panic attacks

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.

Book a 45 minute consultation using the button below and experience how coaching can help.

If You’re Going To Worry, Worry Hard

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Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.
— Corrie Ten Boom

I am a worrier.

I worried as a kid. I worried as a teen. I worry as an adult.

Anxiety has always been the little sidecar to my adhd.

I’ve had panic attacks since the age of about 8. I didn’t know it at the time, my family called it “my reaction”, but my heart would race, my palms would sweat, I’d feel light headed and like I was gonna throw up.

This feeling would come on swiftly, without warning, and I would often leave school because of it.

I felt like something was wrong with me, like it made me weird and nerdy.

It felt like I was broken and not normal.

As I became an adult, I decided to stop letting worry make decisions for me. It would still show up, but I wouldn’t allow it to keep me from doing things that I wanted to do.

For 6 years I had a job where I was traveling twice a month, often flying coast to coast. While I loved seeing new places and meeting new people, the flights themselves terrified me. Each take off and landing I’d have my own little panic attack. I decided right then and there I could do hard things. This felt hard to me, but I wanted to show up. I wanted to do the job.

I allowed the feelings of discomfort knowing that eventually they would pass and I would get to the other side of the feelings. I noticed my palms sweating and my stomach flipping and said to myself “I choose this. Other people do this, so can I.”

More recently I have noticed that I had a belief that once I got my kids to the age of 18, my worries for and about them would magically stop. I would have done my “job” of raising them and I would no longer feel the responsibility that I felt when they were younger to keep them safe.

Ha! Yeah, just magically stop. That’s truly what I thought. Boy was I ever wrong about that!

What I’ve discovered is that once 18 came, it got worse. I still had the same concern for their safety, yet now they were doing much bigger things and I had absolutely zero control over it!

Take for example the two weeks that my daughter spent in Thailand last year. Ubering to hostels at midnight, having her phone pic pocketed on day two. I couldn’t control any of it. I spent those two weeks with an app notifying me every time she landed in a new Country. Alarms going off each time she should’ve checked into a new hostel. It was awful! (For me, she on the other hand had a fabulous time!)

Or take my son who is a rapper. Often out late nights at the recording studio. As a mom, when I haven’t heard from him for awhile, or I’m unable to reach him, I imagine the worse. Of course something horrible has happened and his car is in a ditch somewhere.

More often then not his cell phone battery has died and he makes it home just fine. Except that one time…

I will save THAT story for another post.

While I was at The Life Coach School’s coach training a few weeks ago, I was coached by some amazing fellow students. I decided to come up with a worry protocol.

Some people have a food protocol (to lose weight), others have a drinking protocol (to stop overdrinking), and I have a worry protocol (to stop over worrying!)

It’s simple. When I observe my mind worrying, I say to myself “oh look, there you go again trying to get us all worked up. In spite of what you’re feeling, I’m sure everything is fine. Worrying doesn’t solve anything.”

I then find a thought that I can believe about the current situation and save the worry for later. By later I mean exactly 9:30pm when an alarm goes off and I can #worryhard for exactly 5 min. Yep, that’s it.

I’ve decided to allow myself to worry for 5 minutes each day, and worry hard when I do. Then it’s time to move on.