Did you read about my concept of UNSUBSCRIBING from things that cause us anxiety? Stress? Worry?
I proposed the concept of OPTING-OUT of things that trigger pain and steal calm.
Just like UNSUBSCRIBING from annoying and unnecessary emails, we can make a calculated, decisive, strategic choice to STOP an emotion we no longer wish to feel or a behavior we no longer wish to act-out.
OK, perhaps coming to a FULL STOP is a bit strong. Let’s just say reduce, cut, or trim back instead.
(I’ve come to accept that fully stopping anything is nearly impossible, albeit a great goal to shoot for.)
Heck, I have OPTED-OUT of emails from the same sender multiple times and they somehow sneak back into my INBOX. And so, I hit the UNSUBSCRIBE button again. And again. And we must do the same.
I am convinced we can do the same with our reflexes (which are the impulse thoughts we think or actions we take in an instant).
Go ahead and credit (or blame?) our lack of executive functioning for that. It is an explanation, not an excuse. My life’s challenge is learning to more successfully navigate my ADHD-ness. I am, and will always be, a work in progress.
As a certified adhd life coach, one of my objectives is flipping re-actions to pro-actions. Rather than accepting the feeling of, ‘here I go again‘ we have the power to flip that narrative to ‘I choose to go here rather than there because this new outcome suits me well‘.
So what can we realistically UNSUBSCRIBE from?
The pinnacle may be SHAME. And, we can’t get there from here! That’s too big! Too vast! Like competing in an Ironman when you’ve never run a 5k!
We will need to take incremental steps to at least REDUCE feeling ashamed.
So, let’s break it down. Let’s get granular. I’ll use a personal experiences as an example.
Back in the day, I had developed a debilitating fear of meeting colleagues at networking events. Although I had a fancy title and good reputation, I’d freeze up at the thought of shaking hands with anyone in the room.
My confidence took a cliff dive. I felt lower than low could go.
Was it imposter syndrome? Probably. I felt small. I felt invisible. I felt like a toddler in a room of adults. The chatterbox in my head overwhelmed me with thoughts of being less-than.
I instantly bought into that toxic, negative self-talk. I created stories in my head that I was the topic of their conversations. I believed they were laughing at me.
Totally not true, of course. But, it was the story I told myself. My confidence was crushed. I crashed and burned. I’d do the ole ‘Irish fade’ and quietly disappear back to my room where I’d hide under the covers in shame.
Until I sourced the power of OPTING-OUT of that conversation in my head.
I UNSUBSCRIBED from the false narrative that I was a ‘hit and destroy‘ target on their radar. (Yes, that was a Battleship game reference.)
It was not easy! It took time to retrain the brain! Every time my mind would enter that ‘everybody-is-talking-about-me’, ‘everybody-hates-me‘ mode, I’d be highly aware and then actively reprocess my thought stream.
I’d OPT-OUT of the lies I was telling myself. There was even a slight physical manifestation of actively pausing, briefly closing my eyes, and visualizing the new choice I could make. It was the healthier option.
Slowly but surely I could lift that embedded anchor and reset it firmly in sweeter, kinder, truer sand.
I UNSUBSCRIBED from the feeling of worthlessness that no longer served me, no different from UNSUBSCRIBING from the annoying junk email I was sick and tired of receiving.
They are both uninvited, un-welcomed, unnecessary and yet I still will acknowledge they’re inevitability so that I can send them on their way out as swiftly as they reappeared.
And, now I ask you what is one thing is causes you to feel shame? What experience ends up debilitating you in the moment? What precisely is it that brings you anxiety, worry, stress, unease, or discomfort?
Is the narrative true? Is it really necessary? What is the opposite?
I encourage you, as a coach whose purpose is to help light your path towards happiness, to identify the root emotions.
Know where they are embedded and why.
Visualize that specific anchor.
Acknowledge this is merely an ego state of mind; it is the YOU that believes it is protecting YOU.
Go ahead and thank that YOU for the effort and declare it is, in fact, impeding, not helping.
Lift and re-set. Tether to the newest outcome that serves you well.
Give yourself grace along the way.
It won’t be easy!
It will take time to retrain the brain!
Every time that reflex is triggered, try being highly aware and in control of the new direction.
OPT-OUT of the path that was. OPT-IN to the path that is.
Today, when I enter a room of people with big titles, fancy suits, impressive accomplishments, I am no longer intimidated.
I have UNSUBSCRIBED from feeling small and unworthy.
They are no higher or lower than me. I am no higher or lower than them.
My ego has nothing to fear. In fact, I have so much to give and to gain.
I enter and proceed with chin-up, smile big, eyes wide, shoulders back, hand out.