Work on You
This blog may feel a little different than the past few, I’m about to share some real coaching so I hope you will stay with me for the next few minutes and read it. I hope that all of you are holding up okay. It’s not easy, that’s for sure, but I hope that all our efforts of social distancing and physical space will help a few less people get this thing and help a lot less people die from it.
In keeping with the theme that we have been on about how to deal with it and how to cope with the situation I want to share with you this week some different information. For a lot of people, this will become a real struggle to fight off depression and I’m certainly not making light of that fact I absolutely hate it. I imagine depression is extremely difficult to navigate. However, I also don’t want to make things worse than they are.
It occurred to me yesterday watching TV how there is just a mind-altering drumbeat into our heads about how there always must be something wrong. Watching the TV for about an hour, I saw 4-different drug commercials to help me with all my very unspecific generic ailments. Do you have occasional headaches? Does your stomach ever hurt, or you have a lack of sleep? Well then you just might have yourahumanitis, because we all sometimes have headaches and stomach aches and have trouble sleeping. Then you watch the news and the newscasters just can’t bring themselves to ever share good news. It’s like they will die if they ever say something that isn’t doom and gloom and it’s quite grotesque. Maybe we should start a good news channel to at least slow the drumbeat.
The problem with all of this is that we are so programmed to look outside of ourselves for the solutions. If I take this pill, if I go to therapy, if I have a safe space to cry and I need an emotional support animal in order to be ok. All these things are outside of you when the real solution, indeed the only solution is inside you. You see, what most people don’t realize is that our sub-conscious minds listen all the time. Whether you are working or studying, sleeping or daydreaming, that subconscious part of our brains are constantly processing everything and to some degree or another, these things that our brains hear are deposited. I have seen many estimates that our subconscious minds are about 1 million times more powerful than our conscious minds. Think about how many things just happen without you even thinking about. You literally can’t forget to breathe or forget to blink, but you aren’t thinking about it either. It just happens.
The bigger problem is that our subconscious minds don’t really have the ability to filter what goes in, when the same thing is heard over and over, your subconscious just sort of accepts it as being a fact and incorporates in to you daily operating system. So here is the point my peeps, if you get told constantly every day that there is something wrong with you, something wrong with the city, county and country you live, your health, your government and your school, you will certainly start believing it whether you want to or not. This creates an unnatural discord inside that causes stress and tension where there would not be any otherwise. It starts this never-ending search to find something, anything to fix whatever is wrong. And of course, that fix is tied to something that you must buy, and it is always outside of you.
You may be surprised to learn how many people genuinely struggle with this fact. The patterns and thoughts that people have are simply programs that run without any conscious thought going into it. It is estimated that by the time we are 7, somewhere close to 70% of our personality is formed. Think about that for a minute. You learn who you are in the first 7 years and then you spend the rest of your life simply living that program. Pretty staggering if you think about it and unless you were one of the lucky few, some of your programming is probably crappy. (Personality Set for Life By 1st Grade, Study Suggests. Our personalities stay pretty much the same throughout our lives, from our early childhood years to after we're over the hill, according to a new study. (www.livescience.com))
So, what does all of this have to do with COVID-19? Well, you absolutely must slow-down right now because you just don’t have a choice. We all need to stay away from each other until this thing blows over. And by the way, if the media spent as much time detailing how the flu works, spreads and kills people every year, I assure you that you would be terrified of the flu as well. The World Health Organization estimates that the flu kills between 290,000 – 650,000 people each year. So far, COVID has allegedly killed 68,000 people and we are collectively trying our hardest to stop the world from spinning.
I spend more time talking with people about how to find time and how to make time than probably any other topic. So, while this COVID situation is terrible, there is a silver lining that most people have more time available now. Now, is the time to do a little work on ourselves. Work on our thought patterns, work on our beliefs and work on our overall disposition and stop looking outside for something to make you happy or content or calm. There is nothing outside of you that is going to fix what is wrong with you inside. Fix yourself.
Two of my favorite quotes about this both involve the ocean. The first is:
“A smooth sea never created a skilled sailor.”
The reason I like this one is because we certainly are not in a smooth sea right now. Recognize that what you and all of us are going through is hard. It’s really hard, but mainly because it is new and different. You see, it is no longer supporting our normal programming that you’ve been running since you were 7. You’ve had a program that you’ve been mindlessly running for years and it doesn’t look or feel anything like this. So, now is the time to work on those things that are hurting us.
The second quote is: “You can’t control the wind, but you can adjust your sails.”
While I hope this one is obvious, just to be clear it talks to what you can and what you can’t control. And if you CAN control this COVID thing please get off your butt and fix it. Otherwise, I implore you to find healthy and clever ways to deal with this situation. Sitting around worrying and stressed about it is not a good plan.
We can sit around and worry about COVID, what ailments we have, the government, allergy season and so many other things. However, worrying is a complete and utter waste of time and energy. No matter how much you worry, it will have exactly zero impact on the outcome of this situation.
What will make a difference you ask? What will make a difference is how you respond to it. Sitting around and worrying will not help but maintaining a personal space of 6’ will help. Lying awake wondering if your headache is a sign of a more serious condition will not help. Turning off your electronics, maintaining a consistent sleep schedule will help. Watching the news drum into your head that everything on the planet is bad will not help. Finding a way to support the local feed the hungry program will help. Sitting on the couch mindlessly snacking will not help, going for a long walk outside to get some sunshine and fresh air will help. Getting exercise will help. Turning off your social media (they very rarely say anything new anyway) and finding something positive, uplifting and inspirational will help.
More importantly, now is the time to spend some time reflecting on your internal programs. What are the thought patterns that are holding you back and hurting you right now? What are the things that you have been meaning to getting around to, if you only had the time? Now you do have the time, so I encourage you to get to work.
Please recognize this blunt fact, if you come out of this situation in the same condition you came into with your problem is not a lack of time, your problem is a lack of discipline. It’s up to you to come out of this thing better than you went into it. Nothing outside of you will fix what is broken inside of you.