We all know people who seem to have a master's degree in worrying. For me, this was my maw maw. On any given day, she could write an epic about all the things she was currently worrying about and how much pain and suffering everything was causing her.
I was very close to my maw maw as a child and loved her tremendously. But guess what? Even back then I recognized that a lot of the pain and suffering she experienced on a daily basis was self-inflicted.
“The man who says he can, and the man who says he can't are both correct.”
I've seen this quote attributed to Henry Ford, Confucius, and probably numerous other famous people. But regardless of who said it, the message rings true: "The man who BELIEVES he can and the man who BELIEVES he can't are both correct." How we THINK about something (or ourselves) determines our realm of possibility and impossibility.
Most of the things we "worry" about regularly are not actually worth stressing over. But by dwelling on them, labeling them as negative and/or putting them off for an extended period of time, we turn them into boogie monsters in our heads.
Just this week while I was singing for a funeral, I started feeling some significant discomfort in my body from a health issue that has been nagging me. This now familiar, unwelcome feeling can easily make me spiral into "woe is me" mode if I'm not careful. But instead of letting my saboteurs take over, that day I paused to notice my thoughts and feelings in the moment. I noticed the discomfort. I recognized its existence. I heard my inner critic trying to label it as bad--why did I have to deal with this??? But I also recognized that I could not do anything about it in that moment. I knew that no immediate action needed to be taken health-wise. And while I couldn't make it go away, I COULD lesson my pain and suffering in that moment by choosing not to label it as "bad," but to just let it be.
So I did. I experienced the discomfort, but significantly lessoned the momentary pain and suffering that I felt.
If you'd like to strengthen your own mental fitness, I'll be starting a new round of Positive Intelligence coaching in October. Get in touch if you'd like to learn more!
Ashley Orlando is a jazz vocalist/ukulele artist and coach who helps growth-focused leaders find their voice, grow their presence & amplify their impact.