Last week's blog was something very different. Have you ever heard of the 12 Days of Christmas Workout? It's something I do every year in the days leading up to Christmas. It keeps me fit and healthy, but above all, it's very fun! Check it out HERE to see what it is.
Today, I'd like to talk about a behavior some of us have. We anticipate stressful and busy times. We worry, but we don't realize that by doing so, we implicitly make the stress and the business happen. This has a name: Awfulizing. Watch the following video or keep reading for more...
Awfulizing. I just learned this word, and I think it's absolutely amazing. So thank you, Karen. Karen is an avid reader of my newsletter, and I'm so happy to call her my friend now. She sent me a message the other day, telling me about how awfulizing is an actual word in her world, when we exaggerate the state or the emotional state that we're going to be in and we tend to go into a cycle and everything becomes worse and worse, because we're planning ahead that it's going to be like that.
For example, if you have to go to the store and it's December, and before even leaving your home, you think: "Oh, it's going to be awful. There's going to be lineups. There's not going to be any parking. It's going to be terrible." You are awfulizing. And if there is a parking spot, I bet you'll miss it because you planned ahead that it would be awful and that there would not be any available spots.
We have to be careful. What happens when we are in awfulizing mode is that it triggers a lot of fear. It triggers a lot of powerful emotions that are making us want to withdraw and hide. We just want to get out of there, and we can't enjoy the moment. We don't realize or notice that there actually are some great things around and that everything that we had planned in our head, we were just making it up. It's not really happening.
I remember asking one of my friends one day how she was doing. She answered: "Oh, don't tell me about it. Tonight after work, I have to go pick up my kids. I have three of them. One of them has hockey, another one has soccer and the other one has dance. I don't know how I'm going to make them have dinner yet. I bet there's going to be traffic. It's going to be terrible because there are lots of people on the road right now, and everybody's shopping..."
I gently interrupted her and said: "Okay. So, I just asked you how you're doing now. Right now, are you in traffic? Right now, are you running around trying to get your kids to practice? Right now, are you late for one of them?" She answered no. I said: "Why are you feeling bad right now for something that might not even happen? Is this the first time you have to do that or are you kids in sports every week?" She answered no again. I said: "Okay. And have you figured out kind of a system?" She said: Well, you know what? Actually, I can actually ask the neighbor for help. She also has a son that plays hockey.
If you already know that this is not gonna work, then find another route, find another way, find a solution. And if you know it's going to happen anyway, and that you're stuck with this, then plan ahead. There's always a way to know in advance, and if you're awfulizing, you're making it worse, and it will happen. Definitely. You will be late if you're planning on doing that.
Find ways to make you feel more confident during the stressful time you're dreading. Because if you're stressed time is eating away at your life, it is sending very bad chemicals through your bloodstream to make you feel even worse. So, start making up things that are serving you, because you're making it up anyway. You're just awfulizing. It's not that bad. There's actually a lot of great things.
Start seeing life through pink glasses and start to notice what is nice. In my friend's case, sure, you'll be in your car playing taxi driver for your three kids. Hey, bring some great music, bring a book, or book a coffee chat with one of your friends on the phone as you sit in the car waiting for one of them. There's a lot of ways that you can make it great.
Let's stop awfulizing and let's start being happier and bring more joy into our life by seeing it differently. Let's have a good time.
HAVE YOU EVER THOUGHT ABOUT JOURNALING?
Whether you need something to do while you're waiting for your kids to be done with their hockey practice and their dance class, or you just feel the need to cultivate a powerful daily habit, the THINK Yourself® GRATEFUL journal might be what you need!
It has a daily "have-done" list to help you transform your life and anticipate daily moments of positive change and opportunity.
Put an end to awfulizing by asking your mind to answer specific, thought-provoking questions every night.
Check out some of my previous blog posts...
Are You Overreacting or Do You Have Trauma?
How to Become the Best Version of Yourself
How Are We Still Standing?