Tag Archive: stuck

The ugliest phrase in the world – I’m Fine

I regularly watch, read and listen to a lot of videos, blog posts and audios every week, and came across one that talked about the phrase “I’m fine” (see below). I related: I have personally used it for most of my adult life.

“I’m fine”, I say when I don’t want to talk about something that clearly disturbs me. “I’m fine” when I want to push through some project and don’t want to have to explain myself. “I’m fine” when I want to be left alone to lick some wound – old or new.

This might be true for you, too.  Research indicates that only about 20% of us mean it when we say “I’m fine”; and almost 60% of us expect the answer to “How are you feeling?” as “I’m fine” to be a lie.  We all know it, and still continue to do it.

Mel Robins believes we start by lying to ourselves, because we’ve convinced ourselves we are fine not having what we want. “I’m fine. I lost my job, but it’s hard to get a decent job these days.”

Here’s the reality: we’re only really fine when we are getting what we want, and it’s up to us to make it happen.  Usually, the thing that will make that happen is a change.  Change is hard – it’s way easier to veg out in front of TV instead of finding another job, and a job that you really want. It’s way easier staying with whatever is familiar, even if it sucks, than make the change that will get you what you want.

Robins argues that among the basic needs we all have – food, water, shelter, is exploration, and that staying with what is familiar – staying in inertia – starves us of this basic need.  To get out of inertia and into exploration takes action, which is gong to be hard.

She suggests that we do one thing the next time we find ourselves drifting into inertia. She calls it the 5-second rule.  Our mind can process very quickly, and science knows that if you don’t marry an impulse with an action within 5 seconds, you will fall back into inertia.  The problem isn’t that we don’t have any ideas, but that we don’t act on them.

So today and tomorrow, do this: At lease once today and tomorrow, when you get an idea, act on it within 5 seconds. Write something down, call someone, get up instead of remaining sitting. Whatever you do, do something and turn that impulse into action. Then take a moment to see what’s different in your life.

Now I’d love to hear from you about your own experiences, knowledge, opinions.  In the comments below, share one thing that you experienced as a mirror moment that changed your day, or even your life.

This newsletter is in three parts: the first part is my contribution; the second is a video I’ve found that relates to the topic in part 1; the third is a quote. I hope you enjoy the richness this brings to the topic of the week with all three parts.

How to Stop Screwing Yourself Over – Mel Robins

 Quote of the Week
The trick to forgetting the big picture is to look at everything close-up. The shortcut to closing a door is to bury yourself in the details. This is how we must look to God. As if everything’s just fine.
― Chuck Palahniuk

Announcements
At times we need more  – we know the logic, know what to do. And yet something is still blocking us. I offer both one-on-one consultations and coaching packages.  For more information, visit my website www.thejoyofliving.co/services-and-programs or contact me directly at maryanne@thejoyofliving.co

Turning off the negative, turning on the positive

Isn’t it amazing how, in a room of 200, I’ll focus on that one person in the third row at the left who is clearly bored with what I’m saying. Marie Forleo talks about this in a recent broadcast. It isn’t only me, it’s a wired-in trait of humans in general called Negativity Bias.

Negativity Bias, according to Wikipedia, refers to the idea that even with things of equal intensity, those that are negative will impact us more than those that are positive.  The theory is that noticing the negative is a survival trait that helps us attend to anything potentially life-threatening.  It makes sense to me. That that guy in the third row isn’t threatening my life; it just seems like it to my fragile sense of self.
There’s a lot of good advice in googleland dealing with the impact of negative bias. Here are three that work – every time – for me:

  • Switch your focus.  When you notice you’re focusing on that one person, deliberately search out another person who is engaged with you. Not an easy thing to do, especially given our brains are wired to not do this.  But that doesn’t mean we can’t override the wired-in. By understanding what’s happening, we can inject a little distance between our perception of the event and our response. Even if we don’t achieve a full turn-around, we can at least lessen the bad feeling. It takes work to see the upside when you’ve seen the downside, but you can do it; and the more you do it the more habitual this becomes.
  • Practice positive self-talk. It may be that you really misread your audience, or you suddenly feel ill and need to finish.  It may be one of those days where everything goes wrong, and you really do suck. We all have days and times like that. If this happens to you, first of all, know that you’re not alone. And then become your own positive audience: this is the best you can do right now. Then take yourself out for a soothing tea and desert afterwards, celebrating the challenging occasion.  After all, what’s the alternative?  Slinking to a dark corner and licking your wounds? Accept the situation for what it is, and more on.
  • Learn from it.  The reason we have this automatic response that makes the negative focal is to make our world safer. So use it: if you can, find out if the person you thought was bored with you would be interested in sharing what was going on for them.  This is something that requires tact and thoughtfulness on your part. After all, he doesn’t have to say anything – it’s to your benefit if he does. You might even discover that his response was different from what you were thinking, creating an opening for a genuine and contactful conversation.

Now I’d love to hear from you about your own experiences, knowledge, opinions.  In the comments below, share one thing that you experienced as a mirror moment that changed your day, or even your life.

This newsletter is in three parts: the first part is my contribution; the second is a video I’ve found that relates to the topic in part 1; the third is a quote. I hope you enjoy the richness this brings to the topic of the week with all three parts.

Getting Stuck in the Negatives

Quote of the Week
When someone tells me ‘No’, it doesn’t mean I can’t do it, it simply means I can’t do it with them.
-Karen Miller

Announcements
At times we need more  – we know the logic, know what to do. And yet something is still blocking us. I offer both one-on-one consultations and coaching packages.  For more information, visit my website www.thejoyofliving.co/services-and-programs or contact me directly at maryanne@thejoyofliving.co