Have you ever thought of an event coming up in the future and just dreaded it? Perhaps it’s something that you’ve done before and you didn’t enjoy it the first time, but somehow you’re back there, doing it again. This happens a lot with family and even pushy friends who don’t want to be alone or left out. Or, maybe you haven’t done it before so you’ve created a whole story around what it’s going to be like; how you will feel, what you will say to those there, even how you will get out early, etc.. How often do we do this? As someone with social anxiety, I catch myself doing it a LOT!

These stories, or as I call it, scenarioizing, cheat us from being in the moment and possibly enjoying any of it, not to mention that they drain our energy! Rarely is there an event that is 100% awful with no redeeming qualities. Even in the worst situations, if we can approach it as a challenge for ourselves to practice acting and responding from our highest, we can come away with a sense of accomplishment. 

If you often find yourself in these situations…

  1. Try shifting your perspective. Approach whatever it is with curiosity instead of dread. For example, instead of thinking, “I don’t want to do this.” try “I wonder who I will meet?” or “I wonder if I will learn something new?”
  2. If you try shifting your perspective and you still end up in miserable circumstances, ask yourself, why do you keep saying “yes” in the first place? Are you afraid of missing out on something? Is it a family or work “perceived” obligation? Just because family or colleagues are expecting you, it doesn’t mean you have to show up for them. It’s THEIR expectations, not yours and you aren’t responsible for fulfilling anyone’s expectations. Tune in and ask yourself, “Do I WANT to go? Do I NEED to go? And if showing up is truly mandatory, can I find a way to make an appearance and then leave?”

And the last thing I will leave you with, remember, concept is not reality. No matter what story we tell in our heads, good, bad or in between, the reality never exactly matches. And in my own experience, it’s often radically different and usually better than the “scenarioizing” I’ve allowed myself to create. So there, now you have a new vocabulary word to match what is happening in your mind. You’re welcome. 🥰


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