Real but not true
I’ve lived through terrible things in my life. Some of which have actually happened.” - Mark Twain
There’s been a particular conversation happening in my coaching sessions of late.
The conversation looks something like this: Life is going way too fast, there’s too much to do, we’re worried we don’t have enough time to get everything done and what we do do is not good enough.
Pepper that with feelings of judgment, comparison and plain ole’ perfectionism and you’d nail what so many of us are experiencing on a daily basis.
Just yesterday I was on the phone with a dear client who was regaling me with her taxing workload. We talked about her perfectionist tendencies, her fears around not getting it all done, what people will think of her, her desire to look like she’s got it all figured out and the part of her that wants to hide in bed and say FUCK THIS, FUCK YOU, I’M OUT!
We talked about slowing down, compassion and being more gentle with herself but I could tell the “be nice to yourself” stuff just wasn’t landing. She couldn’t seem to see past the worry.
I asked her to take a big deep breath with me to settle in a bit and then I said, “Here’s what’s happening. You’re future tripping. You’re worrying about all the things that may happen, could happen, should happen, may not happen, what people will think of you if they do happen, and it’s completely overwhelming you in this present moment.”
“Though your concerns are most certainly real,” I continued, “They aren’t actually true.”
I heard her breath change and could sense her shoulders drop. Simply in naming the future tripping something in her body relaxed.
Truth is, we’re masters at future tripping. We worry about what people will think of us, about what’s for dinner, about the fast approaching bikini season, about what’s going to happen when our parents come to town, about how our presentation will be received, about hitting (or not hitting) monthly goals, and about what will happen if we eat that last piece of cake.
The stories we spin create giant worry webs and while stuck in that web it feels like all progress is slowed. (Which of course then further feeds our fear that we’re running out of time and we’re not productive enough.)
And yet worry is a natural part of being human. It’s an ingenious protective mechanism to prevent us from future harm. The issue is that our brains have a difficult time deciphering between true danger and imagined danger which is why imagined, future-tripping dangers can feel so true.
My client and I continued to discuss how to navigate her future tripping and together we laid out steps for her to get present with what was happening in this exact moment.
By the time we got off the phone she felt lighter with understanding the web she’d been in and relieved to have a clear path out of it.
Of course this relief didn’t change her workload but in getting present, the worry surrounding her work softened, which opened her up to approach herself and her work with greater calm and focus.
Moral of the story? The next time you catch yourself in a worry web, feeling stuck, scared and overwhelmed, take a deep breath and say to yourself, “Oh, it’s OK. You’re just future tripping again.”
Take a second breath and ask yourself, “What’s here now? What’s happening right now in this exact present moment?” As you ask yourself this question, notice your surroundings, the people, the light, and the smells in the air. Use this question to ground you in your body and in the moment rather than continuing to struggle in the imagined danger, worry web of your mind.
Lastly, once you’ve settled into the realization that there is no imminent danger, take a final deep breath, place your hand on your heart and remind yourself, “I’m doing the best I can. I’m OK.”
Have a wonderful, future-tripping-free week and I’ll see you soon!
Lots of love,
P.S. If your default is future tripping and you’d love to be free of it, let’s set up a clarity session. A clarity session is a no-string attached, one-shot coaching session where we’ll look at your worry web and help you ease up on future tripping so you can move forward with presence, peace and power. I currently have 3 sessions left for June email me and we’ll get you on calendar.
P.S.S. If you’re looking for a easy way to reconnect to what’s here now rather than spinning in a worry web, check out my 10 day Get Present class. During this self-paced course you’ll receive a new video every day to walk you through the steps my clients and I use to get out of worry and find presence and peace in the middle of our busy lives. Click here to sign up.
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