If someone says to you, “Hey, You should go to the gym!”
“you should eat better”
“you should sleep more”
“you should drink more water”
What do you do? Do you respond and say, “My goodness, thank you, it’s so clear how much you care about me and want me to succeed so I really appreciate that feedback?”
No, probably not. If you are anything like me you get defensive and REACT. Usually pretty strongly. You might even get defensive. No, maybe that is just me.
This past week, my husband had surgery on his nose, it gave me the opportunity to spend several uninterrupted days taking care of our daughter and love her though I do, it was tough to be “on” that long. My husband does it every day with very few breaks (her nap) and rarely complains. THANK YOU JEREMY!
I lasted five days before I got ornery and told him-
“I need a break” I said, “I know you are tired, I know you are hurting, I know it’s impossible for you to hold her without her touching you and maybe hurting your nose but I NEED A BREAK.”
I should say, I don’t think these were the words I used, I definitely know I was not nice or calm in the way that I coach people to be, because I was in Reacting mode, not Responding Mode.
I think this has to do with the fact that I was telling myself a story during these days, “If I am not totally happy and satisfied with how I feel while (e.g. If I let myself be tired or annoyed or frustrated) I am taking care of her, I am doing it wrong or I am a bad mother”- No one else told me that, I told myself that.
Also, I was saying some not so nice things about him, “Ugh, he is not helping, does he not see how fussy she is and he is DOING nothing!
Well, that wasn’t true either. He was healing from pretty intense SURGERY on his nose. It’s amazing to me how a little time, a little rest, and a little perspective really helps to calm a situation down and more importantly helps you see things much more clearly.
After I apologized for my outburst, we discussed it and I realized that the story I had going in my head felt bigger and larger than the truth which is that I was tired and needed to admit it.
I was telling myself the story that led to my outburst, I could have built a different narrative.
“I am tired of taking care of her and that doesn’t mean that I am not a good mother, it means I am human.”
This is just one small example of me “reconditioning my response” or “owning my story”
Brene Brown talks about this- Lots of ways that we self-sabotage and break ourselves down instead of building ourselves up. It’s super easy to go negative with the thoughts and not think the best of ourselves or a situation.
So, what story are you telling, and does it serve you or stop you?
Think About It.