Where in Your Life Are You Over-Analyzing? (chickens and eggs and feeling less stressed)
We All Have our ‘Stuff’
You’d think I’d get used to how much ‘stuff’ clients bring with them that has no relevance to them living a good life and achieving what they want to achieve.
But no, I don’t get used to it. I always love helping them see through it to what kind of life is possible for them though.
Vera’s a new client who sent me a lengthy email a couple of evenings before our first session.
She asked for support with a difficult person at work, and her email outlined the thought process that she was working through to try to make sense of the feelings that were coming up for her, why they were coming, and what they must mean about her that she couldn’t be a bigger and better person.
The next morning, she sent another email asking me to ignore the first one.
It’s OK, I feel better. I got a great email from my boss acknowledging the success we’ve been having with XXX (a complex external project). That made me feel a lot more confident going into the meeting with B.
When we spoke, she wanted to look back at that experience and understand what had triggered her, why she’d gone on that downward spiral about her colleague B.
I was less interested in the detail of the conversation with colleague B, than I was in which part looked like it came first to Vera. Because she was doing what we all do, looking for a solution in a place that is really a symptom.
When We Settle…
After Vera had slept on it, as is so often the case, the energy of her feelings had dissipated, and she wasn’t caught in her obsession with B.
She already felt better before she got the email from her boss, only she probably didn’t notice it, because it’s much harder to notice an absence of something (her frustration and anger), than it is to notice something that is jumping up and down inside our head.
When she got the email from her boss, it looked as if that was the cause in the shift in her mood. No, that’s not it (egg and chicken…).
What happened was that the mood shifted first, and then she got the email, onto which she projected her newly positive frame of mind.
Had she still been deep in her frustration she could have read the email through frustrated glasses — perhaps been angry about the prior lack of acknowledgement, or at why she was the one who had to lead all the complex projects in her organisations.
Who knows how she might have responded had she been in a different mood, but it doesn’t follow that a compliment always makes us feel good.
There’s Less to Do…
What Vera didn’t see at first (until we talked about it) was that all the energy she’d been putting into over-analysing why she felt the way she did about a colleague and how to shift it was only digging her deeper into an illusion that those feelings meant anything.
They felt real, as all feelings do, but they are part of the grand illusion that is the human experience.
We are made to feel; we are made to experience the highs and lows of life; but we aren’t made to take them as seriously as we do.
To live like that is exhausting, and, worst of all, it’s unhelpful.
Our best ideas, our best behaviour comes from the clear space that is the source of all our creativity and performance.
We do better when we have less on our mind.
In Vera’s case, we laughed, as I so often do with my clients.
Because we don’t know what we don’t know. Until we do.
What would your life look like if you expended less energy over-analysing the people and things around you, and more on having fun, implementing great ideas, and spending time with people you love?
Would it feel easier? Lighter?
I suspect you’d achieve more as well!