When I talk with my clients about what in their life needs to change, I cannot tell you how many times the answer is other people! We are all sure that if other people would just go ahead and behave the way WE think they should, life would be so much better. And it likely would!
But, I am here with some bad news: people don’t change just because you want them to. And sitting around wishing they would be different, or even better telling everyone else all about it, wastes a LOT of energy.
So what’s a girl to do if life is annoying and she can’t change anyone else? Well, change herself. Not in an extreme makeover kind of way, more in a ‘if no one else is going to be a better person I guess I’ll have to do it’ kind of way.
So what does this look like? Here are a few ideas to get you going.
- Lose the judgement. We all judge, but we waste a remarkable amount of time thinking and talking about what we think other people are doing wrong. Why would they let their kids do that? How can he talk to people like that in a meeting? WHAT is she wearing?? For one day, every time you feel yourself judging, just let it go. Go with platitudes like ‘Huh! That must be what works for their family’, or thoughts like ‘maybe he has stuff going on in his personal life’.
- Choose your feelings (well, kind of). In fairness, I don’t always think we can choose our feelings, but we CAN choose what we do with them, and how much power we give them. Do you let someone cutting you off in traffic ruin your whole day? Try to leave it in the car and get on with the good stuff. Stewing over a rude email you got? Take it off repeat in your brain and let it sit in your inbox until you’re ready to deal. Or if you can’t do that, pause, think about your answer, and act by dealing with it and putting it behind you.
- Limit your inputs. Does the news make you anxious? Turn off the news alerts on your phone, and just read the morning paper and be done. (Does anyone besides me still read the morning paper??) Do you have people in your life who really bring you down? Distance yourself as best you can and try to avoid getting sucked into their vortex. And if that person is someone you can’t avoid? Well, you might need to face that one head on, but don’t worry; we’ll talk about how next week.
So, the bad news is that you can’t change other people. But the good news is that you are in control over how you show up, how you interact with the world, and how you spend your energy. If the choices you are making now aren’t working for YOU, might be time for a change.
Next week I’ll have a video to share with you about focusing on the things in your life that give you energy and bring you joy!