doesn’t mean it’s not there.

P.S. If you like these posts and are interested in getting some more personal help with your struggles or seeing your amazingness. I’d love for you to sign-up for a free coaching session. You don’t have to come prepared or have anything necessarily to say. I will ask you questions and guide you the whole time. I’d love to meet you!

Wanting Other People To Feel Better

When I was learning to speak Spanish, my trainer would correct me. every.single.time. That was her job right? One day I finally told her, “I want to learn Spanish. I want to know when I’m getting it wrong, but not all of the time. Sometimes I just want you to listen to my story.”

Can you relate? You know you have a problem, and you DO want to solve it, but sometimes you just want to talk about it. Sometimes you just want to complain about it. Sometimes you want to feel bad. You may not realize that you want to feel bad, because that’s crazy, right?? But we do. We WANT to feel all of the range of emotions. Talking about it can help us process the emotion, and understand the thoughts creating it.

However, sometimes we have a huge intolerance for negative emotion. We don’t even want other people to feel negative emotion. They’re crying and we say, “Don’t cry!” They’re mad and we say, “Don’t be mad!” We want to fix the “problem” that’s making them feel bad. We give advice so they can get over it.

We think we’re just trying to be kind and help them feel better, but what we’re saying is, “You’re feeling wrong.” What if they need to feel bad? What if the best thing for them is to feel a negative emotion? If we try to stop their pain instead of just listening to them talk about it, it could be like giving them a pain killer when something is really wrong. They won’t realize there’s something they need to pay attention to.

What if you were just there to help them feel their feelings instead of change them? What would that be like?

Thursday Thought: …And It’s Okay

Have you ever felt like you don’t fit in? I think that’s a thought I’ve had a lot of my life. It’s not all of the time, but it’s kind of a go-to thought that hasn’t served me well, and doesn’t feel very good. While getting coached on it, I realized that when I think I don’t fit in, I then decide there must be something wrong with me.

As I was getting coached, I was having a really hard time letting go of the thoughts that I’m different and there might be something wrong with me, so instead of changing it, my coach offered to just add on “…and it’s okay.”

Now when I have that thought come up, I add on “…and it’s okay.” “There might be something wrong with me, and it’s okay.” That thought makes me feel so relieved, instead of sad and desperate. So what if I’m different? So what if there are social skills I could improve on? It’s okay! We’re all different and quirky and have skills in different areas, and it’s okay! It’s nice that we’re not all robots.

What thoughts could you add this onto? Try it, and leave a comment to let me know!

Thursday Thought: It’s Okay To Feel This Way

We receive messages everywhere telling us that we should always feel good. We can get the idea that it’s wrong to feel a certain way, or even that there’s something wrong with us to feel a certain. But the only reason we feel an emotion is because of a thought we’re having, and subconsciously or consciously we’re believing.

When I start to worry that there’s something wrong with me, or that I have done something wrong to feel the way I’m feeling, I like to remind myself: It’s okay to feel discouraged. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed. It’s okay to feel angry. It’s okay to feel judgmental. It’s not harmful. I can just feel it. It may not be a helpful emotion, which I can figure out later, but for now it’s okay to just process it. It doesn’t mean I’m doing anything wrong, or that there’s something wrong with me.

Breathe. Feel.

Feelings Are Not Tigers

When we feel an uncomfortable emotion, our brain sets off the alarm to tell us there is DANGER! As in, “There’s a tiger behind us that wants to eat us!” It does this so we can react quickly. However, we very rarely encounter danger like this in our every day lives, so it’s not useful to just react to our emotions. The problem is that since we realize it’s not usually helpful to react to our emotions we tend to suppress them. When you suppress them, it’s like holding a beach ball under the water. You can only do it so long until it explodes out of the water. A lot of us then come to the misconception that feeling our emotions causes explosions, so we suppress them even more.

What to do instead?? Just allow the emotion. Just feel it. Relax into it. Relax your body and give it time. There are many ways to do this:

One way is to describe the emotion in your body.

Another way is to imagine you’re watching yourself in a movie. What do you look like when you’re just feeling frustrated while you help your kids with their homework, but you’re not reacting to your frustration? What does a person look like who is feeling discouraged while they type up their work assignment, but is just feeling discouraged, not reacting to it or suppressing it? They’re just doing what they’re doing in a more subdued way.

One more way to just allow the emotion is to imagine it as water that is being poured into the crown of your head and the only way it can get out of your body is through your toes. Every time you suppress it, it’s like squeezing the way shut so it can’t get through. Sometimes though it can be a lot of water coming at once, and maybe it’s really tight as it’s going through. It may feel really uncomfortable, but you know you have to just let it slide or it will back up and be more painful, or it will stay around a lot longer, so you have to just feel the discomfort as it moves through your body until it can exit through your toes.

What way makes the most sense to you? Leave a message and let me know.

 

Thursday Thought: Maybe They’re Not Trying To Hurt Me

Mothers-in-law. Sisters-in-law. Husbands. Bosses. Co-workers. They’re so annoying, right? And they think they know more than you, right? And they’re always trying to prove you wrong, and they do everything wrong. And they think differently than you.

Have you ever thought, “Maybe they’re not trying to hurt me.”? or “Maybe they’re not trying to annoy me.”? or “Maybe they’re not trying to be idiotic.”? Seriously? But seriously. They may just be trying to do their best, and maybe it’s not very good, but it’s their best. Try it on. This one is super helpful.

Where’s Your Focus? (Movies Part 2)

When I’m having thoughts that make my life seem bleak, sometimes I like to pretend I’m in a movie. I love those movies of Ireland where they show the country side, or an old worn down castle and play beautiful music in the background. It’s all so romantic to me. We moved to Ontario about 7 years ago. I waffle between loving it and not loving it. This may sound weird, but one of the things that was hard to get used to is that there are growing things EVERYWHERE. I grew up in the desert, so if you wanted a plant, you had to plant it and take care of it or it would dry up. In Ontario, plants grow whether you want them to or not (unless they’re in my house, then they die ;)). I felt like nature was taking me over. Then one day I was driving down the road and there was a beautiful sunset in front of me, and I noticed the beautiful trees and plants and open space in front of me. I realized it was the kind of picturesque view they would show in a movie. However, in the movie they wouldn’t show the construction, and roads, and power lines around. They’d just show the beautiful part. Ever since then I can’t drive down that road without thinking about how I love having such a beautiful space so close to my house. I had missed it for several years because I focused on the less beautiful things around.

Thursday Thought: Something I Like About Me Is…

Before we say family prayers each night, everyone goes around the circle and says something they like or appreciate about the person who is going to say the prayer. The person saying the prayer also says something they like or appreciate about themselves. It’s so nice at the end of a day that you feel like was full of mistakes to say to yourself, “Something I like about me is…” Remember, there are no thought police, so you can say whatever you want at the end of that sentence. What do you want to be true? Can you find any evidence for it? If you just yelled at your spouse, can you still say, “Something I like about me is I’m kind to my spouse,”? Totally. Find evidence of the times that you are kind to your spouse. Have you ever been kind to him/her? Think about it. Ponder on that. How much easier is it to apologize when you realize that you’re not a monster, you just behaved in a way that you didn’t like, but you don’t always behave that way? When you love yourself, you can love others so much more! So love yourself on purpose.

The Genre Of Your Life

Who doesn’t love a good movie? We love it because we know it’s not real. Even when we kind of think it’s real, we know it’s not really real. I love movies based on true stories. The stories they’re based on are ones that seem to be tragic at some point, but then it resolves to something grand in the end, and you get to see how all of the parts fit together.

If you were in a movie right now, what genre would it be? Would the kids crying and screaming on the way out the door be a comedy or a tragedy? Would your husband looking on as you make dinner be a romance or a comedy? Change the genre of what’s happening in your life and see how your perspective changes. It’s only your thoughts that make it that way, anyway, so choose it the way you want to. This helps your brain to see that what you’re thinking about your life is what’s creating the feel of it. It’s not necessarily real that you’re in a tragedy; it could just as well be a comedy, or a romance.

Thursday Thought: It’s Not About Me

I know I’ve done this thought already, but it’s such a good one. I taught a class in church recently. Later that day, I found myself feeling really insecure. The interesting thing is that I thought the lesson went well. I found myself thinking things like, “I wonder if they think that I think I’m better than them.” “I bet they think I didn’t do a very good job.” “I wonder if they think I had too much discussion.” These were not thoughts out of curiosity. They were causing me to feel insecurity and shame. I just allowed the insecurity and shame for awhile. Then I decided I was done. I looked into what thoughts were causing the insecurity and shame (see above :)).

It’s true that some of the people in my class could be having those thoughts. So now what? I reminded myself, “It’s not about me.” I put myself out there in the world. I do my best, which sometimes may not be that great. And then I let others think what they want to about it. They may think thoughts that generate negative emotions, or they may think thoughts that generate positive emotions. Either way, it’s not about me. If they think my lesson was amazing or if they think it flopped, it’s about them and the lens through which they see the world.

This is amazing because instead of trying to control the way anyone may feel or think about me, which isn’t even possible, I get to just be me. I get to love me and appreciate me if I want to, no matter if anyone else agrees. Next week I think I’ll talk about thoughts that generate love and appreciation for myself. Of course, you can use any of them you’d like to.

In what areas is it helpful for you to remind yourself, “It’s not about me,”?