10 Tips When You’re Up Against It
It doesn’t matter so much what happens to us, or doesn’t happen.
What matters is how we think about what happens.
This is my go-to list of mind-changers.
How we think about what happens is where all the power is.
1. DON’T SETTLE.
For starters, you were not created on this Earth to live a teeny-tiny, dumbed-down version of who you are. You did not plan to be less than. You were not born to be a puny version of yourself.
Anything you can imagine, you can do.
Have faith. Hang in there.
Your dreams are real and do-able.
2. MAKE PEACE WITH WHERE YOU ARE.
Don’t settle, and yet make peace with where I am?
It’s a tightrope idea, I know. But making peace is really the balance stick to carry as you walk. If you’re peaceful about where you are, you’ll go forward with more balance and confidence, even when the wind is strong.
You are where you are, and that’s a good thing. What you’ve lived so far puts you in a potential-filled position to realize your next steps.
This is excellent.
If you forget, call a friend to remind you. We all need support. My friend Shiner Antiorio has been known to call me up in times of trouble and giggle at me (I’ve given her the permanent green light about this.) Either that, or she just hands me a flower! And when she does, I remember that where I am is just fine.
Friends can help with the bright side.
3. YOU ARE ALWAYS EVOLVING.
Every aspect of your beautiful self is constantly evolving and changing, even if you feel like you’re standing still.
You’re not standing still. Ever.
Momentum of thought is carrying you in a direction. The only question is, is this a direction you like?
You’re always going somewhere. Do you like where you’re going?
Your thoughts are creating your future. Will it be a future you enjoy?
If not, learn to divert that river of anguish, judgment or upset. Send it off on a tributary. Let it flow away from you. Recalculate. Distract yourself. Take your attention off the problem.
Hint: This can feel counter-intuitive.
This is simple, but not necessarily easy. It takes practice, and it’s worth it.
4. WAKE UP IN THE MOMENT.
When you get a “same-old result” (but would rather have something new) try this.
Wake up in the middle of what you do that produces the result you always get.
Just wake up. Pay attention. It takes conscious practice at first, and gets easier as you go.
Don’t worry about changing anything yet, just wake up and notice. What are you doing? Saying? Feeling? Thinking?
Hmmm… be curious. Be someone who is studying you.
5. TEACH ME HOW TO HAVE YOUR PROBLEM.
When a client can’t figure out how she got where she is, or why she stays there, I sometimes ask her to teach me how to have her problem.
(Nope, I’m not kidding.)
Then she looks at me with that “I’ve been found out” kind of look.
Slowly at first, she begins to tell me how to have her problem. She gets curious. She looks with new eyes. She discovers.
The Big Bonus: She notices everything is in her capable hands.
After that, there’s no going back.
6. GET HELP.
If you could do it yourself, you would have already.
If you’re disorganized, yet prefer a serene, peaceful look in your home, there are plenty of people who know how to help you. They love the subject you’re confused about, and they are crystal clear. They can help.
If you don’t know why your plants won’t grow in your garden, you can guess for years and years about what to do, or give up, complain, or worry.
On the other hand, you can get help. You can send a soil sample to your state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. They will evaluate your soil and send you a report. You take it to your garden center, and Voila! They will hand you soil amendments that will make your plants do the happy dance.
7. YOU WERE BORN WORTHY.
There is nothing you need to do to prove yourself. You have merit, good character, and value.
You are good. You are worthy. You were born that way.
Other people may have tried to talk you out of your goodness and natural brilliance along the way. In fact, I’m pretty sure they did. Even though they loved you, and even though they were doing their best, it is likely the adults around you insisted that you be different than you are, follow their lead, and conform to their wishes. It made their life easier.
They needed you to be interested in a subject you could care less about. They wanted you to pay attention to what they were required to teach you, and “get with the program.”
They needed you to sit at a desk and color instead of go outside and play baseball or run or whoop and holler and play a wild game of soccer or tag.
All of us went through that and for most of us, it causes an inner question about worthiness.
Time has passed. We’re all grown up. Now it’s time to remember we were born to be happy and have things work out.
Joy is a good and mighty thing.
You deserve what you want. Go get it.
8. IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK.
One of the first things I do with clients is something I call “Simple Up.” When people start sessions on the phone or on Skype, they often plunk down a big mysterious box labeled: Everything In My Life That’s Complicated.
No wonder they are overwhelmed.
And how smart to bring the box!
So we simplify — often by taking other people’s opinions and advice out of the equation. Then at least we have a starting place that includes mostly you! It’s not muddied up with what everyone else in your life would do if they were in your shoes.
Others are not in your shoes. It’s not their life. It’s your life.
Others do not know what you should do. They have no clue. They are not you.
Pay more attention to what you want to do. And do it. Trust that others are big enough to handle it.
9. DO THE WORK.
Hey, you can’t learn a song if you don’t practice! Spend time with the song. Sing it here, there and everywhere. Make the song part of your day — your drive time, shower time, gardening time. Sing it! Do the work.
To get better at golf, take lessons, and do what the instructor says. Give it a whirl. See how it helps. Do the work.
Don’t pretend you’re stuck. You’re not. Life is nothin’ but potential.
Don’t pretend to work on something. Actually do it. Try new approaches. Be willing to investigate. Turn over new rocks. See what’s under there.
Don’t pretend to be helpless and hopeless — it’s no fun along the way and besides, it never turns out well in the end. On your deathbed, you’ll feel compelled to write a long and horribly weepy Huffington Post article about all your regrets, and 12,000 readers will be sitting in a puddle of powerlessness, bawling their heads off right along with sad-sack-sorry you. C’mon, you can do better.
You can do this. Pull up those big girl panties and go for it.
:–) Do the work. :–)
10. GIVE YOURSELF THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT.
This is huge. When you’re doing your best, and things have taken a not-so-hot turn, give yourself room to move.
Know there will be a gift in what happened.
Assume that events are always for your benefit,
even if you can’t see immediate evidence.
Back off. Relax. Go easy. Take the pressure off.
- Take your foot off the gas.
- Find a softer thought.
- Do something else.
- Take a nap.
- Work in the garden.
- Sing a little song.
- Get up from your chair.
- Walk away for a while.
- Go outside and look at something beautiful.
- Read a poem or passage you love.
- Play a rambunctious game of racquetball.
- Take a drive in a place you love.
- Pet your furry friend.
Give yourself a break. You may not be able to see the whole picture right now. What’s happening may look awful, but if you take your foot off the gas, you’ll discover a gift in disguise later down the road.
Trust. Wait. Make the best of it for now.
Give yourself time to discover that all is well,
things are working out for you, and life is good.