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“I don’t handle stress well”

Episode 263
Wildly Successful Lifestyle

LISTEN TO: “I don’t handle stress well”

Hi guys! Welcome to episode 263 of the wildly successful Lifestyle podcast! How’s it going out there? Im glad you’re here.

During one of my guided meditations this last week I was listening to Jeff Warren from the calm app, he has these daily meditations where he walks you through around a 10 min meditation. It’s really good. But this day he was talking about limiting identities.

A limiting identity is a thought or an identity you have about yourself that limits you in some way. We all have them. Some may even be officially diagnosed by a professional. For me mine are simply ones I have given myself. So for instance l always say and have said for a while that “I don’t handle stress well”. This is a limiting belief on my part because whenever I have any stress, I don’t do well with it because I believe I handle it well and therefore I don’t.

So I’m always working on being the best version of myself and sharing that with you to help you also be the best version of yourself too. That’s why I tell stories, because they are so effective in helping us relate and see how it can then apply in our life.

So I know I have this limiting belief that I don’t handle stress well. Now this last week was pardon my French…a shit show. Sorry if you have kids in the car. But I have this really beautiful project that we are trying to drag across the finish line and it just seemed like we couldn’t catch a break, every time we turned around something seemingly catastrophic was happening. Not just little things, big things like a big chip in a bathtub we were supposed to install that day, two very big spots of black grease on our sandstone floors in spite of having been covered really well, delays in mirrors, delays in lights, the wrong white oak being delivered 3 times which held the project up tremendously. And this was all in the last 3 weeks or so. It’s been very stressful. So on one particularly stressful day this week, I found myself driving in my car starting to freak out and I thought ugh I can’t deal with this stress, I don’t handle stress well. There’s that subconscious limiting belief that popped up. But this time I was aware of it. Normally I pick up the phone and tell as many people the story as I can, which dramatizes it and ultimately creates more stress. But then I thought, “Wait a minute, I’m a big girl. I can calm myself down. I can handle this on my own. So I did my breathing exercises, two quick breaths in and one long breath out. This works wonders. And then I started asking myself the right questions. Instead of why is this project doomed? Why don’t people care anymore? I asked Those are not going to have good answers. Have I done everything I can for this project to succeed? The answer is yes. Are the challenges out of my control? They are. Is the project ultimately coming together and is it going to look fabulous when it does? 100% yes. Is another one or two day delay the end of the world? No. What’s the ultimate reason for my stress? It’s the feeling that I’m letting down my client. Ok so am I letting them down or am I managing the circumstances as best I can. I’m managing them as best I can. So whats left at this point to do? Communicate with my client, so that she stays in the loop because people are generally reasonable as long as you’re communicating and they know you’re on it and it will ultimately be fine. So I made the call to my client and she said Heidi, I think you are more stressed about the delays than we are and it’s our bathroom that’s out of commission. I laughed and told her that was most certainly the truth. She then said we know that you’re doing everything you can and we also know that with you involved the end product will be worth the wait. You see I was marinating in my own stress but once I just broke it down, I was doing everything I could, the only thing I needed to do was communicate to the client because that was the thing stressing me the most. And that’s what I did.

That was a proud moment for me because I have been telling myself for years that “I don’t handle stress well” when I actually can handle stress just fine. I just proved that to myself. Sometimes we have these identities and it causes us to set lower expectations for our life. And it causes us to limit our own possibilities because we believe we aren’t good at it or we can’t change it, so we fall into habits that don’t serve us.

So if I just keep leaning on Eric or my friends when I’m stressed I’m teaching myself and confirming that I need something or someone outside of me in order to handle stress Which puts me in a victim mentality and leaves me dependent on others. It can also cause me to want to avoid stress altogether by playing small. At one point in the car I wondered why I was even doing big projects like this at all when it’s so stressful. But that’s playing small. That’s backing myself away from success for fear of being uncomfortable.

So what limiting ideas or thoughts do you have about yourself?

I’m destined to be overweight
I don’t like working out
I don’t like people or
People don’t like me
I’m not good with money
I just can’t get ahead
I don’t have enough time

These are all very common and very limiting.

When we have these beliefs they subconsciously make us powerless in that area. I don’t know about you but I don’t want to feel powerless. I want to feel empowered. I can empower myself. I’m not going to excuse myself to go back to my old habit of expecting or wanting someone or something to soothe me when I’m stressed so that I call Eric or Donna or Molly or I stop and grab a Twix bar. That’s an old habit. That’s my body taking over, not my intentional mind. And you might be thinking what’s wrong with calling a friend when you’re stressed, nothing. That’s not the point. The point is…I want to change my relationship to stress and I can’t do that by going back to my old habits. Your body has strong memory programming. So the next time I’m stressed my brain will offer me thoughts like just grab the phone e. Call Eric. He always makes it better. Or oh there’s a Twix bar at the register, that will make it better. Those are our programming that’s wired in that we have to overcome. It’s my old habit to grab the phone or grab sugar. It is so automatic, I don’t even know I’m doing it. Think about how you automatically grab for your phone when you’re bored or stressed or idle in any way. Or why a certain smell like for me the plastic smell of a brand new pool float reminds me of summer when I was a kid. That’s a long time ago. If you want to make a change it has to be intentional and it won’t be easy at first but it will get easy the more you train yourself. If your limiting belief is “I’m destined to be overweight” and you are wanting to change that, you have to be intentional with your mind because your body will send you signals that you’re hungry or cravings all day long and your brain will give you thoughts like let’s start eating healthy tomorrow or just one bite won’t hurt, you will be used to giving in because it’s useless not to because you’re destined to be overweight anyway. But when you change that thought to “I’m the first in my family to be fit and eat for nutrition” your body will still have those cravings at first and eventually they will subside, but now you have a belief that gives you power over them, rather than making you powerless to them.

When you hear people say that you create your own reality. Here is what they mean. Your thoughts create your feelings your feelings cause your actions and your actions are what creates your reality.

My challenge to you is consider one limiting identity or thought you have about yourself and do one thing to prove it’s not true. Show yourself even just one time intentionally that it’s not true and when you do that, you’ve just empowered yourself to do it again and again when you see it’s possible. Because it is. You’re more powerful than you know, you just have to get out of your own way.

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I love you guys. I’ll talk to you in a few days.

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