Remember when the quarantine first started? (Whew...it's been a while!)
And people talked about using the time to learn something new, something they've always wanted to do—play an instrument, take up oil painting, grow a garden?
I remember thinking, "It's not going to last that long is it? We aren't really going to have that much time are we?"
But we're still here. And it seems like we might be here for a while. But now my brain says it's too late.
It says that if I had started when quarantine began that I would have made some progress.
But now, we're what...halfway through? ... almost through? ...near the end? And so now there's not enough time to take up oil painting.
We missed the window and now it's too late.
A lot of people think this same way about changing their life and their habits and their results with coaching.
They think it's too late. Too much has happened.
Maybe if they had started to earlier or known...
Ever notice how you feel on Monday morning? Or Friday afternoon?
Our current quarantine life is giving us a really unique opportunity to see how our thoughts and not our circumstances are always creating our experience because it has stripped away a lot of the traditional time markers.
Friday itself can't make me happy. Monday itself can't make me anxious. These are just arbitrary markers of time.
Right now it's really obvious that my experience—good or bad, on any day of the week or any day of the year—is totally created by my thoughts and is 100% in my control!
P.S. Have you signed up for coaching yet? It's the best thing you can do any day of the week!
Sometimes our brain offers us thoughts simply out of habit. The brain recognizes the environment or the circumstance we find ourselves in and it offers us a familiar thought—something we've thought many times before.
I had an experience that made me look at my habit thoughts in a completely different way and I thought it might help you as well.
As we go into another weekend of uncertainty and unusual circumstances, I wanted to give you a tool that can help you manage your thoughts and take charge of how you are feeling right now.
Because no matter what thoughts our brain offers us, it's the thoughts that we keep thinking that are creating our reality. And the more selective we can be about that, the better we're going to feel.
I hope it helps!
P.S. You can sign up for a free coaching session if you want some one-one-one help creating a "guest list" you love.
Sometimes we think we need a good reason to believe something.
Sometimes we think we need verifiable facts or evidence or proof in order to justify thinking in a certain way.
But did you know you can choose to think something just because it feels better?
Without evidence. Without good reason. Without a "reasonable" assessment of the facts.
Just because it feels better.
To judge the value of a thought, I like to ask myself two questions:
1. Do I like how I feel when I think this?
2. Do I like what I do when I think this?
If the answer to either of these questions is no, then it's not a useful thought and I can choose to think something else entirely—no matter how "true" it may be.
If the answer is yes, then I let myself think this thought as much as I want—just because it feels good and because I like what I do when I think it. It's a win-win.
This week I am choosing to think that the current quarantine is amazing...
I saw this meme this morning:
and thought it summed it all up perfectly.
Today I thought you might like to know that you are doing awesome.
I like knowing that, no matter what, we are always doing our best. Forget about the "coulda's" and the "shoulda's."
"Coulda" and "shoulda" are just lies our brain tells us to protect us against rejection or expulsion from the tribe. But they aren't true and they never produce good results. They just make us feel terrible about ourselves and others. They make us wallow in self-pity, and self-loathing, and resentment.
And they are optional.
The truth is you are doing your best.
And so are they.
Hang in there, my friends. You're doing awesome.
P.S. Do you want some coaching this week? I have a spot just for you.
If you are like me, there might be a part of you that feels like giving up. There might be a part of you that says your goals don't matter anymore—that just surviving is enough right now.
And that part of you might be right.
But before you decide to put your goals on hold or throw in the towel, have a little board meeting with all of you. Don't just let "present you" make all the decisions without first consulting all the other versions of you.
The you, thirty days from now.
The you, a year from now.
Even the you, a month ago. He or she worked hard to get you where you are today. How will they feel if you give up now?
Right now, driven by fear and anxiety and overwhelm and discouragement, present you may not be in the best position to make the decisions that will serve all of you.
So have a board meeting. Invite all the versions of you. Past, present, and future. Give everyone a voice. Let everyone say what they...
What were you feeling when you woke up this morning?
I was feeling a delightful combination of discouraged and frustrated, with a little dollop of hopeless on top. Yum.
But I know that every one of those feelings is coming from my thoughts. So the first thing I did (and the first thing I do every morning) is I got a piece of paper and wrote down all the thoughts that were bouncing around in my head. I just emptied my brain out and put all the thoughts on paper.
It wasn't pretty.
This morning some of my thoughts were:
None of this matters.
Is this really my life?
Are we just going to do this forever?
I can't believe this is where we are.
See? Not pretty. Not logical. All death, destruction, and doomsday. This is what my brain produces on default. But I don't take it personally. I don't get mad at it and I don't get mad at me. I just notice that I have a good reason for feeling so bad. It's always because...
Right now, we are all experiencing life as we never have before. With lockdowns and viruses and empty store shelves, the circumstances around us have changed dramatically and our brain thinks this is great cause for alarm.
Our brain's startle response is on overdrive.
But did you know there are thoughts that you can think no matter what is happening? I call these "circumstance-resistant thoughts." Thinking these thoughts can allow you to feel peace and confidence and certainty no matter what is happening in your life.
Today I wanted to share a few of my favorite circumstance-resistant thoughts with you. I hope they help!
P.S. If you want to do your own brain dump and get all the dramatic, fearful, painful thoughts out so that you can feel better, sign up for a free one-on-one coaching session. It's the fastest, easiest way to get real relief. I'm here to help.
A couple of weeks ago I went to the allergist. She put some patches on my back to figure out what is causing so much inflammation in my body.
I have been suffering since October.
I went to the doctor about it on the last day of December. But didn’t get any relief.
Finally, two months later, desperate and resigned, I agreed to see the allergist.
It’s been almost five months since it all started.
I just kept thinking it would get better on its own. Surely, it will get better soon. It’s got to get better eventually. Why isn’t it getting better? All this while I suffered.
This is what we do. We suffer along. We think it will work itself out. We think it will get better. It’s got to get better. And if it doesn’t, we assume that no one can help us—that somehow we’re doomed to misery.
And so we continue to suffer.
For me, I seem to hit a “suffering tipping point” at which I’m finally so desperate for relief...