They just don’t understand

They just don’t understand

They just don’t understand

This week we are talking about something I have struggled with throughout my life.  Because I have been relocating since 6 months old, I am never quite on the same wavelength as anyone around me, except my family.

Have you ever been trying to explain a concept or perhaps even more personal, how you feel about something and no matter what words you choose, you just can’t quite get the other person to understand.

Sometimes it is something we find a work around to, but many times especially when you are depending on someone else to acknowledge your pain or struggle and they don’t.  Even when they try to fake understanding, you know they don’t.

Our World Expands

This IS one of the challenges as we relocate and expand how we see the world.  With each relocation our knowledge of the world, the cultures and the people expand.  This then changes how we see the world.  By seeing more than we did before, that new viewpoint may lead us to be passionate about something that no one else gets.

Many times, you and I will experience it when we call back home for support.  Calling home to Mom or to our best friends sometimes ends in frustration because as we describe our challenge the quip off a solution, one perfect for back there, but is not possible or will not garner the same results here.  

Couple this with their desire to help and get us feeling better in the moment.  They are trying so hard, and yet, they do not understand.  When they cannot help solve the issue, they feel as helpless as we do.  We both experience disconnection.  

They cannot do what they have always done for us.  We can no longer collaborate on the practical day to day things.  Why?  Because they don’t understand.

They want to, but cannot.

Not the Last Straw

When this begins happening it can be devastating.  It was like that last thing we hold onto from our old life and now THAT is CHANGING too??  It is like the last straw.  But it doesn’t have to be.

Many times here what I am trying to do is to make you aware of things that will most likely be walked through after the boxes land.  I want to give you a heads up, so that even though it is only an intellectual concept, when you begin to walk through it you are not surprised.  This helps.

…if we expect it, we do not spend precious time fighting it…

One of my favorite sayings I use in Coaching is “Oh there you are”.  I use it specifically when unwanted things land at our door step or an expectation is missed.  I do this because if we expect it, we do not spend precious time fighting it, pretending it doesn’t exist and in this case walking away from a beloved friend.

Because we are not taught how to do this, many of us walk away from significant relationships just because we moved.  And it is logical, the change in the relationship becomes painful for us and them and our brains convince us that this is the only logical decision.  And yes, that pain stops…but now grief sets in, a different pain we get to walk through with that decision.

What does the change mean?

Many times, the reason we are in such initial pain is because of what we are making the change mean.  When we walk this road, we are not doing ourselves any favors.  We are looking for outs for the pain, we make circumstances mean things encourage us, one step at a time, to disconnect.

  • When we don’t talk every day anymore; we make it mean they have moved on.
  • When we find new friends; we make it mean we don’t need to put in the effort now.
  • When we feel sad getting off the phone; we make it mean that is proof that we need to end it.

Pain Narrows our Thinking

When we are in pain our brains want to do, whatever it takes to remove the pain.   This is because pain, especially with new things, can mean danger.  One of the primary human brain directives is self-preservation. This means that the brain is going to throw up as mean reasons as possible to make us step away, and stop the pain.

Pain narrows our thinking.  It narrows our ability to see options and make a solid decisions. We forget who we are and what we truly want in the long term in order to stop the pain.

And when we notice this frenzied singular thinking, It is time to pause.

Time to Pause

This pause can open up our eyes to other options…

Pausing is something else we practice quite a bit in coaching.

Noticing the narrowing in real time, allows us to see it as a cue if you will, to pause and take a bit of time.  This way we create space to be present and open as we make decisions, rather than continuing down the negative rabbit trail. 

This pause can open up our eyes to other options.  When we expect to find them, we find surprising options. We may not choose them but at least we see them and we are present as we face what is before us.

Changing what It Means

During this pause amazing things happen.  That automatic thinking stops and gives space for our pre-frontal cortex or decision making brain to take a turn.  When we engage with this side of the brain we can choose to make each thing mean something of our choosing.

What else could I make that mean?

  • When she doesn’t have time to talk every day; we could make it mean, she is doing something fun and we will have more to talk about next time.
  • When we find new friends; we make it mean, we are capable of having friends all over the country, if not the world.
  • When we feel sad getting off the phone; we make it mean, she is so special to me and this sadness is a reflection of how much she means to me.

A lot of times, we spend a great deal of energy on negative ideas we make up on our own minds.  Sure, we may call it an educated guess.  But the raw truth is, we do not know until we are told or witness it.

 

By holding strong to negative guessing, all we doing is worrying without cause…
and in the end, torturing ourselves.

As I tell my son, you are making up things either way.  You might as well make up something good.  This helps you stay present and clear in your day as it is.  There is nothing new to do until you actually know.

It’s OK They don’t Understand

Just like in the previous example, when “they don’t understand” our brains can naturally spin out on all the negative things it could mean.  From there the brain moves onto creating a story as to how grieved we should feel and all the reasons we should just end this.

We make “them not understanding” mean that friendships are ending, they are going to find friends to replace us, and that they do not care.

We take it personally, we turn inward to protect ourselves and kind of shut down.

If there is anything that is going to end a relationship fast,
it is being accusatory, turning inward and turning away from them.

It doesn’t have to be that way.  Sure, they have never walked this and the evening little league baseball games together are done, but it doesn’t mean anything until you decide it does.

Deciding It’s OK

One of the best things about our brains is that we don’t always work on autopilot.  We are not always working toward self-preservation and risk avoidance.  We have the other part of our brain, the pre-frontal cortex, which can take control of a circumstance like this and shift into whatever we want it to be.

In coaching we practice this a lot.  We spend so much time allowing the automatic brain to lead that we don’t remember, “Hey I do have a choice.”

It is how we were made, and it is about time we take advantage of it.

 

So, as this and other circumstances come up, consider the fact that you have the ability to choose how you are going to experience this.  It is not about making everything sunshine and unicorns.  But it is about exercising the control we have always had.

And NOW you know you have it too.

I am Annette Walters, the Chief ReloChampion for ReloWomen and I here to teach you how to walk through big life changes and create a life, the life you have always wanted to live on the other side.

If you connect with this and would like to learn more, click on the Let’s Chat button in the top right hand corner of the page.  Choose a day and time that works for you to set up a free mini-session with me.  I look forward to meeting you.

Have a wonderful week!

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Stop Second Guessing & Start Making decisions

Stop Second Guessing & Start Making decisions

Stop Second Guessing & Start Making decisions

Welcome to the ReloWomen Podcast Episode 43.  This week we are talking about second guessing ourselves.  Did you know it can be a good thing?  Sure…It can also lead down a rabbit trail to nowhere.

When we make decisions we want to be careful.  We want to make good decisions.  We want to be seen as being thoughtful and our decisions well thought out.  Whether we are on a PTA committee, on a project or choose whether or not to let our kids go for a sleep over, we want to make the right decision.

To do this we take a look at all the information we have as well as forecast or take educated guesses as to what could happen with each set of variables.  By taking time, seeing and forecasting we can then make good decision based on what we know and can reasonably predict as humans of a certain age.

Making good decisions assumes that decisions are being made. 

When we get caught up in the process BEFORE  the decision is actually made…well that is when things can go haywire.

When we get caught up in the process we keep asking or seeking additional information.  We tell people that we are not ready to make a decision.  We delay and delay and delay all under the guise of not the right time or that we need to know more…many times to the confusion of those around us.

When we do this we are second guessing.  We are actively delaying decision making, kind of like Scarlet in Gone with the wind“I will think about that tomorrow.”  But tomorrow doesn’t quite ever get here.

Merriam Webster defines second-guessing two ways:

The first definition is to criticize or question actions or decisions of (someone) often after the results of those actions or decisions are known

The second definition is to seek to anticipate or predict

Both of these activities can be effective and even desired in good decision making, but when we use both at the same time and use one to delay the other…well that’s when second guess becomes a stall technique and is no longer helpful.

So why do we second guess to a fault…to our or our project’s detriment?

Perhaps we fear being judged as a bad parent.  Perhaps we are afraid our decision will hurt someone else.  Perhaps a fail will cause us to be demoted or fired.  

When our decision has potential consequences, consequences we are not in full control over.  Consequences that could change our life or the lives of others, and not for the positive our knee jerk reaction, the one we don’t initially control can be to delay.

And that delay looks like requests for more information, time to research and “what if-ing” and potential issues to death.

Though we may be delaying here, though we may be judged for not making a decision, though a project may be delayed and such the benefit to all of this is that we are safe.  It may be uncomfortable, but the current situation is known and we are physically safe.  

You hear me talk about this a lot on the podcast, our human brains and how its number one priority is to keep us safe and alive.  Remember new equals danger so, if it keeps us in the current situation, we are alive and safe.

The brain is successfully doing what it is designed to do.

If you are smack dab in of second guess delay, congratulations, your brain is working just as it should.  This is normal.

I can hear you now “But this isn’t what I want!?!?  I am stuck second guessing! I thought this podcast was going to help me out of this!!”

And I will, but we can’t step off of anything with really seeing where we are right now.  Awareness creates a solid step to push off from.  Anything less is sinking sand and has a high fail rate of change.

So here we are Second guessing, you may call it ruminating or spinning ~ all the while with a brain functioning just as it should and keeping us safe. 

There is a decision to be made and we are invested in making what we consider to be a good decision.

The first things we need to do from here is to recognize how we are being held back.  In the 3 perhaps statement above, what was the driving emotion?

Perhaps we fear being judged as a bad parent.  Perhaps we are afraid our decision will hurt someone else.  Perhaps a fail will cause us to be demoted or fired.  

That’s right fear.  Some version of fear typically drives second guessing and even continues to feed it.  Have you ever been in the middle of trying to GET YOURSELF to make a decision and can’t quite make it happen?  The reason you and I can’t cross that finish line is because of fear and all of our actions driven from that.

Think about it.  If I keep repeating to myself, “don’t screw this up…don’t screw this up” what do you see that I am concentrated on?  Yes screwing it up.

I heard a story years ago about the southwest desert and how along the highway the electrical or telephone poles are placed about 100 or so yards apart.  Year after year did cars crash into the desert or into a pole?  That’s right into a pole.  There was far more desert than pole statistically and yet the poles were hit far more often.

Can you imagine getting sleepy on the monotonous highway and be thinking don’t hit the pole, don’t hit the pole.  What is hit?  The pole.

It is the same in decision making.

If we concentrate on not making a bad decision, chances are we will never make a decision and we most definitely won’t make any decision from that place.

In order to make a decision we have to be in a different mindset or emotion.  Stepping out of fear and second guessing and creating another mindset or emotion is imperative to make a strong well thought out decision.  And we all want to do that.

Now I am NOT talking about an exercise in positive thinking.  Though what you may choose may be positive it also must be believable.  To who?  You!  Otherwise your brain will double down on how impossible all of this is.  And yes give more fuel to extend the second guessing fire.

To make this as easy as possible on us let’s work it backwards.  Sometimes that is the best way for me to figure out how to shift out of a spin cycle.

Consider you are on the otherside.  A strong decision has been made.  You don’t know the outcome yet, but the decision has been made.  How did you have to feel in order to decide?  Think about a one emotion. Just one.  What emotion would be pulsing through your body that would make deciding easier, perhaps not super comfortable but still willing.

Your emotion might be willingness, confidence, openness, comfortable, capable

I love that one capable – I use that one especially when I don’t have the level of information I like.  I remember that I am capable and making decisions from that place isn’t so scary.

Now with your emotion word in mind.  What would you have to truly think about yourself, the situation or the prospects to actually feel that way?  The thing about this question is that it directs our brain to come up with all the potential answers.  Our brains thrive on direction.  As thoughts come to mind test them out against the feeling.

Does thinking “I am able to make good decisions” drive confidence?  Does “I have pulled together everything available to make this decision” drive being willing or open to see how this turns out.  Does “I have a good track record making decisions like this” drive capable?

When you test out the thoughts that come to mind, the believable ones will drive distinct emotions.  It is almost like it “rings true” if you will.  You will know it when the test is a success.

The bonus to landing in this place with a thought and positive emotion that drives decision making is that we also see more about the circumstances and potential outcomes.  When we are calm, open and perhaps confident…when w are not fighting ourselves and the fact that we can’t make a decision, we are in a place where decision making becomes clearer and easier.

This is the place where we can trust ourselves and practice new ideas.

The last concept I will leave you with is in the vain of practicing new ideas.  Sometimes effective decision making requires well, decision making.  When we are out of practice it can seem too big to take on.  But through practice we get better at decision making.

To practice consider that what is learned on the backend or through the results of the decision is data.  The act of making the decision creates additional data for us from which to refine future decisions.  AND by making this decision, we will make even better decisions in the future.  What emotion comes up with that thought?  Curiosity maybe.

So if we step out and try something (make a decision) and we fail, what I want you to remember is that this becomes a learning.  This experience of trying and failing becomes a refinement tool for future decision making.

I love the Walt Disney “keep moving forward” quote in the movie Meet the Robinsons.  At one point one of the characters is sharing how valuable failure is to any project.  She says…

“Through failure we learn.  Through success”  and she pauses. “not so much”.

I want you to remember that as you dare to move off of second guess yourself and the situation and into a place where you are willing to make a decision, a strong decision right where you are.  Because from making decisions we step into the believe that life can be different and we have the power to create it our own way.

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Remember everything?

Remember everything?

Remember everything?

When we relocate, we gather up what we our lives and we transport them to the new place.  Medical record, school records, the special shippers for the piano and perhaps even grandma’s china we said we’d ever move again…and we get all of it there.  We have a house, The kids are enrolled in school and we may even know where the peanut butter is in the grocery store.

And then a funny feeling comes, one of loss or like something is missing.  But we look around and everything is here…or is it?

The challenge is that when most of us relocate we only relocate what we can carry or transport.  That is not our whole lives.  It is only part of our lives and why a few weeks or months in most of us have a mysterious feeling of loss or missing.  We can’t quite put our finger on.

It is like we have stumbled upon a hole and

we can’t figure out how to fill it.  

Everything we toss in almost evaporates, like it doesn’t matter.

This hole, this emptiness that is screaming to be filled though doesn’t require things.  It was created when we removed ourselves from our old lives.  There are certain things we do not have the opportunity to move when we relocate.  

At the time it all seems so mundane, so routine but in actuality it was our lives that we are missing and that requires all of us to fill it up.  It requires our whole life, complete and functioning to fill it up to the brim.

Being new we don’t have that anymore.  There are parts of our lives we left behind and that is a function of relocation.  Next week we will talk about the opportunity that this creates.

In order to understand first what is missing, it is best to categorize our lives in to the basic things all the way to the advanced or evolved parts of our lives.

Pyramid of Needs(Life)

 

One of the easiest tools that explains this is one most of us have seen in HS or college.  It is Maslow hierarchy of needs.  In this Maslow breaks apart the aspects of life into 5 areas.  The most interesting thing about the 5 is that none of them can be skipped.  Each one must be in place and solid before the next can be realized.

For example: you can’t realize achieve your full potential while still wondering where the next meal will come from or if it is safe here.

Diagram Description automatically generated

Abraham Maslow’s pyramid of human motivation shows us exactly where we are in our relocation.

What do we do first when decided to relocate?  That right, check Zillow or Realtor.com for home listings.  We start right at the bottom. Our physiological needs – Food, Warmth, Water, Rest.  As we evaluate and choose a community, schools and such we make sure the second of our basic needs are met – Safety and security.

And during the first 2 to 3 months of relocation this where we sit.  Any need above this is not on our radar because we spend our time solidifying our basic needs.  This is what we need to do.  There is a job (financial security) a place to sleep and be warm (physical security) and a place to rest and rejuvenate.  Almost instinctually we start here.

And then the hole appears.

It takes so much energy and active attention solidify the first two needs.  There are little to no resources left to see or even prepare for the others.   We must complete each need level to move on to the next. 

Start Filling the Hole

Belonging.  As we arrive and start getting life set up we do experience basic belonging; the core family, enrolling in school or even our new co-workers.  But that is not the whole belonging package – Belonging is about intimate relationships where we know and are known.

We crave that intimacy of being known outside of our core family.  The challenge here is that these relationships take time and initiative, usually on our part.  To understand the path to intimacy, go back and listen to the previous podcasts on friendships and relationships.  There is a definite path.

Esteem.  Once we belong, we need people to hold us in esteem, to respect us and depend on us for something.  This may come from volunteering at a shelter or giving a strong presentation at work or in the community.  Something as simple as arranging a moms’ coffee every Wednesday after drop off can create this.  We are counted on and are held in high esteem.

Self-Actualization.  A fancy scientific word that means we are meeting our full potential.  We are using our talents and our creative abilities to impact and potentially improve us, and the world around us.  At this point we are being all that we can be, as we are.

Not only are becoming all that we can be, we can see what could be in the future.  We know ourselves and are confident in our abilities.  We are confident being who we are, just as we are.

Remembering to Bring Everything

Though when we move, we cannot bring all of this with us and plug it in.  What we can do is remember what worked for us.  We can remember what lifted us up and the types of relationships and activities that best suited us.

Being all of who we are, just as we are can be a bit challenging as we work to integrate with a new community, with new groups and such.  We may think we have to change to be included.  But there is nothing further from the truth.

Because when we show us as ourselves, just as we are we show up in a way that others can actually connect with us.  We show up in a way that we see the world for what it is and most importantly, we bring into our lives those things and people who help us live in authenticity.

We then live who we are.

In One on One coaching, we work to see the community as it is and who we are without judgement.  

That is important because if we lie to ourselves, we cannot take a strong step toward something different, a life we actually want to lead.  If you would like to short cut the false starts and bumping around in the dark, it is time to schedule that chat with me.

To schedule your Pre-Coach Chat, which is free, click the blue Let’s Chat button at the top of every ReloWomen.com webpage.  Choose a day and time that works for you and let’s look at getting your relocation settled.  

You do not have to walk through this with uncertainty and disconnection.  I can help.

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What is Mindset?

What is Mindset

What is Mindset?

Learn what it is, how it affects life and when change happens

Mindset, it is one of those terms that has been thrown around a lot in the last year.  As our mental states are more and more on display, the talk around how to fix those that go negative becomes more prevalent.  And usually the term “they” use is mindset.

But what is mindset?

Mindset is the way we think about the world, our life, our mommas, our jobs and everything that happens around us.  It is what we use to understand the world around us and even ourselves. 

The reason mindset is such a hot topic right now is because it is the thing that drives how we make sense of, respond, and interact.

Our mindset ultimately drives the results we get at the end of the day.  Now that we are all talking about our challenging emotions in the open, mindset is on the table because that is the key.

What Mindset Is NOT…

Many people think mindset is about engaging our will power, enforcing the rules we set for ourselves and even practicing discipline without error.  Mindset is talked about in terms of to do lists and accountability.

However, mindset is not about to do lists and accountability.  It is not about actions that drive us to meet some result.  As a matter of fact, mindset is not about what we do or do not do, what we create or do not create.  Those things are merely a reflection of our mindset.

Mindset is about values, beliefs and and what we truly want and when we are out of alignment none of those to do lists happen.

Knowing our Current Mindset

One of the best things about mindset is that it can change.  There is a lot of talk these days about brain plasticity, how it can change even ingrained behaviors with direction.  Mindset is part of this.  

The best part of mindset is that changing it is fully within our control.

The first step though is to see where we are.  The easiest way to see the current mindset is to see what results we are getting, seeing the emotions we are having and even examine what we think on a regular basis.  You see our mindset determines all of these things.

Typically, we start in a single area of life say a single relationship or perhaps at our job performance.  When we take a look at these we may come across a feeling of disappointment.  Perhaps our spouse hasn’t washed the dishes for weeks on end.  They don’t discuss it with us.  It is almost like they forgot about the agreement.

Our mindset sets the stage for the play to move forward.  If we make this mean we are not valued.  We make this mean that our needs for help are not respected.  We feel like we don’t have a partner but a roommate and this one is all about taking.

If we go into the next discussion with this mindset, this belief, then what?  The next discussion will be less discussion and more confrontation.  If that is the case then what.  Does anyone feel heard?  Is the situation likely to change? 

I don’t think anyone would feel heard or good about anything that goes on in that case.  And if anything happens, both sides will most likely dig in their heals.  The same situation will perpetuate and now it will be layered up with feeling of disappointment, hurt and aggression anytime the subject is broached.

But what if…the mindset going in is different. 
The thing about mindset is that it can be chosen.

Changing Mindset

Most mindset is on autopilot, because it’s purpose is to help us make sense of the world and our place in it.  This means that it takes effort to see it and accept it (some are ugly), but once we do that is the place from which we can change it.

I know you may just want to jump to the new mindset, but when you do the brain will rebel against it.  It may be executed once or twice, but it will required a lot of effort and push if you will.  Lots of times we think that we will just force it until it happens, but there is a much easier way.

When we see our mindset for what it is we can create a path to the new mindset.  Walking the path is important because the brain typically requires a logical reason and path to the new way of thinking.  By doing it this way what happens is that the new mindset gets wired in.

At first it will be dim but with practice it gets stronger and becomes the first response…rather than the previous and destructive auto-response.

Back to our example. 

What if the new mindset  drove curiosity and connection. 

What if the desired result was to understand and create connection?

Then how would this be walked through?

  • We  might ask questions about understanding the original agreement. 
  • We might ask questions about what got in the way. 
  • Did something change for our spouse? 
  • Did they think it was only for one day or did they know it was going forward? 
  • Did they understand the why behind the request?

When we come to the discussion from this mindset, we are able to see more about situation, see their understanding, and perhaps their intentions.  By doing changing our mindset ahead of time, we can hold this conversation and talk about what we want changed without it being quite so charged emotionally. 

Holding onto a mindset that says they don’t want to support us
will only drive confrontation.
 

What if there were other ways to look at this?  A great first question could be something like “Do you see the dishes problem like I do?”

The funny thing about people is that many times, they do not see the problems we see…as problems.

When someone does not see this thing as a problem, they are less likely to help address it.  This is just the way humans are.  In calm productive conversation perhaps they have a solution that could work just as well.  We don’t know until we ask with openness and curiosity.

Work to be open and use those listening ears.  We don’t have to agree, but through openness and curiosity we are far more likely to resolve whatever the issue is.

EXPLORE MORE

Want to know more about how mindset impacts relocation?  This is what WholeLife Relocation Coaching is all about.  It makes all the difference in settling and building a community. 

CLICK the Let’s Chat Button at the top of the page.  Choose a day and time that works for you and we will talk about where you are and what you want your relocation life to be like as well as the bridge in between.

Have a wonderful week.

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