Strange how quickly our states can change. Nothing too unusual about this morning so far, except that I’m feeling so irritated and on edge. And literally there were only a couple of super minor things that set me off. An errand at the bank taking longer than I expected. Running late. And tight schedules. And then internet cutting out.
All either completely figureoutable* or simply not that big a deal?
Make a difference to how I’m feeling right now? Nope. Not at all.
I can even see the humour now when these things show up in my life now. Because I know what’s the deepest root cause of it all. We all do it. We all need it. We all seek it.
Yep, we’re lovers of that feeling of being in control, of knowing what’s coming next, of being in the driver’s seat. And interruptions to that can feel completely unbalancing. And for me, right now, irritating.
Quickly indeed we can spiral right down to the bottom of the out-of-control loop and feel utterly frustrated by the things that ultimately we actually have no control over. Like the time it takes for the bank to do their job. Not in my control. Or the internet cutting out. Not in my control.
Yet I do have control over how I choose to respond to each of these situations. And even though I can feel myself at the bottom of the loop right now – I also know the only way out is to release my grip on the stuff that’s external to me.
It’s not the internet company’s ‘fault’, networks sometimes grumble and break. My back-up plan, switch to mobile tethering – that’s in my control and I can choose to simply make the switch instantly. No point getting all irritated and stuck over it.
Running late? Well, I can apologise instantly. No excuses. Simply stating the truth. I’m late. I stuffed up. Sorry. And, I make a mental note to create more space in my schedule next time and to not overbook myself. Lesson learnt.
Engaging in something that’s in my diary, yet feeling all frustrated and annoyed about ‘being in it’? Well, I can reconsider why I’m there in the first place. If it’s not filling me up in the way I intended it to, what could I change? I asked myself this very question this morning – what am I here for in the first place? What’s the bit that is in my control? I was able to let go a little of the outcome I was somehow expecting yet had no certainty over. Instead I decided that it was a little clue to me about something else in my life that needed filling up. Clue acknowledged.
And this strange feeling started to wash over me. The less I battled for control (over all that stuff I couldn’t really control that was sending me into an irritable mess), the more in control I felt. Like my feet were back on the ground. The tense feeling in my chest gradually shifted. I felt calmer. Like I could now just get on with things.
So, back to work I go. And if you’re looking for some relief too, try these questions:
- What am I focusing on right now? (One of my mentors gave me a super juicy variation on this question once – are you focusing on how you’re going to succeed or how you’re going to fail right now?)
- Is this in my control? If not, ask, what part of this is in my control?
- For the bit that’s in my control, what’s one thing I could differently right now?