Why is it that sometimes I can deal with loads of work and things being thrown at me (metaphorically not physically) and I feel great and just get on with it; and then there are other times when the slightest thing can just make me feel totally out of control, as though I am under a huge black cloud and I get totally down on myself?
I was thinking about this recently as I had been working late every day, and had the weight of expectations put on me by others. I was feeling guilty for not being the good daughter, sister, friend, lover I wanted to be. I tried to do everything I was asked and had planned, but actually I couldn’t. I had things that needed to be done; writing the session plan for the training I was delivering imminently; getting food into me at meal times so I didn’t pass out; making sure I slept so my face didn’t frighten any children when I was out in public.
Realistically I knew that this really busy time would subside as soon as I finished the really important deadline looming and could give more time to other aspects of my business and personal life. However, right at this moment, I was constantly getting a headache, not sleeping enough, being hard on myself and feeling like a proper grump. So, I went to one of the tools that we use in our training – the Mudra. I found one to help alleviate my headache and helped myself to get into a more resourceful state. This then helped me to be clearer on what was going on in my head.
It’s not you it’s me.
It is me. When I really think about it, I am the one who puts these expectations on myself. Others ask of me and want of me, but I am in control of me, not them. So, if I believe I have the right to say no, to explain why I cannot do something, perhaps offer an alternative, or just say I can’t do it, and if they don’t accept that, then it’s out of my control. The guilt that inevitably descends needs to just ‘do one’ and I need to be confident in myself more. Thereby causing myself less stress and freeing up my already busy mind to concentrate on what I really need at that moment.
Great stuff – so I will just do that, right!
I know it seems really easy to say but to actually do it, well, I think it might be easier for me to swim with sharks. And those that know me well will tell you that I cannot actually watch a film with underwater scenes because I have an absolute fear of sharks and just seeing one on the TV gets my heart pumping way too much.
So why can’t I think this way? And why can’t I do it? Why is it so difficult?
The answer is simple. I am just not built that way. I have a strong guilt complex – I was born Catholic after all, but does that mean I have to continue with this? Absolutely not! I don’t want it, so if I don’t want it then I can choose to do something about it. I am in control not my beliefs.
Did you believe that?
I can be pretty convincing. But now I have tried that on in my head, I actually like it. I am in control. Me, Claire, in control of me, Claire. So I am the one that has to make the change. But what specifically needs to change?
Those darn beliefs.
Well I know that Values are deep rooted and are the result of everything that makes me who I am. But beliefs, well those are things that I have simply bought into over years of being on this planet, and also in Claire la la land too – for those that know me, understand that very often I’m in my own head.
The beliefs I have are made up from my experiences, my peers, my family, the media etc. Some of my beliefs are really good for me and some even empower me. Beliefs such as;
· no one has the right to judge another person because they don’t know what that person is living through
· 80’s music is THE best
· things knock me, but I always bounce back
So I do have some really good beliefs, but then I have others that really don’t serve me well and somehow limit me in my life.
Beliefs such as;
· Everyone needs to like me
· It’s terrible if I make a mistake
· I have to be the same as others and do what they do
Those beliefs are the ones that can get me really stressed. When they appear and attach themselves to other things that might be going on for me, such as working late and not sleeping well, then this is when I go into stress overload, when I don’t do things as well as I can and even make myself ill. Those beliefs are the ones I need to get to grips with, wrestle to the ground and pound them out so they are no longer in my head. If I know this and can remind myself of this, then surely that is when I can do something about them. I just need to do the work.
So, changing my limiting beliefs into something that will serve me better can support me to feel less stressed. They won’t get rid of the stress all the time because there are other factors that cause me stress and feeling stressed from time to time is a natural part of life, but I can stop adding to it all by working on my limiting beliefs.
And you know something? Just having that thought and knowing this, well that is bloomin’ empowering. So I am going to start that work, right now.