Every morning when I wake I either feel light and happy and ready for the day, or an immediate feeling of dread consumes my body and I fear I won’t be able to accomplish anything (at least not how I hope to) for the day. The mornings that I wake up ready to go are my favorites. They’re the ones where I feel the endless possibilities around me and I show up excited to receive them. The other mornings I don’t like as much, naturally, and I’ve been trying out some new ways to turn them around before they determine more than they should.
Recently I’ve learned that, from the moment we wake up, we begin to ask ourselves questions- whether it be conscious or not. We may talk ourselves into a complete panic with our inner dialogue without really being aware of it. We might ask ourselves “What are all of the things I need to do today?”, or “How am I going to be able to do that?”, “Will I be able to?”, “What if I look like an idiot?”
I’ve also learned that we can change this dialogue by becoming aware of it and more intentional about the kinds of questions being asked. This can actually begin the night before, as you prepare for the next day ahead. Instead of, “Am I really capable of this?”, maybe try something like “How am I going to show up in a way that I never have before?”, or “How am I going to show up in a way that makes a positive impact in the world?”
Instead of focusing on one small part of your day and stressing out about whether it will go well or not, you can ask overarching questions that have the power to shape the entirety of your day. Asking yourself a question like that, before falling asleep, sets you up to ask it again in the morning to get you in the same mindset. Yes, stressful things are going on, but how will you show up for them? Will you show up in a way that you’re proud of? That makes you happy? That makes a positive difference?
Fear keeps us from doing great things. It is scary to put ourselves out there and open ourselves up to criticism. But this is the kind of stuff that makes life great. Without risk and vulnerability we are stable. And yes, stable is good, but not when it’s the highlight of your entire life.
Failures happen when we’re trying to do better. When we’re challenging ourselves and learning new things. We should never stop doing that. Even if it doesn’t always work out the way we’d hoped. By asking yourself more strategic questions to get you into a focused and motivated headspace, you can approach your day head on, knowing full well that there could be failure, but there could also be great success. And even if there is failure, you’re still on the right track.
This week was a bit of a strange one for me. I just couldn’t get into a rhythm. But asking myself these kinds of questions had me feeling like I was still on the right track. The brain is designed specifically to solve problems, and, when left unattended, will go off and start trying to solve all kinds of problems that don’t even exist. Which, in turn, leads to anxiety. But, if we are conscious of our thoughts, we can direct them in the way we wish them to go. Asking questions forces the brain into problem-solving mode, and when we’re in charge we can direct it to solve realities we’re actually dealing with. Just have to point it in the right direction.
My favorite question to ask when I’m stressed or nervous about something, has been “How can I make this playful?” As kids, we’re so good at creating and playing and using our imagination, without any regard for criticism. As adults, we tend to lose that magic skill, and we begin caring way too much about if we look stupid or not. If we can immerse ourselves in what we are wishing to focus on in a true and meaningful and playful way, we’ll get a lot more out of it and be able to create much more amazingness than had we been worrying about what others would think the whole time.
This week may have been a weird one, but feelings come and go. And life sends us through cycles of highs and lows and it’s or job to know what we need and when we need it and trust that, when we’re in the low moments, that better vibes are just around the corner. And in the meantime, we can ask ourselves those questions that point us in the right direction. And also go on a walk with our dog and a seltzer. Solves pretty much anything if you ask me. 🙂