Day 3 of the 21-Day Clear Mind, Clean Closet Challenge is here and I am back at it...
Today I'm covering a topic that has been swirling around my head a lot lately. I had to pound an extra mug of coffee for this one. Here we go...
The Day 3 challenge topic is:
When sh*# happens, when you've been dealt a crappy hand, it is so easy to say "why me?" It is incredibly easy to see things going 'wrong' as just that, because let's be honest, it's not fun when you go through a breakup, lose your job, have a major fight with a best friend, lose someone you love, get into a fender bender, get the white screen of death on your laptop after it freezes, and the list goes on...
It isn't fun to be knocked on your butt.
It also isn't the easiest thing in the world to think that swift kick is actually working in your favor as you fly across the room, figuratively or literally, whatever the case may be. It just seems totally counterintuitive.
But at the end of the day, whether you like it or not, whatever it is, happened. We didn't get what we wanted. Or we got the exact opposite of what we wanted. Or we got something we didn't even see coming.
Sometimes it is just completely out of our hands. Other times, we have a hand in it. Either way, not fun.
On Day 2 I wrote about shifting my perspective from focusing on what isn't working to focusing on what is working. I'm finding today's topic to be pretty similar to that, with one major difference...
Changing things up to look at what you have vs. what you don't have is one thing.
When you are really hit hard by life and thrown off course by something, going from looking at what you don't have to focusing on what you do have can be an exponentially more challenging uphill battle. It's tough to go straight into that mental transformation.
In my experience, I usually have to take a moment to let it all sink in. I learned this by doing the exact opposite. Whenever I have bypassed that moment via avoidance of distraction, I end up taking a lot longer to get back on my feet. By avoiding the dark parts it makes it more difficult to see the bright spots.
You have to feel it all. Or at least, I do. It gets a little worse before it gets better, but it always gets better when you give yourself a little space so you can come up for air and give it everything you've got.
Also, facing the worst case scenario, even if it is just in your head, makes it seem far less dramatic. You can go from your world falling apart or just incredibly frustrated to:
-It was just a job.
-You'll get on another flight tomorrow morning.
-You're both better off.
-You'll find another pair of jeans that work better.
Also, I don't think pretending like everything is ok before it is ok, makes much sense. But this can get tricky... If you go through things and allow yourself to feel all those feelings, sometimes it is challenging to shake it off.
Unless you do this:
When you-know-what hits the fan in my life, I have found two ways to not only get over it, but USE it:
I also use both of these tricks during closet consultations so feel free to give them a try.
First up, I lean on three words that change everything. EV-ER-Y-THING.
When it gets tough, when it looks bad, I say three words:
Simple, yet effective.
These three words move everything from reactive to proactive in seconds.
- Pissed off that you are letting go of so many things you never wore? Ok, got it. So now what?
- Frustrated that you can't get into those jeans anymore? Sure, got it, so now what?
- Angry that it didn't happen the way you wanted it to? Ok yep, sooooooo now what?
These three words suck the drama out of any situation you can throw at them. And I am just as guilty as the next person when it comes to overcomplicating what is ridiculously simple. We all do it. We will all continue to do it.
Knowing how to play yourself when all of that comes up next time is where the real change can happen.
By asking, "So now what?" we can move away from feeling like a victim (if our identity isn't too wrapped up in being one of course; that can be tricky), or like something bad is happening to us, to looking at what we can do about the situation. Keep in mind, the point of "so now what?" isn't to be The Great Oz and know exactly how to solve all of your life's problems. It is just a small, sweet, yet strong, verbal push you can use to take a step towards what will get you closer to what you want for yourself.
And it is right there, in that getting-over-the-hump moment when we can start to see that, yea, this 'bad' thing sucked, but it may have been just the thing we need to get to where we want to go.
It may be happening for us and not to us. #whoa
It will NOT make us always feel better or heal the 'boo boo' immediately.
It WILL help you move through the problem and grow. It doesn't sound more enjoyable, but I've found that it certainly makes things more interesting. You will live life and not just try to avoid it. That comes with highs and lows. If you don't feel the lows, you won't catch the greatest highs. Ugh, I know. I'm now starting to sound Buddhist so I'll move along...
The second approach I take when I hit a wall or a client hits a wall is based on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Whaaaa?
Yep. I learned this back in the day when I was going through a quarter-life crisis post college graduation. I was hanging out in Nashville at home with my parents and losing it more and more with every rejection letter I received back (I was job hunting during a recession).
I had no clue what to do so I bought a book based on a friend's recommendation.
I am not an expert on Cognitive Behaviorial Therapy (CBT) but I have used it a lot in my life, specifically this notion of a Thought Record and it has changed everything for me.
I won't go into all of it, but I will tell you that when I hit a few tough spots in my life back then, the first two questions on this Thought Record worksheet (basically guided journaling) were what helped the most.
When I was "in it" in my life, I would take a moment and ask myself to evaluate the mood I was experiencing.
Next, I would assign a rating to how intensely I was feeling it. In those two steps, I would pull myself out from being in the play to watching from the audience. I went from being all swept up in my 'feelzies' to becoming an objective observer.
It did not happen overnight. It took a lot of repetition, but I was into it, and I am now a self-proclaimed CBT ninja. I also use it with clients.
There are about five more questions on that worksheet that bring it on home in the best way ever, but I'll save that for another time.
For now, if you take anything away from this, let it be the following:
If you're going through something in your life right now and you're feeling overwhelmed (I did this a week ago) give it a try.
Feeling not so hot? Ok good. Feel that. Give yourself a day to marinate in that. You get one day.
If you know what you want in your life, or in your wardrobe, perfect. If not, I suggest you first get clear on that.
Got it? Ask yourself, "so now what?"
And should you lay out a great first step to take towards what you want, small or large, but find yourself right back in your Debbie Downer stage the following day, no problem. When you feel whatever it is you are feeling, define that emotion.
Fear, Overwhelm, Anger, Resentment, the whole gang's here.
Rate it on a scale of one to ten.
Next time it bubbles up, and it will, rinse and repeat.
Give this an honest shot for a week.
In seven days, sit down and recall what the problem was in the first place. If it still feels like a problem, go for another week. If you're starting to see that it is happening for you and not to you, well then, you are on your way to whatever it is you want in your life. Enjoy getting there and celebrate the small steps.
You will hit the goal in a way you may not have expected if you keep going. So might as well enjoy the ride.
I promise I will do the same. We're in this together. Might as well have fun with it right?
Day 3, done.
KEEP ON KEEPIN' ON: