What three things are you telling yourself that aren’t helpful?  And what aren’t you telling yourself that might be immensely helpful to you? Let me explain. It can’t be news to anyone anymore that the Universe keeps presenting you with the same lesson until you finally learn it.  What we often forget is that most people are slow learners – especially me. (Or maybe it just feels that way sometimes.) At the weekend I attended a seminar for speakers.  One woman attendee wanted to become a speaker but was T-E-R-R-I-F-I-E-D to stand up and open her mouth.  She did that thing of running to the back of the queue and then pretending she was invisible.  It didn’t work too well as she is strikingly attractive and has a delightful presence. The moment came when she was the queue: everyone else had done their bit and sat down.  Blanching visibly, she stood up to speak and shared an extraordinary tale of courage in adversity.  She’d returned home one day to find herself locked out of her home and her life, with no going back.  She’d held it together, gone through some incredibly tough times, and come out the other side stronger, wiser and more resourceful. We all applauded wildly.  When she sat down, I turned to her and said: “After everything you have come through, are you really going to let yourself be terrified by how some imaginary people may judge you as fledgling speaker?” Do you see what she hadn’t done? She hadn’t derived any strength or comfort from the extraordinary strength she had shown in another area of her life. Was I right? Absolutely.  However…  Just a couple of days later, I found myself doing exactly the same thing: catastrophizing about something that my Shih Tzu would have shrugged off in seconds. Animals don’t overthink things.  Basil K never even overthought an irate Annie when his housetraining was decidedly iffy.   He just shrugged and accepted that I was overreacting and that, too, would pass. It’s really easy to get caught up in the “what if” moment, the “what-will-they-think-if-I-do/don’t…?” So, here’s a small, slightly early, Christmas gift you: permission to tell those “What if” moments to go take a hike.  Instead of focusing on how someone - whos’s probably too busy, too bored, or too beleaguered - to fixate on your teeny tiny ‘misdemeanour’ anyway, how about you focus instead on the extraordinary strength you’ve shown in a much more important situation? If you can’t think of one such situation right now that just means you’re terminally modest.  It doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.  It did, and almost before it was over, you were reciting Ms Terminally Modest’s mantra: “Oh, it was nothing special. Anyone would have done that.” Stuff and nonsense!! Trust me on that. So, let me ask you again: What three things are you telling yourself that aren’t helpful?  And what aren’t you telling yourself that might be immensely helpful to you? How about setting aside 5 minutes – just 5 minutes – to have a good, productive, adult dialogue with yourself for a change, instead of automatically intoning Miss Terminally Modest’s Miserable Mantra.
2 replies
  1. Dorothy
    Dorothy says:

    Thank you for reminding me how to stop putting myself down and remembering what incredible things Ive already done in my life and how to use those experiences to help me now. Thank you


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