Last weekend, I had a meeting to go to that was over an hour drive for me. The meeting was at 9, I wanted to arrive at 8:30. So I left at 7, to be safe. I arrive earlier than expected. Great.
Then…I’m the only one in the parking lot. Waiting. Wondering. Waiting.
Finally, I call my contact for the meeting. “OH, the meetings tomorrow. Oh, ok, see you then!” Click.
After I got off the phone, I was angry. I mean livid.
On top of it, I couldn’t believe I was having this reaction. You would have thought I missed a meeting with the President I was so annoyed.
Enter 100% emotional childhood. If I could have stomped my feet I would have.
I sat there in a frustrated daze, squeezed out a few tears, trying to feel….something.
And then, I ripped a piece of paper out of my notebook and started self-coaching myself.
Here is what the conversation with myself looked like on paper…
Emotional child: Life shouldn’t be this hard. I hate everyone who annoys me in my life right now. They should help me. I want someone to fix me. I don’t want to take responsibility for anything including for mucking up the day of the meeting.
PAUSE, Emotional child is thinking…
I should be grateful for the wonderful life I have. But I don’t feel grateful right now, I feel angry and disappointed in myself.
Emotional Child: I am a muck up. (trying to keep it PG here)
Self-Coach: Why would you choose to think that?
Emotional Child: I don’t know…I am worthless. Clearly. I can’t even show up for a meeting on the right day.
I literally have the word EVIDENCE written, underlined and circled next on my piece of notebook paper.
I was using me coming to the meeting a day early as evidence for why I was worthless.
I was thinking and believing I was worthless, I felt terrible, and what had happened was a big juicy reason as to why this line of thinking was true.
Once I realized this I felt a huge sense of relief. And decided that I get to make showing up a day early mean that, well, I showed up a day early.
And NOT make it evidence for my worthless thinking. And with this decision I took away the power away from a very painful thought.
This thought. This thought – I am worthless – is one of those big deep suckers.
Here is the deal though…
This thought only stays strong when you choose to let it be fueled by making the bobbles of life mean something more.
Your husband makes a comment.
Your co-worker makes a comment.
You miss a meeting.
You forget a birthday.
You pay a bill late.
You can use any of these things as evidence for why you should be different than you are. Or you can remind yourself that you are a human. And decide to be a human…
Who lets her husband decide his words. Because you get to decide what you make them mean.
Who notices their colleague is having a bad day. And doesn’t make it mean anything about you.
Who shows up a day early for a meeting. So great.
Who calls their friend and tells them they love them any day of the year. Not just on their birthday.
Who takes responsibility for a missed deadline and pays the extra fee.
Evidence can work for you. Or against you. Either way.
You get to decide. You get to choose. What you make it mean.
Last Saturday, I chose to make showing up for a meeting a day early mean that I had a whole day ahead of me to enjoy, because I was so worth it.
Where are you using evidence in your life to fuel your painful thinking? Are you ready to make it mean something different?