I was in Target the other day and I watched someone else’s toddler throwing a tantrum (finally it wasn’t mine!). The mother was standing over the toddler saying, “Stop crying. Jason, get up. You can’t do this here. Stop crying already.” Of course, this only made the little boy cry harder. This was not helping him “get over his tantrum.” (I have no judgment, by the way. I can relate to that uncomfortable feeling when your kid is acting up in public and all you want is for them to stop … or for the ground to swallow you up.) But here’s where my thoughts took me: We know that telling a kid to stop tantruming rarely works. We know that the best way to get over the tantrum is to get through it. Eventually, the tantrum will stop if you just accept it and let it be.
BUT—how often do we do this to ourselves? We don’t allow ourselves to have certain feelings or emotions because we’re so busy resisting them or avoiding them.
It might look like this: I am so annoyed at myself for being annoyed. I am judging myself for being so judgmental. I’m upset that this makes me jealous. I’m frustrated that I get frustrated so easily.
You see what I mean here? Instead of accepting our feelings (which is crucial in order to get to the feelings we want to experience), we resist them. We judge ourselves for having them.
We’re basically that mom standing over her toddler saying “Stop this,” thinking it’ll work.
There are 3 steps toward change, and you can’t skip a step:
1) Awareness—You have to be aware of what you’re thinking and feeling.
2) Acceptance—You then have to accept the way you’re thinking and feeling (e.g., “I am annoyed, and that’s OK” or “I feel frustrated and that’s OK”). Clear away all judgement …
3) … and only then are you ready for actual Change.
The only way out is through.
69. Let’s Make This the Norm
There’s something about our culture that I find mystifying.
The need to have a doctor, a dentist, an optometrist … those are all a given. It’s a standard in our society to take care of our physical body in that way.
But what about emotional and mental HEALTH? No, I didn’t say mental illness. MENTAL HEALTH. EMOTIONAL HEALTH.
We eat healthfully and we exercise on the regular, not just when we’re hit with an illness. But what do we do to keep ourselves emotionally and mentally healthy on the regular?
We put things in place to make sure we’re physically strong and healthy. But what about mentally strong and healthy? What about emotionally strong and healthy?
It doesn’t make sense to me.
And then I get these questions a lot: What makes you different from other coaches? And what’s the difference between you and a therapist?
Bottom line is this: It’s all about results. Go to someone good. Someone who can help you get the results you came for.
There are wonderful doctors and terrible doctors. Wonderful therapists and terrible therapists. Wonderful psychiatrists and terrible psychiatrists. Wonderful coaches and terrible coaches. It’s up to you, the client/patient, to do your due diligence and find someone YOU connect to, and who can help you get what you came for.
Model for your kids and your family how to take care of your mental health and emotional health on the regular. I promise you, you won’t regret it.