Slow Your Roll-Why Am I Freaking Out About Nothing? And How To Stop
November 30, 2021
Have you ever gotten a text and thought, what the hell?! And then a few moments or hours or days later reread the same text and thought, woah, how did I interpret that message that way? Or even have read the message completely wrong? Yeah, me too. Every single situation and interaction allows us to interpret it and when we do so we are bringing all of us with our interpretation—meaning oftentimes our past experiences, emotional worlds, and beliefs are dictating a situation to us that isn’t reality.
Here’s what I mean…
A few weeks ago I asked a friend if she would like to have a pro bono coaching session with me, one of the things I was required to do to complete my coaching certification. She responded very kindly that she has to see if that would be something she could commit to right now and would need some time to think about it (yay amazing boundaries, friend!), but in my mind, I read it as rejection. I was immediately embarrassed that I asked. I started doubting myself, assuming that she thought I wasn’t “good enough” to coach her. My insecurities around my newly developed coaching skills interpreted that situation completely differently than had I felt more secure in my abilities.
So often our knee-jerk reactions have so much more to do with how we feel about ourselves than they do with what is actually happening. A few days later I reread the text she sent me and it sounded completely different once I knew she had taken me up on my offer. Weird, right? But normal and natural. We all do this. We jump to conclusions, we assume what people mean and so often we are wrong because we’re too engrossed in how we feel about ourselves. Lately, I’ve started noticing when I have these knee-jerk emotional reactions and I’ve stopped myself to ask this question: “Is what I am feeling actually happening, or is it a reflection of how I feel about myself?”
Your feelings are 100% valid, whatever they are because they are real to you, but sometimes we have to take a step back and make sure we’re actually seeing the reality in front of us. Because I love a good process, here’s one I’ve started to develop for these situations:
1) I allow myself to feel whatever emotion is coming up for me.
2) I ask myself the magical question: Is what I am feeling actually happening or is it a reflection of how I feel about myself?
3) Once I have the answer to that question I dig in—okay, so why am I feeling that way? What might be coming up for me? You can answer these questions just quietly in your mind or as is my favorite thing to do, whip out that trusty journal, or talk it out with a trusted person.
4) Then ask yourself, what might be another way to see this situation? What might the other person also be thinking that isn’t a negative reflection of how I feel about myself?
Our emotions aren’t to be ignored, they are there for a reason and they’re telling us something so please don’t ignore how you’re feeling, but take some time to unpack where they’re coming from so that you aren’t hopping from situation to situation feeling bad about yourself or assuming the worst. Or Maybe your emotions are telling you something important about a relationship or an interaction and this is really good information to have too. Either way, taking this time to unpack what it is you’re feeling and why gives you good intel.
Also, READ AND REREAD—I tend to move way too quickly from one thing to another because I’m busy. I have left so many emails and text half-read—which allows for even scarier interpretations. Slow down. Read the entire message. Reread it to make sure you have it—it won’t take but two seconds and can save you a whole lot of heartache.
I love you, I’m thinking about you, and in case you forgot, we define our worth. XOXO, CAMDW