A question I find myself asking a lot is – At what point is it ok for me to freak about this?
When something thats not quite favorable, or lets be honest, just downright shitty happens, where does the line between staying positive and freaking out stand exactly? I’m not talking about true the tragedies, it’s completely acceptable to deal with those however you can. But I mean the less significant things that are just really frustrating or make us really nervous or anxious. When is it acceptable to throw your hands in the air in defeat and just panic, scream, or rage a little? I feel like the hardest situations to deal with are the ones that happen at no particular fault to any person or thing. When you have someone or something to blame, even if that someone is yourself, sometimes its just easier to process. You know the culprit, you figure things out, you grieve, you get angry, and eventually, hopefully, move on. But what about when something just happens, something that just couldn’t have been planned for or avoided?
My general rule of thumb is to take a moment, or even a day or 2 depending on what’s going on, and feel my feelings. AKA, I try not to ignore how I’m feeling even if it’s irrational or over the top, if it’s how I really feel deep down the best thing for me to do is feel it. Then, I ask myself why I feel that way. Usually I don’t have a straight forward answer to that question but it helps lead to other questions like: Am I being irrational or over the top? Are there other ways to look at whats happening? Is it really as bad as it seems?
One of my favorite ways to put things into perspective is to ask: Is this the worst thing thats happened to me today? This week? This month? This Year? 9 times out of 10 the answer is no, and even when the answer is yes its usually still at least a good week, month, or year. Think of all the awesome things that have happened this year.
If the worst thing that happened this month was having a communication mix up lead to losing electricity for one day and losing 2 weeks worth of groceries, then really it wasn’t a bad month. Was that the worst thing thats happened this year? Definitely not. Have I still had a great year? Definitely.
If the worst thing that happened during marathon training was missing 4 weeks worth of long runs, then I probably still have a good chance of being successful. Is it the best case scenario? Definitely not. Have I still worked as hard a I can and made huge improvements? Definitely. Am I still super blessed to be healthy and injury free and have amazing legs that are capable of finishing a marathon? More than definitely.
But that doesn’t mean I’m not nervous, and you know what? It’s ok to freak ok about things sometimes. Even though it’s not the end of the world, even though everything’s going to be totally fine, even though it was no body’s fault. It’s ok. Maybe we don’t always have to differentiate between things that are worthy of freaking out over or not. But after the freak out, think it out, talk it ok, and look on the bright side. Maybe you make some adjustments here and there, a tighter grocery budget for the next month or a new finishing goal for the race, but focus on the good things.
It’s probably impossible not to let the “what ifs” pop up from time to time, but in these kind of situations “what ifs” probably won’t get you anywhere. Ok sure, if I followed my training to the letter, planned differently, and gave up valuable time with family and friends, I might be able to finish an hour faster than my goal is now.That’s when I play the other kind of what if game. Ok sure, so what if I had done all that and I ended up with an injury? What if I had done all that and ended up sick from over exertion? What if taking the time off really was the best decision? Now I’m getting somewhere.
As cheesy as it sounds, I am the only one that can decide how I look at things, and the opinion I make about myself or a situation is probably the only one that I’m actually going to listen to. I’ve done the whole doubting myself thing plenty of times and the outcome is usually the same, it’s never as bad as I think its going to be and I’m always left wondering if it could have been better if I had simply thought it would be better. I always end up thinking about the same quote:
“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right” – Henry Ford
Go ahead a freak out a little bit, but in the end put things into perspective and remember the power of thoughts, positive and negative.
I’d love to hear any stories you have about the power of thinking