One of the secrets of life is to keep our intellectual curiosity acute.
-William Lyon Phelps-
Yesterday’s post was a hit! Thanks to all of you who read it and I hope that you found it useful. On that note, there are a couple more items that we should cover on the subject of getting up when we’re down. Yesterday’s post is here – Getting Back Up When You’re Down
Changing our focus can best be done by changing what we say to ourselves. The thoughts that we have about ourselves, and what we say to ourselves greatly impact our focus. Watch what words you use, what things you repeat to yourself. “I’m an idiot,” is not going to help. “I’m learning to be better at public speaking with every speech I give” is a much better string of words to say.
Next step: Stand up tall and take a deep breath. Feel that? That’s a breath of fresh air that your mind interprets as confidence and a sense of wellbeing. How we present ourselves via our body, and it’s own language, speaks volumes not only to the world around us, but to ourselves, our emotions, and fills us with feelings that are either negative or positive, all depends on how you are holding your body.
Try this, stand tall with both arms raised in the air and hands held tightly in a fist. Go ahead, try it. Feels like you just won the race right? That’s your body speaking. Make sure it’s telling you what you need to hear not what you want to hear, sometimes we just want to hear, oh poor me.
The last part of getting up and staying up has to do with our habits. Someone once said that men don’t decide their futures, they decide their habits and their habits decide their futures. What self-defeating habits do you practice day in and day out? I’ll tell you one habit that I had to work really hard to defeat.
There’s an absolutely fantastic donut shop in our town, and the owner makes the donuts every evening, and they are delicious! He’s been making donuts for over 30 years! I cultivated the habit of having one of his amazing donuts almost every day. Love the donuts, but I had to ween myself free. Now I only go once per week.
The first month I had to direct my focus to other thoughts as I passed his shop both to and from work. I had to take deep breaths and sit tall in my car seat, gripping the steering wheel as I made my way past his shop, and I had to tell myself that I had to be strong and that I would not die without the donut. Easy? No way! Necessary? Yes.
One more thing, I don’t mean to diminish your struggle with my battle of the chocolate covered donut example, but the difference between that donut battle and our other life circumstances comes down to one thing, intensity. We’re not very intensely committed to a donut right? Life has other more intense battles to deal with. But in theory, the steps to overcome are the same. Start off small and work your way up to the bigger battles.
Now you know what to do to pick yourself up and stay up, and you also know that it isn’t easy but well worth the struggle.