When’s the last time you threw yourself a pity party?
Be honest…We all do it…
Sometimes it’s nice to be self-indulgent and just wallow in our sad feelings like a pig in shit. Just cry it out or sit and pout.
But here’s the thing…
Life can throw us so many curveballs that it can start to feel like the deck is stacked against us. (Yes, I just mixed a baseball metaphor with a playing cards metaphor…deal with it.) And when that happens things can start to feel a bit hopeless, and it’s hard to see the forest through the trees.
So what do we do during those times?
Well, most of the time we become indignant. We stomp our feet, cross our arms, put on our best pout, and start feeling sorry for ourselves.
Again…this is an extremely common reaction to adversity.
Which leads me to today’s WAKEUP Call…
What SHOULD we do during these times? And the answer is simple…
We get a little perspective.
I’ll explain what I mean…
Like clockwork, in the weeks leading up to an event, I start to feel a little stressed out. I start to think about everything I still haven’t done that needs to be complete before I fly. Then that little bit of stress I feel grows into full-blown anxiety and overwhelm. Then, before I know it, I’m dreading even going and getting annoyed at all the work I’ll have to put on hold while I travel.
“So let me get this straight, Jay…You have to put a few things on the back burner while you travel to exotic places and meet with some of the kindest, most amazing, and talented people in the world? You poor thing.”
I know! But that’s my point exactly…
It’s easier to look in from the outside and make an astute observation like that and to give me the kick in the ass that I need. Thank you, by the way…
But when we’re in it, living it, experiencing it, feeling it ourselves, it becomes much harder to take a step back and gain that oh so powerful perspective.
When we’re in it ourselves, we sometimes don’t even realize we’re feeling shitty or overwhelmed or sad or stressed until we’re so deep into it there doesn’t seem to be a way out.
Well, I’ve got some good news for you…
There is a way out. There’s even a way to catch these moments and gain a little perspective before the situation starts to feel dire.
See, over the years, through trial and error…and more than a few tantrums and pity parties…I’ve come up with a system, or action steps if you will, that help me to put my circumstances in perspective.
It’s been a gift, and today, I’d like to share that gift with you.
Follow these action steps and watch how your life changes for the better.
- Keep a Gratitude Journal
Each and every day, write down at least one thing you’re grateful for. Read it back to yourself, and then sit with it for a moment. I mean, really let the feeling wash over you and give you the warm fuzzies. Doing this can help to lower stress, anxiety, depression, blood pressure…the benefits are endless. I’m not making this shit up either. Studies have proven that practicing gratitude improves our overall health. Science.
Now here’s the bonus…
Your relationships improve, your work improves, your finances improve…all because you’re in an enhanced state of ease and flow. Through gratitude, we gain clarity on what the truly important things are.
Look at it as if you can’t afford to NOT be in that space of gratitude.
- Acknowledge Your Triggers
This one can be a little tricky because you’ve got to be in a heightened state of self-awareness. But that’s another great thing about keeping your gratitude journal. By remaining grateful, you become more self-aware as a result.
Sit down with your journal and ask yourself…
“When was the last time I felt really stressed out and overwhelmed?”
Then, in detail, write out everything you can remember from that time. How was your diet? Were you getting enough sleep? Was your kid sick? Your dog? Were you and your spouse arguing? Were you working on something big at the time? Were your parents in town visiting? Was there construction going on at your next door neighbors house? Did somebody eat the leftovers you were looking forward to? Did you misplace your phone that day?
You get my point. Triggers can be ANYTHING that makes us feel anything other than awesome. And while they may seem benign at the time, when we take a step back to look at them we realize that they actually do affect us more than we might realize.
But here’s the trick…
Once you’ve made that realization, the important part is to acknowledge it and use it as an opportunity to put it in perspective.
I’ll give you a personal example…
Sometimes, when I first get home after very long flights back from wherever I was, the travel process can stress me out. Instead of just being grateful for being home after an amazing trip, I focused on all the little annoyances.
This is when I take a step back, take a shower, and asked myself, “What the hell am I mad about?”
By taking that step back, over time, I realized that when I’m tired or overworked is when I’m most susceptible to those overwhelmed feelings.
We’ve all been there and sometimes, no matter what sort of self-control you have or discipline you have, your emotions and feelings can still take over you.
But when we catch ourselves spiraling like this, it’s important to refer back to what we’re grateful for and realized how little the things we worry about are.
- Acknowledge Your Happy Place
Once you’re done writing down your triggers, start a list of the things that make you feel just fucking amazing. What activities make you feel the most alive, the most productive, the most useful, the most inspired, the most energized, the happiest?
Write each one down and how each one makes you feel. Then write down WHY they make you feel that way. Again, this will bring you back to feeling that sense of gratitude.
Once this list is complete, you’ve got an amazing resource to combat stress. Revisit this list anytime you’re feeling overwhelmed and pick one of the activities from the list. Or just read the list – sometimes that’s enough to snap you out of it!
- Write A Personal Vision Statement
You may have written vision statements for work or business in the past, but have you ever written one for yourself?
Why? Simply put, it’s a blueprint for you. It ties you to your behavior, character, and actions so no matter how overwhelmed you become, you always remember the path you’re on.
Write out your vision statement with what you’d like to see for yourself on a personal level. Where would you like to see yourself? Do you want to travel more? Do you want to improve your personal relationships? Do you want to wake up each morning feeling good about the day ahead?
Once you have this written down, you can read it anytime you’re feeling a bit lost. I also recommend revisiting your vision statement every 90 days or so because our vision for ourselves are always changing and growing and evolving. What seems like a big deal to you today may seem silly or trivial six months, a year, five years from now. Again…it’s all about perspective.
So there it is…your WAKEUP Call for today…
You have to put everything into perspective.
If not just for your own piece of mind or quality of life, then for those around you, as well…
Because like it or not, your actions, moods, and attitudes affect those around you.
We all have a part to play, and our ability to manage ourselves has a great impact on our surrounding environments and the people in them.
I urge you to take the time to complete these exercises and watch as your life and perspectives begin to shift. I’d love to hear how these action steps have helped you too, so please leave a comment and let me know your thoughts and experience.
Subject: Don’t Invite Me To Your Pity Party
After throwing myself my latest pity party…yes even I throw them every once in a while. I remembered that life is about keeping perspective.
When we’re able to take a step back, even when the universe seems to be out to get us, and put things in perspective, those feelings of self pity, overwhelm, and stress start to melt away.
But how do we catch ourselves in these moments and how do we kick our own asses to gain the right perspectives?
Well I’m glad you asked because that’s exactly what today’s WAKEUP Call is all about.
Join me as I outline the action steps to follow that will help you keep yourself in check, remain grateful, and maintain the right perspectives in life.
See you on the other side,