To paraphrase Mel Robbins in an interview with Lewis Howes, “you can’t always control how you feel but you can control how you behave.”
These two ideas might seem contradictory but they do go hand in hand.
Any situation that arises in your life has multiple outcomes. The best for you will come from a place of positivity and the welcoming of a new opportunity. I’ve found myself recently reverting to bad habits, negative over-reactions and anger when something happened I didn’t like or that felt like a threat. Who was it effecting? The person who had said something carelessly or in jest? No. Me. 100% yes. I would wind myself up into a knot, plan and plot a retort or a scathing email or simple, petty revenge tactics.
Where did it get me? Absolutely no where. So why do it, right?
What I need to remember, and what we should all try an remember, is we don’t have to react immediately to a nasty comment, be it in person, in an email, or on social media. We can walk away or, like I do, pretend to be Scarlet O’Hara and deal with it tomorrow. This isn’t procrastinating – it’s a tactic that allows you to get your head clear and your emotions settled. It will take practice but trust me, you’ll get there.
Once you’ve approached enough situations from some form of distance, it will become a habit. You won’t think about how to get back at someone, you’ll think about how you can get the best possible outcome – the outcome that works best for you but doesn’t create bad feelings with the other party.
Let me give you an example;
When I first started to focus on my health it was all about weight loss (and it still is) but it has also about finding out who I am. I buried myself under fat because it felt safer but instead of the sexually harassing catcalls, I get the “hey fatty” version. Usually, I wave my middle finger at them and pretend like it doesn’t bother me, but it does.
The first group I joined on Facebook was interesting and friendly and motivated me for a time. Then I noticed a trend.
The entire group could not think for themselves. The coach of this group had zero tolerance for people who ate banned foods and didn’t believe in cheats. She told us repeatedly that 80/20 was a naive dream and that we shouldn’t hope to find success using it. (80% proper nutrition / 20% fun).
The women in the group seemed completely cowed by this and would share heart breaking posts about not being able to go to a restaurant with their family because they couldn’t eat off the menu; they couldn’t go to family gatherings for the same reason – what if there was cheesecake or chocolate or condiment covered salads!?!?! They ate, instead, boring but perfectly portioned meals and moaned about how their husbands hated it. I tried to follow the broccoli, chicken, rice protocol for about a month and found the thought of chicken nauseating.
The tipping point was the faked results photos and the rant about a mother who wouldn’t follow 21 Day Fix containers. Why, the daughter moaned, was her 60 year old mother being difficult? Why would she not commit to eating “properly”? Why did she not understand how important it was to her? Mine, if I posted crap like this, would end me.
Now, remember where I said that this kind of comment would usually provoke a response from me. Well, not this time. This time, instead of pointing out this woman’s mother had raised her children, lived a life (I hope) of accomplishments, has a grandson to dote on, or that forcing someone to eat and exercise the way you demand isn’t the best way to help someone, I ignored it all. I scrolled past.
In the week leading up to Shaun Week I left the group and immediately felt better about myself. Immediately I felt free. There was no metaphorical shackle hanging around my neck – I could make my own decisions without being worried that someone would be faux disappointed. No one needs that kind of shit. Be supportive or we’re done.
During Shaun Week I started working with a new coach. Her vibe is so different. She’s positive and upbeat and speaks my language. There is no hint from her that to be successful you have to deprive yourself. You have to find your tribe.
My desire to workout is back and I can feel it becoming a habit again rather than a chore. I’ve wanted and missed this.
The moral of this story. You can only control you and when you’re the master of your emotions, your thoughts, your impulses, other things will start falling into place.
You can do this and in the words of Shaun T, Trust and Believe!