What are you holding onto that’s not contributing to your happiness, success or personal growth?
Is it a recurring thought pattern about a woulda’ shoulda’ coulda’ moment from the past?
Is it self-recrimination for something you said (or didn’t)…something you did (or didn’t)…something you “should have” done (but didn’t)
Do you know that we can spend 90% of our time ruminating or worrying about things that happen less than 10% of the time? Or we can keep playing the same old scenario over and over and over again until the past, rather than the present, starts to define us.
Have you got a movie that plays in your head about a particularly embarrassing moment, that you just won’t let go of? Or a mistake you made that you still feel embarrassed and ashamed about?
I recently posted a photo of a moose on my Facebook, and then found another that I thought would be just the ticket to augment my little story, only to be told that the moose was, in actual fact, a caribou. This on facebook. For all to see. Too freakin’ funny!
The twenty-something me would probably have been red-faced, mortified, embarrassed and looking for the nearest rock to crawl under. But time and age have a wonderful way of teaching you not to sweat the small stuff. I made lemonade from lemons, laughed at my own mistake and went about my day. (you can see the banter here)
The “old” me (or would that be the young me?) would have that scenario running through my head, over and over, thinking “what an idiot!” Now, it’s just a chuckle that can be shared.
I meet so many people, including clients, who are punishing themselves for something that happened in the past (often minor, and often only remembered by them), and for which nothing can be done to change the experience. It’s done. It’s over with. But their mind and body cling to those gaffes, mistakes, blunders, faux pas and “failings” as if they were permanent scars, rather than simply past experiences. Done. Learned from. Over.
There’s a wonderful parable that demonstrates this point beautifully.
Two Buddhist Monks were on a journey, one a senior monk, the other a junior monk. During their journey they approached a raging river and on the river bank stood a young lady. She was clearly concerned about how she would get to the other side of the river without drowning.
The junior monk walked straight past her without giving it a thought and he crossed the river. The senior monk picked up the woman and carried her across the river. He placed her down, they parted ways with woman and on they went with the journey.
As the journey went on, the senior monk could see some concern on the junior monk’s mind, he asked what was wrong. The junior monk replied, “how could you carry her like that? You know we can’t touch women, it’s against our way of life”. The senior monk answered, “I left the woman at the river’s edge a long way back, why are you still carrying her?”
When we carry things and thoughts as burdens, we waste the moment we have because we’re spending time and energy on a moment that was.
Are you holding onto things, thoughts or experiences that you don’t need?
Are they holding you back?
Are you ready to let go?
Much of working with a coach is devoted to releasing negative, unproductive thinking patterns and habits, and replacing them with proactive, results-driven action. Life’s too short to spend it in the past.