Tag Archives: mistakes

Have a plan

So you have a ‘social situation’ coming up. A certain someone is going to be there and you just know they’re going to ask you about the one thing you really don’t want them to ask you about, because you’ll go from empowered to blithering idiot in the space of a few seconds and end up giving an overly complicated response and perspiring rather more than usual. Why can’t they just keep their nose out of it and leave me alone? (you find yourself pondering before you’ve even got to the party and had the pleasure of bumping into them).

We all have situations like this. Certain people, certain situations, certain topics – they just get to us! They hit a nerve and our usual coping mechanisms go out of the window. But we don’t have to approach these situations with our tails between our legs, already admitting defeat before we’ve even arrived at the venue!

What I’m going to suggest here is something which I have done myself on several occasions (when i can remember to do it), and it ALWAYS makes me feel better. It doesn’t guarantee no sweating or gibbering, but it will help to make you feel more in control of the situation and minimise the extent to which you feel you have to explain yourself to anyone. Because you don’t have to explain yourself to anyone – you know that don’t you? I mean, your life is yours, and theirs is theirs, and they probably don’t know anywhere near enough about you or the circumstances to make any kind of informed judgement anyway…

Anyhoo, what will this plan consist of? Well, it consists of getting your head around the situation before it presents itself. Find your centre. Remind yourself what you’re about, and how OK it is for you to be who you are, flaws and all. Remind yourself that more often than not, people ask questions about you with good intentions, and because they genuinely care about what happens to you. Or maybe they’re just asking a question because social convention dictates that they do (like when you go to the hairdressers and they ask you what you’ve been up to since your last appointment, or when you see a friend you haven’t met in years and they ask what you do for a living these days). Even if the person in question is a bit frosty and likes to watch people quake in their boots, remind yourself that this is their problem, not yours. Maybe they are in a loveless marriage and they are expressing their anger and resentment to the wrong people! Or maybe they’ve had a really, really shitty week. Feel a surge of compassion as you remember that they’re just human too – perfectly flawed in every way! They’re not evil, they just might be someone you’re better off not putting your energies into.

Once you’ve figured all of this stuff out, you can breathe a bit easier. You feel more centred and less defensive about yourself and how you choose to live your life.

Give it a try, It has worked for me, and given that we belong to the same species it’s likely that it will work for you too!

Bye for now x

What advice would you give to your best friend?

Dear readers,

I could go on and on about the ‘science’ behind worrying what others think of us, but there is one really good trick anyone can use to feel less worried and more empowered. All you need to do, is ask yourself what advice you would give to your best friend if they came to you with the problem or dilemma you are currently facing. Don’t have a best friend? No problem! Just conjure one up, or recall a friend you had in the past. Or think of a beloved family member…

Now we all know how difficult it can be to live life according to our own good advice. We can dish it out, but somehow it’s really difficult to let ourselves off the hook and do what we feel is acceptable right down in the pit of our stomachs. Our heart is calling to us to give everyone involved a break and not come down too hard. To be human, and therefore wonderfully flawed. But we’re so worried what others will think that we steam roll over these heart-centered bits of advice and carry on, sabotaging our own happiness and making ourselves feel miserable.

Giving yourself the advice you would give to your best friend is a fantastic trick because it forces us to think beyond the judgemental and critical part of us which tells us what a bad person we must be. It makes us reach out with affection and love, instead of beating ourselves on the head with our own ‘bad’ behaviour.

There is a saying which goes something like this: Once we know better, we do better.

Basically, we’re human, and we make mistakes, and mistakes help to keep us heading in the right direction by showing us what happens when act in certain ways. Simple! Mistakes, flaws, imperfections etc. are all part of what makes us human, and should be embraced, not swept under the carpet.

So bring a dear friend or relative to mind. Imagine that they are facing the dilemma that you are now facing. Think of what advice you would give, but instead, give it to yourself. Own your mistakes and embrace them, letting yourself off the hook and experiencing that wonderful relief which comes when someone says to you: “you’re OK just as you are”. Because you are, you know. You can take my word for it.

Bye for now x