Uncertainty and a loss of control have been common themes in the past months.
It is becoming clear what we actually have control over in our lives and what we don’t. We are all coming to terms with this in our own ways. However, we don’t have to struggle through this. We have choices.
Trying to control what we actually have little to no control over is one of the most significant barriers to experiencing our own potential. It takes us off track and keeps us in an anxious state.
We have access to loads of information that tell us how to live better and in more satisfying ways. We know more now than ever about how to eat, exercise, and sleep better. We know that it’s important to slow down some and be more mindful and that meditation is pretty good for us.
If we’re interested in experiencing our potential, we need to do a better job of truly understanding what we can and what we can’t control so that we don’t misuse our energy and attention.
Emotional and mental distress occurs when we continue to focus on controlling certain parts of our environment, such as people, various external circumstances, and family and workplace dynamics.
We end up spending so much mental and emotional energy around something that isn’t for us to change. Instead, we can simply choose to focus on what we actually have control over.
Have you ever felt “unappreciated” by another person, “judged” by them and “disrespected” by them? I put these terms in quotes because they are just the terms or labels we happen to choose at the time to describe our experience which is very unique to us. Another person might choose other words to describe a similar experience based on their own beliefs and history.
Chances are you have had some experience with this.
We humans are primarily social beings who want to be liked, included, and recognized for who we are.
We spend a ton of time thinking and drawing conclusions about our impressions of others, why they do the things they do or what their intentions are. So when we don’t feel liked and accepted by others, we can become a bit rattled.
The conclusions we draw or “stories” we tell ourselves are often based more on our own stuff and the unique ways in which we make meaning of other people’s behaviors than they have to do with the other person.
For example, if you notice yourself feeling “disrespected” by what another person says or does, rather than playing this story out in your head about how disrespectful the action or intention was, you might ask yourself,
“Why did I choose the word ‘disrespected’ to describe this experience?”
“What does disrespect mean to me?”
“If I looked at this situation from the lens of the other person, what word might they use to describe this experience?”
This process begins to widen our perspective a bit and allows us to step outside of our defaults (taken for granted ways of thinking), enabling us to create new and expansive ways of understanding ourselves in our interactions with others.
Perhaps you’ve felt “judged” in the past. We all seem to get pretty uneasy with this one. And, oftentimes, we interpret another person’s opinion or perspective as a judgment about our own. When this happens, you might ask yourself,
This takes intention and practice.
It’s a learned skill set.
Practice, practice, practice.
Developing and strengthening our brains and bodies is essential for life-long happiness, contentment, and satisfaction.