As any of you who’ve been around on Facebook, Instagram or right here know, I’ve spent the past week leading a “What If It Went Right?” challenge.
I had a few goals for doing this challenge (as is usually the case!)
1) I wanted to offer something encouraging to people (especially sensitive-soul, social-justice-oriented educators) who are working hard and feeling a bit beaten down by daily life – and the nightly news.
2) I wanted to invite more people to connect with me, so I can be helpful to more folx.
3) I wanted to challenge myself to be brave and show up on video more – for the above two reasons.
4) And I wanted to do the experiment myself - to see if it helped my mood and my energy.
Re. #4 this week I want to share a little about what I experienced.
A couple of things I learned from asking “What if it went right?” and imagining how some event or interaction I was anticipating could go well (rather than worrying about it or dreading it because I’m thinking about what could go wrong.)
1) Often, just imagining something going right had an immediate positive impact on my emotions. I felt a smile creeping out of the sides of my mouth and little more lightness in my chest.
2) Other times imagining how something could go right gave me an idea of an action I could take that would make that outcome more likely – then I took it! It didn’t even have to be a big worry or a big action – like I was a little nervous about an extended family dinner and as I imagined it going well I remembered that I wanted to have gifts for my niece and nephews, so I got them and then felt excited about them. And then got to share them which was fun!
3) Sometimes, imagining what could go right made me want to wear clothes that went along with that positive possibility...and doing so boosted my mood even more. (I think sometimes this can work the opposite way as well – dress happy, feel happy.)
A couple things I learned from looking for “What went right?” this week.
1) It’s very helpful when your plane makes an unexpected extra stop in Chicago – helps shift focus away from the stress, so at least it doesn’t keep growing bigger!
2) With a slight shift to, “What did I do right?” it’s a lovely way to challenge self-judgement.
I am very resistant to stating what went right when I want to tell ONLY a whiney/bitchy story about all that has gone wrong.