Updated: Mar 3, 2020
Have you ever had one of those weeks where everything was hard? I mean everything – getting out of bed, deciding what to wear, staying focused on your tasks during the day, interacting with your spouse or family, deciding what you want for dinner… You finally get to the end of the day and you think “Glad that’s over! Tomorrow will be better.”
Only it isn’t.
I had one of those weeks recently. The usual factors played a part. Clients were not meeting their deadlines, resulting in me cancelling holiday plans so I could still deliver on time. I didn’t eat properly, or make time to exercise. My guy was feeling unwell and I was worried about him. The house was a mess. The news was depressing. The wind roared for days, leaving me with a headache and dreams about being in a tornado!
By Friday I was frustrated to the point of tears. Yet when I looked at what I had accomplished that week, it was nothing to cry about. I’d facilitated two inspiring corporate training sessions that got terrific reviews. My husband and I had spent time on the couch enjoying wine. Friends had reached out with texts to let me know I am loved. I had good stuff lined up for the week ahead.
So, what was the problem?
I grabbed my journal to find out. I’ve learned over the years that when I am frustrated to the point of tears, it’s time to write it out. Somewhere among the first sentences my heart takes over and suddenly it all pours out onto the page. My real fears. My real frustrations.
Not the distractions I blame for my rotten mood (hello wind!), but the things that matter to me that I am not making my priority. The choices I make that take me away from what I want, instead of going towards it.
We all do this.
It might look like aimlessly scrolling Facebook because you feel too tired to do anything
else. Or saying yes to something you don’t want to do because you think you “should”. Or holding on to old things (clothes, idea, friends) that don’t fit your life anymore. It's retreating into places and spaces where little is expected of you. It seems safer there than blazing an unknown trail to where you actually want to be.
As I wrote, I realized that in certain areas of my life I was choosing to hide where it felt safe, rather than take the next scary steps towards what I really wanted. The frustration I was feeling was at myself, and at the choices I was making.
So, I made a list of everything that scared me.
Shockingly, it was only four items long! And when I saw that short list staring back at me from the page, I didn’t feel afraid anymore. I felt calm and ready to plan my next steps.
When we identify our fears and face them, we take away their power.
The monster under the bed is only scary when we can’t see him, because we imagine him to be so much bigger than he actually is. Everything in life can be dealt with once we acknowledge it, and make the decision to face it. We are more powerful than we realize.
Its all in our choices.