anxiety

How to Feel Calm When You Miss A Flight


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Here’s the scene.

My family and I had just spent a fabulous 4 days in New Orleans eating our way through the City.

We soaked up the warmth and the culture, where our Creole roots were formed.

For all intents and purposes the trip was a success! Celebrating my son’s 21st birthday with my daughter, son and husband was so much fun.

There was one night of dra-aaa-maa…there always is on vacation. I see a trend. Tensions can run high. People have different expectations and ways of vacationing.

But back to the story…

4 fun-filled days. Our flight out is sceduled for 7am. We wake up at 4:45am planning to throw our clothes on and catch a Lyft to the airport in plenty of time for our flight.

What actually happens is this. My daughter (who’d booked our flights when she saw a deal) comes into my room at 4:45 asking “What time does it say our flight is in your phone?”

Me: “Umm, 7am”

Daughter: “Ok (long pause), mine says 7 in one message and 5:30am in another. I got a text message ‘reminding’ me of our updated time of 5:30, which I had no idea about.”

Silence…

Daughter: “I’m pretty sure our flght got changed to 5:30am and I didn’t see the message.”

Me: “Okay. Well, let’s get the boys up and moving and get there as fast as we can.”

*Side note: the airport is 20 minutes away and we need to call a Lyft. There’s no possible way to get there by 5:30am.

I remember having a conscious thought at this moment. I asked myself a key question. “How do I want to feel about all of the potential drama that is about to happen?”

Me (to self): Calm

My thought (T) became “Whatever happens we will just have to roll with it and make the most of it.”

My feeling (F) = Calm.

Let me tell you, as a praying Christian woman, I was also praying like all get out in that car on the way to the airport.

I did not want to see what happened if and when they told us we’d missed our flight. (My husband would blow a gasket!)

Daughter (in the car on the way to the airport): “I’m sure we missed our flight. There aren’t any others. I’ve checked.”

Me: Silence (Praying and thinking my (T) thought (see above) over and over again.

We get to the airport. I tell my daughter to go ahead and put in our confirmation number so that we can check our bags. (Fingers crossed)

She does so and up pops a bright red message that said “This flight has already departed.”

We are screwed! No seriously. I had a moment where I wasn’t sure what to do.

I walked over to two ladies in United uniforms and asked where the ticketing counter was…as we had a problem.

She explained that this was it. No counter. An automated bag check and a few emplyees available to help.

I channeled my inner feeling of calm and explained what had happened.

Message about changed flight missed.

Text message received this morning too late.

Flight missed.

What can be done?

Silence.

She started working on her computer, punching in information.

A few minutes later she said, “I’ve got you rebooked on a flight through Denver (instead of Houston). You’ll get back to the Bay Area at the same time.”

No extra fee.

I thanked her sincerely and off we went.

We’ve never missed a flight. This felt scary.

The circumstances felt dire. How we decided to feel about them felt optional.

I shocked myself with how calm I felt. It took some conscious work on my part. It was worth it.

Freaking out is always optional.

I’d love to talk with you more about that if you’re interested.

~Shaun


Ever Felt Like You’re Walking On Eggshells?

Day 13: Eggshells

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Have you ever felt like you’re walking on eggshells?

Trying to behave a certain way so that someone else feels a certain way?

It can be exhausting.

I was in a relationship once where I thought that I could manage my boyfriends emotions by being and acting a certain way.

I thought that if I could anticipate what he was thinking and feeling, I could tell what would make him upset and do the opposite, so that he could be his best self.

The problem was, I then wasn’t being my best self.

I was altering my natural behavior to accommodate his behavior.

It was unfair to both of us.

I was not being true to myself.

I was not allowing him to grow into his best self.

It didn’t last.

Here’s the thing. You and only you, are responsible for how you feel.

You cannot delegate how you feel to someone else.

If they don’t do what you want them to do, you’ll feel bad.

When you are responsible for your own feelings, no matter what someone else does, you will be fine.

You can feel fine.

No matter what they say or think about you, it all works out.

They can be wrong about you.

They can be confused.

You know who you are.

Curious how that works?

Let’s talk.

~Shaun

No Big Deal: How to Know When to Let Something Go

Day 3: Self Confidence

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No Big Deal

I remember my mother in law saying these three words a lot.

She had a stroke in her 40s and eventually ended up in an alzheimers home with dementia.

She became a bit of a social butterfly there.

Going from room to room, visiting friends.

She seemed happy, although in her own world and often not able to remember the details of who we were.

She smiled a lot.

She said “no big deal” a lot.

I think sometimes it was prompted by the look of concern or worry on our faces.

I started then to really think about what that phrase means.

For me, I remember thinking it when something really was kinda a big deal. (Or at least a big deal to me)

As a way of not feeling disappointed. Because disappointment felt terrible.

Or as a way of reframing somthing that I perceived as “negative”.

As a way of avoiding the bad feeling that was sure to follow.

Sometimes when you have adhd tendencies, it can feel like you experience things differently than most people.

It can be hard to regulate emotions. We can tend to react quickly, overreact or make things mean something negative about us. We can take things personally. Be overly sensitive to criticism.

I used to ask myself “what is a big deal to most people? Is this a big deal to most people?

What does a typical day feel like to most people? What does planning feel like for most people?

Is this an appropriate reaction? Am I normal?”

Those questions were an attempt to make sure I fit the mold of being reasonable, acceptable. Fit in with what was expected.

When I’m trying to decide if something is a big deal to me or not, if I want to speak up or not, I use different questions now. Questions that feel more personal to me.

1) Is it a big deal to me, yes or no? Why?

2) Do I like my reason for speaking up?

3) What is my motivation behind speaking up?

Ultimately you’re the only one that can decide if something’s a big deal or not. That will vary from person to person.

What if there is not a “typical answer”? Or a correct response?

Guess what? There isn’t!

In the realm of people pleasing, there are times something will bother us and we will choose to speak up.

There are times something will bother us and we will choose not to speak up.

Both are ok as long as we’ve checked in with ourselves.

If we’re not speaking up because we don’t want to “rock the boat” we’re probably operating from a fearful place, and worrying about what others may think of us. We may want to notice that and decide if that’s really how we want to respond.

If we’re not speaking up because it is truly not worth our time and is actually not a big deal, we may like that reason and stay quiet, and just let it go.

If you find yourself feeling anxious from time to time, like you’ve got something to say but would rather not “cause a scene”, or step into a potential confrontation, it may be worth exploring.

If you’re afraid that what you want to say to someone may hurt their feelings, let’s talk. There’s another way and it feels so much better.

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