This past Saturday I led a free workshop in which I taught participants to use one of my favorite "make the crazy in the brain stop" tools. The workshop went well. I love teaching this stuff, and I got to witness the lightbulb coming on for each person. The participants walked out with a different perspective on an annoying problem they have, while also feeling calmer and more energized. Plus, they now have a tool that they can use forever.
Later that night I read the evaluations. A couple people commented that they wish the workshop had been longer because they found the content valuable and wanted to explore it more. Which got me thinking — and by "thinking" I mean I started to analyze how I'd ended the workshop, found things to criticize and began to question myself and what I had done. My brain was off to the races, following a well-worn path of negative thinking.
When morning came, my brain continued to squash any good feelings I had about the workshop. There's no point to offering these workshops. Only 50% of the people who registered actually showed up. This will never work.
I sat on my sofa with a cup of coffee feeling pretty dejected. Thank goodness the lightbulb turned on for me, too. Duh. Maybe I should use my own tool to "make the crazy in my brain" go away.
So that's what I did.
Sure enough, using the tool changed my perspective and energized me. In fact, it's why I'm writing this blog post.
It's not a surprise, exactly, because the reason I teach the tool to people is because it works — even on myself when I've gotten complacent.
So that was the first dose of medicine I needed. It was the reminder that no matter how well I know something, how many times I've taught it, I still have to actually put it into practice in order for it to work. I can't just intellectualize it or philosophize about it. I have to do it.
It's a little humbling.
I thought I had "graduated" from using the tool. Ha! Once again, I was confronted by the truth that I am human, imperfect, and that what I often tell others is exactly the thing I need to hear.
The second dose of medicine came today.
I wrote the first draft of this blog post yesterday afternoon. However, by this morning, my brain was up to its old tricks. I was starting to convince myself that maybe this post isn't good enough. It won't help anyone else. There's no message in it. Maybe I should let it sit and do some more research and turn it into a bigger piece that has some credible sources to back it up.
I can tell you what happens anytime I let something sit and try to make it bigger, better, more credible...
It never gets published. It sits in my documents folder.
The primitive, worry center in my brain believes its job is to keep me safe by never taking any risks, never putting myself out into the world by never exposing myself to being vulnerable and the possibility that I might make a mistake.
I see this in my clients all the time. I can see how they stop themselves from moving forward or taking action but it's difficult to see it in myself because I am in the middle of it. So, I use my tool again, and again, I can see more clearly where I'm holding myself back. What I've noticed, too, is that what I say to others is exactly what I need to hear. I just haven't been listening to myself. ;)
What medicine or lesson do you keep trying to give to others? How might that lesson apply to yourself?
What's this tool, you wonder? Email me to set up a free 30-minute session, and I'll show you how to use it.