I realize that I talk a lot about not trying to change other people, and focusing on change in yourself instead. Part of this is because I know we don’t have the ability to change others, and the other part is that often when we change our own behavior, the actions and reactions of those around us transform as a result.
This month we’re focusing on STRENGTH which is the second internal component of Thoughtfully Fit®. Strength is all about how you show up. It’s about being strong enough to choose HOW you want to be in a particular situation. When we learn to be more intentional about how we show up, we can have a more positive impact on those around us. By pausing and thinking about HOW you want to be now, you’re less likely to have to apologize for bad behavior later. Let me tell you a story to demonstrate.
I said RELAX!
Several weeks ago, I sent a note to school with my 10 year-old daughter Josie letting the teacher know that I would pick her up after school instead of her taking the bus home because she had to get to an appointment.
I got to school to pick her up a few minutes early, so I took a call in my car and got distracted. Suddenly I noticed the buses leaving. I got out and ran up to the teacher and asked frantically “Where’s Josie?” She looked at me in horror and said, “Oh, I’m SO sorry! She got on the bus. I saw your note but completely forgot!” This meant that instead of being 5 minutes early for her appointment, we would be 20 minutes late.
I was SO angry. I was mostly mad at myself for multitasking and not getting out to meet her at the bus to remind her that I was picking her up. But when she finally got in the car at our house (after taking the bus home!), I was impatient and frustrated. I couldn’t accept what was, and sat there fuming the whole ride.
And everyone knew it.
The teacher, my daughter, and the people at the appointment.
I could not find the mental strength to shift my attitude and show up more positively. Let’s be clear: all that anger and frustration did NOT help me get to the appointment any faster. And it certainly didn’t allow my daughter to fully enjoy her experience. It just ruined my mood, and made the teacher feel bad and my daughter feel bad.Now after we got to the appointment (for a birthday massage of all things – we were supposed to be there to RELAX!), I took a moment to pause and take a few deep breaths. We made it safely. It was not a life and death situation. It’s ALL good. I thought about my attitude and the fact that this is NOT how I want to show up in my relationships, and my negative attitude was having an impact. And I changed my approach to act differently.
Here’s the good news – if you don’t show up the way you want the first time, you get to try again! I thanked the massage therapist for seeing us, even though we were late. This let her last impression of me be better than the first! And I apologized to Josie, gave her a hug, and reminded her how much she deserved her present. And the next day I apologized to the teacher and let her know I appreciate all of her hard work trying to manage 20+ squirmy, high-energy kids all day. While she may not have enjoyed my frustration the day before, consciously showing up differently the next time still helps!
Your challenge..strengthen your core
Being Thoughtfully Fit helps us to act and react in ways that you can be proud of, rather than ways you’ll have to apologize for later. While it might not come immediately in the moment, with practice the turnaround time to responding thoughtfully gets shorter and shorter! Next time you feel yourself showing up in a way you might regret, see if you can pause, think about how you could show up differently, and then act to make it happen! That’s the core to being Thoughtfully Fit. I’ll look forward to hearing how it goes.