Have your feathers ever been ruffled by someone doing something you didn’t agree with, even though it had nothing to do with you?
As I was preparing to write this post, an acquaintance popped into my head. She's a perfect example of someone who ruffles my feathers.
This acquaintance makes everything, and I mean everything, about herself. It doesn’t matter what you’re talking about, she’ll find a way to redirect the conversation back on to her. And if someone does something or says something she doesn’t like, she’ll put a passive-aggressive post on Facebook and play the “woe is me” card. It drives me nuts!!
I want to pull her aside and say, “Hey Chica, there are other people in your world. It’s not just about you. Try focusing on them for a bit. Oh, and by the way, if someone ticks you off, rather than post some passive-aggressive BS on Facebook, why don’t you take it off Facebook? Why don’t you try having an adult conversation instead?”
Meet my judge and jury. Uh-huh. There they are finding her guilty of perceived wrong-doings.
It's clear, based on how ruffled my feathers get, that I've got expectations of how she “should” behave. Ummm, that's really not my place at all.
Here’s the REAL kicker; my feathers being ruffled doesn’t impact my acquaintance. She doesn’t know that her behavior drives me nuts. My feathers getting ruffled only impacts me and in a way that’s not cool or OK with me.
Enter the light bulb moment...my judge and jury come out most in my personal life. As a coach, I put my judgment aside, stepping outside of my “map of the world” and stepping into my client’s “map” so I can see things from their perspective.
So, it’s become pretty obvious to me that it’s not someone’s behavior that ruffles my feathers, it’s my judgment and my expectations that cause them to bristle and ruffle.
I figure that if I can be judgment-free with my clients, I can be judgment-free with the people in my personal life. Which has led to a little experiment that, so far, is keeping my feathers from getting twisted in knots.
FROM JUDGE & JURY TO OBSERVER
Have you ever watched something without feeling one way or the other about what you were observing?
For example, maybe you’ve watched an instructional video, just taking in all the information before deciding whether or not the information was going to be of use. In that moment, you're being a neutral observer.
When we’re neutrally observing something, we’re not attached to it in any way. There’s no judgment but instead, there’s a curiosity to find out more.
That’s what I’ve been experimenting with, being a neutral observer when I start to feel my feathers ruffle by something someone does or says that has nothing to do with me.
To make the experiment easier, I’ve broken it down into two simple steps.
Step 1: Being aware of how I feel. This step is pretty crucial. If I’m feeling tightness in my chest or the least bit ticked off, I check-in to see what’s causing the feelings. If those feelings are being caused by my judge & jury I go to the next step.
Step 2: Talk myself off the judge bench or out of the juror box. I usually say something like, “Hmmm, I’m just noticing that she’s talking an awful lot about herself, I wonder why?” or “That’s interesting, she seems to be upset with someone or something.”
Good-bye judge and jury, hello smoother feathers.
WHAT ABOUT YOUR FEATHERS?
My friends, I’d love to hear how you keep your feathers smooth when someone does something that bugs you. Comment here or drop me an e-mail. If you don’t have something that helps, feel free to give the steps above a go. Tweak them, add to them, and make them your own.
Until next time, here’s to smoother feathers. As always, I’m sending you much peace, love, and light....
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“You didn’t wake up today to be average!” - Alek Toussaint, instructor @onepeloton
How often have you gotten out of bed and said to yourself, “Today, I think I’ll just be average.”?
While you may have never said those words exactly, I’m going to challenge you a little. I bet you’ve said some things to yourself or had thoughts that have made you feel average or maybe even less than.
I know I sure have. Things that put me in a tailspin, made me cranky or supported my shrinking physically.
Like when I “chewed” on someone’s critical comment until the flavor was gone. Or when I stuffed my own feelings until I was about to explode. All because I feared that I’d royally tick someone off. “Hello, Average! Come on in, grab a cup of coffee and stay awhile.”
We’re human. It’s bound to happen. As Dr. Rick Hanson, author of the Buddha’s Brain explains in his many articles and books, our brains are wired to experience negative thoughts. It’s called “negative bias”.
But here’s the real deal, regardless of the negative bias we may experience, none of us were born to be average. We weren’t. We just sometimes choose to be, and maybe not even intentionally.
Just like we choose what to wear every day, we get to choose how we want to show up. We get to choose to be...
<fill in the blank>
What’s important here is recognizing that we get to choose. It’s that choice that makes what may be an unconscious way of showing up, conscious and intentional. Which in all reality, is a pretty cool and powerful place to come from.
Less auto piloting through the day.
Less just allowing things to happen to us.
Less allowing other people’s moods, behavior, actions, etc to become ours.
Less self-critical commentary.
Instead, we're in the driver’s seat determining where we go, what we experience, what we see, what we feel and the impact we wish to have on the world around us.
BEING INTENTIONAL TO AVOID BEING AVERAGE
So, if you’re ready to kick average to the curb, I’d love to offer the following to experiment with.
Intentionally tune-in to what you’re saying. Our minds don’t know fact from fiction. Our minds believe what we tell them. So, if you find that you’re saying some pretty crappy things to yourself, just stop and change your focus. That’s it. You don’t have to change the dialog, unless you want to. The important thing is stopping the negative commentary and switching your focus to something else that makes you feel better. For example, I love to switch my focus to my puppies. It’s hard not to feel good when I’m going in for some puppy cuddles.
Intentionally ask, “How do I want to show up today?” Before you get out of bed ask yourself this question. Then think of one thing you’re committed to doing that will help you to show up in that way. For example, if I’m wanting to show up full of positive energy, I’ll commit to any of the following...
- steering clear of negative conversations
- staying away from the news for the day
- staying off of Facebook
- getting outside
- eating well
NOW IT'S YOUR TURN...
How do you want to show up today? Remember, you get to choose so have some fun being intentional.
Until next time, I send you all much peace, love, and light!
Keep From Losing Your Mind During The Holidays Series - Video 3: Managing the overwhelm of expectations and time constraints.
It’s all too easy to get caught up in others’ expectations of us during the holidays. Couple that with all the other commitments we have and that’s just a recipe for losing it.
So, I’m offering two strategies to experiment and play with to help you keep it all together this holiday season.
The “No, but” (courtesy of one of my clients) and Energy Investing (courtesy of Carolyn Myss).
Have a watch and don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or thoughts. Sending you all much peace, love, and light for an amazing holiday!
A BIG P.S. and shout-out of gratitude to Feedspot for naming Walking The Walk one of the top 100 Life Coach Blogs! I'm super grateful and honored!!
Tip 1: The Bubble & The Bouncers
“What you said was stupid!”
“What are you wearing? You look like a frump!”
“You didn’t do that right. What were you thinking?”
When you read those comments, do they connect with you in some way?
Do comments like that make you shrink? Shut you down? Put you on the defensive? Drive you crazy? Bring out the worst in you?
Critical comments are a HUGE trigger for me. HUGE. I always feel like they're a passive-aggressive way to tell me that who I am as I am is not cool or good enough.
“Don’t be you, Pam.” “Conform.” “Be what I need you to be.”
In short, I perceive criticalness as a means to get me to become a peacekeeping, good girl. A role that I’ve worked to let go of, because it doesn't fit me.
So, in the not too distant past, when someone would make what I felt was a critical comment I’ve done one of two things. I've either shrunk or I gotten pissed off to the point of shutting down.
I’m not going to lie, as much work as I’ve done around critical comments, I still fricking dislike them with a passion because they still hurt. Not to mention, they're a great way to shut down the connection.
BUT here’s something I’ve come to realize...
I can’t control what another person says or how they say it but I do have choices when it comes to being on the receiving end of critical comments. I also have choices when it comes to being on the giving end, particularly as it relates to my critical comments of me.
CHOICES AND OPTIONS FOR TAKING THE BITE OUT OF CRITICAL COMMENTS
(Disclaimer: IF the following suggestions don’t feel like they’d work for you, please DO NOT use them.)
During one of my morning journaling sessions, this little nugget came bubbling up to the surface. Critical comments are a demonstration of “false superiority” which often comes from a place of feeling insecure or “not good enough”. When I’m on the receiving end of a critical comment I can remind myself of this. This helps me to remember that I don’t have to shrink and I definitely don’t have to conform.
I can imagine myself in a cool, iridescent bubble. Outside of that bubble stand two big, burly bouncers. I can imagine them saying to the person who’s being critical, “Sorry...your energetic “outfit” is just not on our energetic dress code. NEXT person in line!” This one makes me chuckle! And laughing helps me to lighten the heaviness that comes with critical comments.
Oh, and if I’m the one handing out the critical comments I can remind myself of how unbecoming I find them to be and make it a point to stop and apologize. If I’m criticizing myself I can do the very same. Just stop.
I can also tell the person being critical that what they’re saying isn’t cool and that I’m pausing the conversation for a moment. Then I can take a deep breath and remind myself that I do not need to buy into whatever critical thing that person is saying.
At the end of the day, it helps to remind myself that I’m not here to conform. I’m here to be me, unapologetically and so someone’s critical comment is theirs to own. It’s not mine to take on or do anything with.
HOW DO YOU WANT TO TAKE THE BITE OUT OF CRITICAL COMMENTS?
So, my friends, I turn it over to you, the next time you find yourself being criticized what will you experiment with to avoid the bite marks?
Will you use one of the suggestions above? Mash a few together? Or try something completely different? The choice is yours!
Just remember that with choice always comes power. And that you, my friends, are far stronger and more powerful than any critical comment or the bite it has.
As always, I’d love to hear from you! Share what you’ve done to avoid the bite or what you’re going to experiment with.
Until next time, I’m sending you lots of peace, love, and light.
“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.” ~Ernest Hemingway
Recently I was invited to listen to a recorded presentation about humility, and it literally rocked my world.
As I listened intently, the words “complete and whole” popped into my head. And then came the light bulb moment: “Yes!” I thought. “When one feels whole and complete, they’re more humble.”
As the presenter talked about the “look at me” culture of selfies and social media I felt my toes begin to curl and my stomach tighten. (Read On)
About this blog
This blog is all about walking the walk, and not just talking my talk. This is the place where I share my personal journey, insights, ideas, and a-ha moments...all things mindset related.