A couple of Saturday nights ago Ryan and I had people over for dinner.
Although I have zero cooking talent and am also a vegetarian, I found two recipes on Food Network’s website that I wanted to tackle. The first was beef tenderloin with red wine sauce and the second was blue cheese Yorkshire puddings.
After a few near disasters, I was able to get all the food on the table, and as far as I know, everyone enjoyed the feast.
Once dinner was through, I pulled out my high school yearbook. And as the book made a few rounds around the table, I suddenly remembered how much I hated high school.
Between the chaos in my family, the drama at school (there were a lot of mean girls and guys) and my depression and anxiety struggles, it’s not a period in my life I look back on fondly.
But even though, at that time, I wanted to dig a deep hole in the ground and disappear until it was all over, I knew instinctively that high school was just an unfortunate blip on the screen of my life. I knew that there was a larger world outside of my small town that I wanted to explore. But knowing this didn’t stop me from obsessing over the handful of people, in my daily life, who made high school an absolute hell.
By choosing to focus on these people I was voluntarily keeping my world small. I guess at that time I didn’t have the maturity or support to keep my eyes on the prize as the saying goes.
Fast forward too many years to admit to later, and although my world has expanded in ways that I never imagined possible, there are a small handful of people in my life today that I obsess over. And the other day I realized that it’s the same harmful obsession that kept my world teeny tiny in high school.
Focusing today on the things these three people say that piss me off and annoy me is keeping my world small. The main difference now is I’m an adult, and I get to choose whether or not these people get to rent space in my head for free.
So why am I not making the choices I have the power to make? Why with all that is going on in the world today and the billions of people that walk this earth every day am I giving these three insignificant people the power to ruin my day? Why am I choosing to keep my world so damn small?
If you can relate to any of what I just shared, you’re not alone. And while I don’t have all the answers and I’m working my way through this mess right along with you, I do have a few simple questions that may help you create the awareness you need to take back your power.
#1 Who are the people in your life, right now that consume most of your headspace? Who are the people (or person) that keep your world small?
#2 How often are they on your mind? You may need to carry around a notebook to keep track of how often your thoughts fall on these people or person. If you decide to give this idea a try keep your journal handy for a week and every time this person or people pop in your head write down their name and what you were thinking about them.
#3 Once you have a solid idea who your obsession is and how often you think about them ask yourself what you could be thinking about instead? Could it be that trip you’ve wanted to plan? That book you’ve wanted to read? That project at work you want to take on? Think about the space that you could create in your life if so and so wasn’t consuming your mind for negative reasons.
#4 What one small action could you take today to pull your focus away from that person, or people, who you allow to keep your world small? Whether it’s an affirmation you create or a walk you take the challenges are going to be keeping the action small, consistency and remembering this whole process is an experiment. Keep playing around with these questions until you figure out the answers that make the best sense for you.
Until next Tuesday,