60-80% of most people's time is spent on worries, concerns and thoughts that aren't in their control and aren't their fault. Are your wasted energy conversations stealing your peace?
Today I had a run planned to stir up those endorphins and bolster my affirmations however the wind was howling and it was throwing it down that fine rain that soaks you through so I opted for a swim instead. I’d got into a nice rhythm of affirmation with each arm stroke (not as easy to do as I thought) when I was distracted by a 'he said, she said' conversation of two woman swimming next to me, who I think were there more to chat under the excuse of exercise if I’m being honest.
Anyway this got me thinking about how much time we occupy ourselves with wasted energy conversations, you know…all the stuff that isn’t ours?
Their conversation went from the disgrace of our high schools expecting a friend of their daughters husband to break up a fight on her own to the terrible government in America who don’t support an aunty’s cousin with a sick child………you could see in their tone and body language they were getting more and more disappointed with the world, you could practically see their stress levels rising…….and for what???
None of this stuff impacted their day to day life in any way, shape or form. There was not a single thing they could do to change any of it……it was just wasted conversation that made them both get more annoyed.
I wonder how much you do the same?? What is it you’re worrying, concerned or thinking about?
Ask yourself, how much of that is yours to do something about? And how much is other people’s stuff or globallised problems you have no intention of making a stand against?
Here’s some examples from my experiences:
I often hear that people feel their heads are full, about to burst and they feel overwhelmed…..imagine how much space you could free up if you eradicated these wasted energy conversations from your life?
In my experience over 4 years with clients, whenever I’ve gone through this exercise they are often spending 60-80% of their time on things which aren’t in their control!!
If you flipped that around how much more productive could you be? What could you replace that space with??? Time to read? Time to use your affirmations? Time to breathe and relax? Time to enjoy laughing with friends????
Sounds much nicer and time better spent to me.
So I channeled out these two ladies and went back to appreciating the freedom I have to go swimming on a Friday morning, the gratitude for having a good healthy body and saying my affirmations, ‘I can achieve if I put my mind to it’. The outcome? I’ve completed half of my 'Do list' in record time and have a smile on my face.
It’s completely your choice but I know which one I would prefer.
Does this resonate with you? Do you find yourself getting dragged into wasted energy conversations or are you pretty good at channeling your focus? Let me know your thoughts in the comments box below, I always like to hear from you.
Happy Friday everyone.
‘What ever made you think you could do this, there’s others who are far better than you.’
‘No matter how hard you try you’ll never be like that, you might as well give up now.’
‘What have you got to offer……nothing haha’
‘Listen to them, they’re so good at this……..you’ll never keep up.’
On…..and…..on……..and……..on Mr Niggle goes. Striking at the very heart of your insecurities until you feel an overwhelming feeling to shake your head, get up and run or go back to bed. Mr Niggles wins again!!!
Trust me, I'm just as bad….sometimes I think I’m actually worse than most. But over the last 5 years I’ve learnt some effective ways to silence Mr Niggle. I’ve used them personally and taught them to clients who have reported back their successes. There's nothing better than hearing someone achieving thanks to something I've helped them with……the secret is finding a way that works for you.
So today I’m going to share with you 4 ways to silence those inner doubts and re focus your attention. Here goes.....
1) Take away the power. I now call mine Mr Niggle, it’s a silly name designed to take away its strength. Now I see him as a mischievous little character that adds comedy and lessens the impact. In a great book by Dr Steve Peters he calls it your Chimp (The Chimp Paradox). It really doesn’t matter what you choose, so long as it’s demeaning, small and feels right for you.
2) Look for the truth. The majority of these self-doubting statements aren’t based on true facts. I’ll give you an example. I was looking at an amazing guys website yesterday and suddenly felt inferior (Mr Niggles was having a whale of a time!!). After several minutes of ‘woe is me I might as well quit now’ I made myself look at the About Me page and found out that this guy had been running his business for 20yrs, I’ve been doing mine 5….hardly fair to compare don’t you think? I wonder where he was after 5 yrs? Ask yourself what the truth is or how you could find it.
3) Get an outsiders point of view. Even if it means taking a breath and stepping back from the situation yourself. For me I ask myself, ‘what would my grandma say’, she was a level headed and charming woman, very down to earth and always encouraging. One of my clients had a very close friend, they would text each other their thoughts and then ridicule each other’s or show how they were so very untrue. Both work a treat.
4) Distraction. Mr Niggle hasn’t got a very long attention span so breaking the pattern often means he soon loses interest. One client decided to choose a favourite tune and internally sung it loud to drown them out. Another decided to put whatever it is down and physically shake it off. Distraction is a great tool but it has to be something completely different, the more shocking the better, so have a think, what would work for you?
So there are just 4 of my many tools to squashing those inner doubts. I have used all of them at one time or another and so have my clients. But here's my bonus biggest tip........
My Biggest Tip
I think accepting that Mr Niggles is part of me and he’s going to get bored and mischievous sometimes was one of my most profound break throughs. Everyone does it!!! Even that person you’re comparing yourself too. Now-a-days I can even let Mr Niggles play and laugh at his childishness sometimes. But ultimately you control him so decide when you're not going to listen or when to enlist one of the above techniques to silence him.
Now I've shared my crazy Mr Niggles moments and 5 ways to improve how you can handle him. Why not share yours below. I'd love to hear your crazy niggles, don't leave me out on a limb all on my own here. Maybe you have other successful ways of overcoming those inner doubts which you'd like to share? Feel free to share your experiences.
Until next time.
Why does this happen?
We all have an inbuilt FFF instinct (Fight, Flight Freeze), which is designed for survival. This instinct is activated any time we perceive a danger, which could be anything from job changes and loss of loved ones to speeches, bills and deadlines. This instinct pumps energy into your limbs and mind so you can be focused and ready to run or fight. When a life change happens this system is on overdrive and its designed to get you through. It will keep going until you’re settled once again.
But this system has down sides. Part of this instinct is also switching off none urgent tasks, such as digestion, cell repair, internal healing and reproduction. After all we don’t need those when we’re in survival mode, we just need to deal with the here and now.
How long have you been in survival mode?
Days, weeks, months…even maybe years. When the FFF instinct is no longer needed people often crash and a few things which I see often happen:
Where are you now?
So you’re probably in one of the following two places right now.
1 - The life change is recent and you’re in the FFF instinct section and you don’t want to burn out.
2 - The life change was some time ago and you’re bemused as to why you’re feeling tired now.
What's the solution?
Place 1 - Include relaxation into your daily routine, it doesn’t have to take long. This will keep those long term projects going so you won’t crash later.
Place 2 - Take a breathe, this is completely normal. Allow yourself plenty of time to recoup. Your body is very busy catching up.
Have a go at this, it's Free!!
Many of my clients find this beneficial. This is my 15 minute guided relaxation. Listen to it daily and it will support you to heal, rest and recover.
You could also try Yoga, Pilates or going for a walk - all great ways to calm and let that healing happen.
Takeaway thought: Think about how long you've not been doing those long-term projects for, it will take your body a while to catch up!!
I hope that helps. Let me know your thoughts and how you’re getting on in the comments.
Until next time