Let’s stop saying we’re fine if we’re not.
It’s so counterintuitive but it’s also very loaded in many ways!
Where does the impulse come from to reply ‘I’m fine, yeah good’ to the question ‘how are you?’…even if it’s not true?
It’s such a funny societal thing that I’d like to dig into a little bit in the hopes that if you’re listening you might choose to respond differently and create some space and freedom for yourself.
Maybe not with everyone, but maybe with someone who matters.
This last year has been very, very….weird! None of this is normal.
I know I have listeners all over the world but here in the UK we’re still in a full lockdown across the country. And I feel like this one is hitting people a little harder.
We also have to be honest about some of the big things that have been going on in the world this last year!
This has not been a ‘normal’ year.
It’s been a year full to the brim of collective and personal trauma.
But it seems more than ever people don’t want to share what’s really going on for them.
There’s so much opinion online telling you what you should or shouldn’t do, think, feel or say or be that we’ve become disconnected to what or who that even is for ourselves.
This is leading to a denial of negative feelings. Guilt for having more than other people. Feeling like you have to keep quiet. Like if you have it better than someone else it means you haven’t got a right to feel bad.
It’s all total rubbish.
It’s all perspective too.
For example, there are people who are suffering and struggling because they’re on their own. There are people who are suffering and struggling because they can’t be on their own.
There are people loving that they can’t be on their own and there are people loving being on their own.
So who’s right in this example?
Who has a right to feel bad, who doesn’t have a right to feel good because someone else feels bad?
Can you see how bonkers this way of thinking is?
It’s creating fear around our own feelings and emotions.
Even if you don’t want to share your feelings with the world you should at least feel ok sharing with your friends and loved ones, no?
How is anything going to change if you don’t?
If you’re in that space, how much progress do you think you’re going to make?
This goes for life and business!
How helpful do you think it is feeling like you’ve wasted this time in lock down if you haven’t made 7 figures in your business, while learning ballet, greek and guitar online and becoming a qualified chef and dancer?
Can we all take a little step back for a minute?
I don’t mean this just related to the shocking 12 months we’ve all had.
I mean it in life in general.
Can we all just start being more honest about our feelings without feeling bad about it?
To other people, and to ourselves?
Sometimes someone else’s perspective, or a different viewpoint can change yours in an instant. Meaning you save TONNES of time not feeling rubbish! So why do we deny ourselves this?
Why do we feel like we aren’t ‘allowed’ or ‘shouldn’t’ or that it’s socially ‘unacceptable’ to struggle sometimes?
Challenge that belief. Where does it come from? If one of your friends or loved ones was having a hard time would you want them to tell you?
So many of us are so emotionally disconnected to ourselves. Your emotions drive your behaviour so it’s worth having a look at right?
We all have our strategies for dealing with big emotions too.
That might come in the form of procrastination, numbing, overworking and heading for burnout, not taking any time for rest, not looking after our bodies, addiction…so many strategies that could be worked through by just admitting you don’t feel fine!
Let’s realise why we’ve learned to do this in the first place.
It’s been frowned upon in society to be negative, to moan…even using those words isn’t great is it. Why is being honest about not feeling great considered ‘moaning’ in the first place?
We’ve been taught time and time again that we ‘shouldn’t’ feel certain ways.
That they’re undesirable in some way.
By society and by us.
It could be that we were punished as children when our big emotions were inconvenient so we were taught to deny them or hide them.
This is what happened to me, I was at boarding school ages 11 and my best friend back home died suddenly. The teachers, my friends, no one around me knew what to do with a hysterical 11 year old girl and I couldn’t run to my parents so I learned that big emotions were inconvenient, they were something to be ridiculed.
It meant as much as I was a very empathetic person and was ALWAYS talking to other people about thier feelings, I wasn’t doing it myself.
It also eluded me BECAUSE I was always the one having the deep and meaningful conversations with people at a party, I was the one helping them solve their problems…but I hadn’t realised I was ignoring my own.
Which meant they stayed pent up inside of me and would often come out at times when the emotion I was feeling was nothing to do with what was right in front of me. For example, feeling rage at a partner. It was coming from somewhere else.
Emotions have a funny way of doing that when you deny them and don’t listen.
It’s taken a lot of work to unlearn this.
The same thing comes to feeling like we ‘shouldn’t’ ask for help. That it means we’re failing in some way, or not good enough.
But can you think of a time you HAVE been honest with someone, or they’ve been honest with you and it’s made things 10 times better in a short space of time?
If we were all a bit more honest about this stuff with ourselves and those close to us…we might see how common it is and feel less alone.
We might also be able to move through it more quickly. It doesn’t help to deny any of this. It just makes it last longer!
Why are we so afraid of the truth really?
Are we scared that someone may judge us?
Might think we’re failing or not doing well?
Where does the shame and embarrassment really come from?
Who’s judgement specifically are we afraid of?
Is it a fear of being rejected?
Is it the fact that if we say it out loud it becomes real?
Are we afraid it might upset someone or cause conflict in some way?
Does it not fit in with the identity you’ve built for yourself? The strong, positive, always has it together person?!
Is it because it’s such a programmed, automatic question that you don’t know if the person asking it REALLY even wants the answer?
Do you even know what you really feel if you had to name it?
There’s so much unconscious programming in all of this.
I just want us to start to challenge it a little and not just accept our thoughts as facts all the time.
There’s power in radical honesty…particularly with ourselves.
If you don’t want to talk to a friend or loved one then talking with a coach or therapist can really help you unpick all of this and start to make progress and normalise being able to feel, be honest about and communicate your feelings.
Let’s try and bring back some connection while we have to be apart.
So next time someone asks, ‘how are you?’ What’s the real answer?
What’s the worst that could happen if you just said it out loud?
What’s the story you’re telling?
Your emotions are valid my love.
Sometimes there’s an easy reframe, a different perspective that can totally change your outlook in an instant.
What are you telling yourself happens if you’re honest?
This goes for generally in life, around our current situation but in your business too.
Wouldn’t it be better to find a way out of the struggle when you don’t have to stay there?
Stop denying your feelings. Stop denying your experiences. They deserve your attention.
It’s ok to feel your feelings. It’s far more exhausting to hide them.
Fran Excell, Subconscious Success Mentor – Helping Business Owners Overcome Self Sabotage & Get More Done In Less Time at www.franexcell.com
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