I’d like to share one of my stories from a day last week that didn’t start quite right for me. When you face challenging situations early in a day, AKA triggers, they have the power to influence you in real time. And, if you are not aware and conscious of what is happening, they can impact your entire day. On this particular day, I found myself triggered and frustrated early. Had I not realized it and course corrected, it would have negatively impacted my morning and likely the rest of my day.
The first thing I do after waking is meditate. I go to a specific room in my house, lay on the couch, launch my meditation app and start my meditation. On this particular day, the app did not launch. Instead, it locked me out with a message that said, “login invalid.” I tried again. No luck. Again. No luck. Instead of meditating, my inner thoughts were, “WTF, this is bullsh$t!” I tried one more time. No luck again as my negative thoughts continued, “Well this sucks, now what do I do, damn it?!”
My emotions were a combination of anger, frustration and anxiety. As soon as I realized it, I knew there was an issue and my entire morning was at risk.
When you look at something and think, “man, that person really has it all together,” know that two things are likely true:
- What you see on the outside is not the full picture. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
- We all have our trials and struggles. Nobody is perfect, even if their outward appearance appears to be.
Luckily, the morning my app failed, I realized I was letting negative emotions take over, and I stopped. I reframed my story, downloaded a meditation playlist from Amazon Music, put on my headphones, set a timer, focused on breathing and let it all fade. 25 minutes later, I was refreshed and heading into stretching and yoga. My morning was salvaged.
Nobody is perfect. Everyone fails, many times over. Anyone trying to display an image of perfection likely has the most work to do, while those who are open and honest about failures have achieved the most growth in their lives.
We must stop believing others are perfect, and we must stop expecting ourselves to be perfect. Instead, we must learn to accept the lack of perfection as fact and accept our failures as opportunities to prove to ourselves that we can get back up, learn from our mistakes and continually get better.
After overcoming my meditation hurdle, I thought I was finished with my early morning challenges. But wait. After stretching and yoga, I did some journaling, as I always do. Then I checked my email and calendar… “Wait, what? I have a meeting at 8am?!”
I try to make sure I know about early morning or lunch meetings in advance so I can adjust my routine accordingly. So, when I saw the 8am meeting on my calendar, I thought to myself, “WTF?! Someone is trying to hijack my morning, and this will take away my ability to do the run that I was planning!” (Enter feelings of anger, blame and frustration.)
While I didn’t immediately recognize the thoughts as negative, I felt the emotions and knew I had to do something.
Failure can be a trigger moment. When failure is upon us, we choose the story we will tell ourselves and the emotions it creates. If we go negative, we may end up with anger, resentment, contempt, shame, blame or guilt clouding our minds. When this happens – and it will – this is the point of attack during which we need to reframe the failure and find a new perspective on what has and will happen. If we don’t, we run the risk of riding the elevator from the bottom floor, and from there we must take the stairs back up.
After reframing my thoughts, I realized my morning would be okay. I did a short set of burpees (as many as I could complete in 10 minutes) and was ready for my 8am meeting. Problem solved, and my morning was back on track.
It turned out to be a super productive day.
There are triggers all around us, especially in these unique times when the news cycle is very negative. As a result, it’s very easy to get triggered and have a story or belief take hold with negative thoughts to follow. Recognizing those negative thoughts arise is your point of attack to reframe.
SPOT – STOP – SWAP
Every day, the wild is our classroom, and we go out into the wild with a mindset. That mindset ultimately determines how productive we will be with our time that day and what we will learn in the classroom.
Control the beliefs and thoughts at the top of the waterfall. Swap out negative thoughts for positive stories. Elevate your experience in the classroom today, and learn something that enhances your life and helps you grow.