Do you find it hard to make decisions, and end up going round and round in circles, sometimes paralysed into doing nothing??
Are you awake in the small hours thinking "but what if…., what if…., what if….."
I listened to an amazing interview with Matthew McConaughey this weekend, and he talked about the thing that keeps him up at night being
He says when things happen in life, and we need to make a decision, we have 3 choices:
Do you often feel anxious?
Do you often feel stressed?
Does your stress / anxiety sometimes feel disproportionate to a rational list of what you have going on?
And do you then go a little further into the negative cycle of judging yourself because you think you should be able to cope? Or do you think everyone else copes better than you?
Well let me tell you a little secret...
Guess what, you're human!
Stress and anxiety are natural emotions, reactions our brain has when it feels under threat, and so cause us to go into fight, flight or freeze mode.
Are you a perfectionist?
Do you know (or live / work with) a perfectionist?
How many of these sound familiar?
- I am not satisfied with things I do unless I do them perfectly
- I prefer to do things myself because other people can't do it properly
- I'd rather not start something than risk doing something I don't think I can do well
- I am much more likely to notice a failure than a success
- I hate the idea of someone else noticing I did something wrong
Ok so if we're honest we all do some of these some of the time, often it’s a form of self preservation, but if this is the only way we can do things, then maybe we need to be considering an alternative.
Comparison is part of life, it's instinctive (we're human) but it can also be pervasive & impactful in ways it does not need to be - comparisonitis!
I always struggled with comparison. You name it, I've compared myself, and interpreted external comparisons, and found myself lacking.
I got good exam results. My sister got better.
I got a job in a great company. Every year we were ranked against each other and told exactly where we "fit" into the sequence of our peers.
As a mum I would hear "what's your son doing now? Mine is doing x, y, z" (implied "better / earlier / faster" than mine)
You can't get away from it.
Words are so important!
But we can often fall into bad habits to stop ourselves feeling like we're being pushy, aggressive, demanding etc…
What we're actually doing in those cases is unconsciously putting ourselves down, and giving others permission to do the same.
Let me give you some examples:
Think sentences like: "I just wondered if….", "could I just…."
We often use this as a way of asking a question without wanting to seem aggressive, or to make sure the other person isn't offended.
Many of us hate the idea of difficult conversations of any kind
Some of us hate them to the point where we just avoid them completely, leaving us missing out - see my other blog: the cost of avoiding difficult conversations
But if we change how we approach them - and let's be honest, sometimes you really just cannot avoid them! - then there are some things that you need to remember are actually in your control!
- Your attitude
Sometimes we dread the whole conversation so much, or work ourselves into a spiral of negative thoughts, so we are not going into the conversation with a constructive attitude.
Think about it - if you try talking to someone who is already in a bad mood, its much harder to get them to see things differently, than if they're in a positive mood. Well you are just the same!
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