The week before last, I had my wallet stolen (or lost? …who can ever be sure). This was the second time this happened in three months. I had just taken out cash, so yeah, in addition to everything else, I lost 100+ dollars.
I have no idea what happened, and I’m not going to spend any more time trying to rationalize it or retrace my steps. And I’m not going to spend any more time having a pity party for myself in front of you lovely people. Point is, after this happened, I went into a very dark place.
I immediately lodged myself into a mind state of, “I always do this.” “Why does this always happen to me?” “I’m always so stupid.” I’ve been losing things all my life – I’m known for it. So there is a lot of rationale to back up those detrimental voices.
But rationale or not, you simply can’t stay in this place. You cannot go back and change the past. There is no point in continuing to sit in the pains and sludge of a mistake made. So after I let myself have a day or two of darkness and lament, I had to start choosing better words.
I’ve talked about simplicity before. With food… with routine… but it has just as much power when it comes to words. Yes, you could listen to a half our Ted Talk or inspirational speech or read all sorts of lengthy lavish quotes about how to pick yourself up. But for me, nothing has as much power in its ability to change my mindset as just a few simple words. If you can find two.. three.. simple words that sink straight down into your gut and you know exactly what they mean to you, your mind and heart will know what to do with them.
These are some of the simple words that I have found hold enormous power in shifting my mindset when I am having a hard time finding compassion or moving on from negativity.
If you know that you made a mistake, there is no point denying it or telling yourself otherwise. There is no point in pointing fingers elsewhere. Because its okay. We, as humans, make mistakes. There is no shame in it. The only shame lies in if one does not care about the mistake made or they choose to not try and learn from it. Speaking the truth to a situation can actually lighten the burden I am feeling. It enables me to clear the sludge infront of me so I can move on and see what can be learned.
Again, if you know this to be true, you need to give yourself the credit. If you did try, then the outcome was out of your control.
This is not to be confused with making exuses for yourself. This is for when you sincerely tried your best at something but you didn’t win, you weren’t chosen, you weren’t offered a response etc. Give yourself credit.
If you truly did not know something, how could you have acted/spoken differently!? We can’t go back and tell ourselves what we learned after the fact. We only have where are minds were at at that present moment.
Speaking of the present moment – we are always striving to live, “in the moment,” are we not? So how can we berate ourselves for doing something when – in that moment – it was what we truly wanted? If you were feeling something in that moment, then it should be celebrated that you followed your impulse. If it did not turn out as planned or something went wrong, this was not something you could have foreseen. You did what you wanted to do.
When I’m feeling really down.. maybe lonely or unsure or I don’t have a concrete plan… stopping to actually ask myself these simple words brings me into a place of compassion. It can feel fragile, but that is the work.
“What one thing can I do?” I find asking myself this simple question is especially helpful when I am feeling anxious or unable to focus or have a million little to do list tasks flittering in and out of my brain – making me freeze up. Stop, close your eyes, ask yourself these few words, and focus your day on this.
Yup. Sometimes this feels like a massive understatement. I wanted to lash out any time someone said this after I lost my wallet (“It more than sucks!! It….”). But its the truth. It can really, really, really suck… but it still just – sucks. And you must validate it. Don’t try to win toughest martyr of the year award. Saying it for what it is puts it out into the open and internally reminds you that, even though it sucks, it will pass.
We are forever learning. We are forever making “mistakes,” and doing things that we later wish we had done differently. It sucks. Its a hard part of life. But it is inevitable. When I do something that ends up with results I find difficult to accept, I tell myself these three simple words. Then I can stop looking at the past and, instead, look forward. With a new, gentle tool in my toolbox.
The Power of a Few Simple Words. #imadeamistake #acceptance #compassion Click To Tweet
Simplicity is powerful. I find anything more than even a few words begins to lose its strength. I began thinking about these simple words as I was picking myself out of my slump the other week, and now I’m thinking them Out Loud with Amanda.
What simple words or phrases do you use to change your mindset? Do any of these work for you?
Not a hugely exciting week. But I did get a few nice things…