Do you ever feel completely overwhelmed such that you don't know where to begin? Then because you can't jump start anything that seems to work you become self-critical in the process and start taking everything personally.
"This will never get better. It always seems to happen to me. Nothing is working. I wish I could just stop being this way. When will I get a break?"
Here is a practice I share with my clients for when you feel stressed:
1. Notice how stress shows up in your:
a. Body = ________________
b. Feelings = _______________
c. Thoughts = ________________
2. Welcome stress. Get curious about it. The body, mind and thoughts are designed to heighten how we deal with stress. This is good unless fear takes over. Disarm fear by answering…
a. I am stressed about __________________________________ (WHAT?)
b. Dig deeper. Ask yourself WHY? 5 times: Why is that important to me?
Why is that important to me?
Why is that important to...
When a team feels they have psychological safety at work they’re not experiencing cynicism, personal agendas, bureaucracy and posturing. It’s up to us as leaders to provide that.
By working on ourselves. The answer is not in a book or a training or a conference. It’s inside of you.
When we can go into the dark corners of our lives and root out what holds us back - what makes us insecure, we stop doing and tolerating these culture killing and self-defeating behaviors.
When we can stand our self-doubt up against our courage we make space for the truth - that we are all human and better when we support each other.
When we can accept that we’re not perfect especially in the face of regret, we soften to ourselves and then to others.
Nothing is permanent. We’re all a work in progress.
The human condition is happy when it feels safe and accepted. You deserve to be safe. You deserve the promotion or new job. You deserve...
We work hard all year then put pressure on ourselves for the perfect vacation. The concept of vacation is out of balance with an integrated life. This image exemplifies how I live my life. It’s always served me well. I don’t have a bucket list. I do what I want now. I make time, space and energy for what resonates with me and the people I care about. It requires focus and commitment. It requires setting priorities. It requires saying no to things that don’t resonate with my priorities and yes to things that scare me or that I don’t yet know how to do. But perfection is not my goal because I’m certainly not perfect at anything I do or even good at some of the things I try. But I have fun, keep an open mind, laugh at myself, and that’s good enough. And I fiercely love the people around me.
Because if life isn’t vacation then the other 51 weeks a year are what we are trying to get away from.
If you are not sure where you will be in a year...
Our culture imposes a sense of urgency that isn’t helpful to well-being. The internet is the worst culprit. Social media defines what we “should” look like. What we “should” feel like. What we “should” be doing. And what we “should” have.
A sense of urgency is good in a crisis. Our lives are not a crisis. You already have everything you need to look, feel, do and have what you want. Your perspective is the key. Your looks are gorgeous when you feel they are. Your soul is fulfilled when your values are aligned with your actions. Your career is rewarding when you are leading in a way that resonates with your core. And the stuff you have will make sense when it is purposeful to your personal mission.
May this year be the year you are ready to sail your boat out of the harbor and into a sea of opportunity, creativity and contentment.
If you don't know where you'll be by the end of the year you are already there. Don't...
If you've talked with a family member this week you know there is disappointment in the air. Honor that feeling. It makes us sad not to come together to celebrate the very thing we value most in the world – our relationships. It hurts. We feel cheated, angry, afraid, as if we don’t want to get our hopes up for anything right now.
You miss the traditions, the food, the table decorating, the hours in the kitchen fussing over the stuffing, the family laughter, watching parades and football together and the hugs.
Ok. There. Let all that out. We can release that which we own. Name and own the disappointment.
Now let’s have some fun. What won’t you miss this year? The money you saved not doing mini makeovers in the house. Buying food that will get wasted – that you really don’t need or use. How your brother and sister-in-law don't help clean up. The uncomfortable moment when Grammie asks Matt when he is finally going to get married, or...
Two nights ago I didn’t recognize myself. I got home from a wonderful weekend at the beach to find that all the packages that had been delivered were left in the rain in my driveway instead of on the porch. Many of my Christmas card envelopes had gotten stuck together from the moisture and I had been shorted 25 of them.
As I sat there putting labels on envelopes and trying to pry apart envelopes without ruining them I heard myself say, “I hate doing this. I don’t even know why I send Christmas cards” followed by a few words I can’t even write down.
Now, this is not me. I think all year about the photos on my Christmas cards. It’s my way of sharing a joyous hello. I love opening the cards from friends.
Finally, my husband had to tell me, “OK, that’s enough now” to shake me awake from my funk.
Perfection. Holidays inspire perfection. And that inspires expectations. And that inspires unmet expectations....
You know that head trash that keeps you up at night - I’ll never find the right job - I’m getting old - He doesn’t like me - I am stressed from work - She doesn’t love me - I’m not smart enough? Self-inquiry questions start the journey to clear a path through mind clutter for clarity:
Who am I?
What do I want?
What is my purpose?
How can I serve?
What am I grateful for?
This self-inquiry brings awareness of what is true to you - the open soul, free of assumptions and expectations.
You are not your thoughts, experiences, sensations. You are the observer of them - free of them whether positive or negative.
Don’t fake positive thinking. That is artificial. You’ve undoubtedly seen people trying too hard to be positive. “I can handle this. It will be fine,” when they really feel exhausted and defeated. Pretending only makes you more stressed. Admit and be curious about how you feel without attaching any future or...
You’ve seen it at work and at home. Someone is anxious about something and suddenly you are feeling anxious too. You know this isn’t healthy and that you shouldn’t feel this way which only makes it worse. Now you’re self-judging for not distancing yourself from the drama and begin to doubt your own effectiveness. You start losing sleep and wake up in the middle of the night, running the day’s conversations over in your mind.
Lately, I’ve been feeling overwhelmed and sucked in by another person’s angst. Drama is created when a person can’t accept the way they feel so they try to externalize it or put that feeling off on others, usually in a highly demonstrative or desperate way. This behavior provides them a temporary yet unsustainable relief from their discomfort. Thus, they continue the drama dance to try to unload their despair.
I notice I have been feeling anxious and assuming the anxiety of this person. I’ve...
What do you actually want to happen this Christmas? Are expectations already making you tense? After all we have been fed for two months via television, radio and print what the ‘perfect’ Christmas should look like. You know you don’t want to feel loneliness, fear and anxiety. Be the creator of what you want.
The Happy Holiday’s Plan
Stress is nothing more than the stories we attach to reality. We all do it. It’s leading from a fear perspective as opposed to a creator perspective. "I am going to fail." "They don't like me or what I am doing." "This tooth ache means I am going to need a root canal."
How do we stop attaching stories that are assumptions onto reality? By building our awareness around what triggers that leap to fast-forward our lives to a doom and gloom ending.
Notice it. Don’t judge yourself for it. Call it out and name it. “This is what it feels like to fear being judged.” And move on.
Wishing you a clearing of illumination today for without darkness there would be no light. Wishing you power.
Success is freedom. Not more hours.
P.S. Money replenishes itself. Time does not. Click here to request a call with me and let's talk about your situation.
Mary Lee Gannon, ACC, CAE is an...