Stop running #TheRunningWriter

Stop running

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When I’m faced with something uncomfortable, one of my first instincts is to run. Avoid the discomfort.

I think it’s that way for a lot of people. It’s difficult to stay and talk things through. To try and find middle ground.

It’s easier to keep distant. Keep the issue out of sight. Because out of sight is out of mind right?

Wrong.

We actually focus on it more, but what happens is we focus on all the bad and hurtful things that person has done to us. Then, as we focus on the bad stuff, the incidents get worse and worse because my anger builds and builds.

Kind of like what happens when you catch a fish. Each time you tell the story, the fish gets bigger and bigger. The struggle to land the creature morphs into a feat as big as landing a shark.

I know I’ve had my fish stories for sure. I think lots of people have.

Why is that?

I believe it’s because in our anger and pain, we zero in on how bad we have it. How bad things are. How hurt we are and it builds. Intensifies. Bleeds into everything.

We forget all the good things we had with that person. All the good memories. All the love and support shown. It’s almost like the anger and pain blot the good stuff from our memories.

It’s easy to focus on the hurt and anger and all the bad. It’s safer. It’s like a protective shield around your heart.

That’s a lonely place to be.

I know when I’m stuck in my anger and hurt, I have to consciously remember the good things. I have to work at seeing it through the thick, heavy anger.

But for each good thing you look at, a crack in the anger appears. It allows some light in. If it takes you having to write down one or two good things about the person you’re angry with, do it. Each day focus on a couple. Crack through the wall a little at a time.

Hopefully sooner than later you can work through your issues. Because you just never know how quickly the chance to make amends with someone you love might be taken from you through an unexpected tragedy.

So stop running.

Sine your light #TheRunningWriter

Shine your light.

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Disappointment is like a dark, cancerous sludge. It can spread into every aspect of your life. It can cloud every thought, action, and deed. It can dim even the brightest of days. It can dash dreams and douse hope’s fire.

If you let it.

While disappointment is powerful, you are, too. You can blast through that tarry sludge.

Disappointment taints our thoughts. Literally brings them down because we hyper-focus on the event that disappointed us. As we do that, our thoughts turn negative.

I can’t believe this happened. I can’t do anything to change it. I’m weak. It is my fault. Why even bother. Life isn’t fair.

See how those just keep getting worse?

When you start verbally punishing yourself, focus on switching the thoughts up.

I can survive this. I’m strong. I’m worthy. Then you can be more solution-focused when tackling the issue.

Positive actions can help, too. When we’re locked in our disappointment, we‘re often very self-focused.

Helping others is a good way to step out of that. It can give you clarity and energy. It can get you off that couch and away from heaviness that accompanies disappointment.

Do not give disappointment power over you, your thoughts or your behaviors. You are strong. You are powerful. You are worthy.

Let the criticism come. #TheRunningWriter

Let the criticism come.

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“You’re going to fail.” That’s what I heard from my college advisor one day during a meeting about me wanting to go to grad school.

That’s not what she said, but she did have some tough feedback for me when I told her I wanted to go on to get my PhD in psychology. But all I heard was that I wouldn’t get in. That I’d fail. That I wasn’t smart enough.

It’s hard to hear criticism. It hurts. But it also motivates.

A little backstory: I graduated high school with a fairly low GPA. At one point it was only 2.1.

I got into college on probation, and I think I mainly got in because the tennis coach pulled some strings.

I think it was at the end of my second year there that my advisor said I didn’t have what it took to get into grad school.

Instead of letting that knock me down, it motivated me. I worked hard, and I ended up graduating with honors.

And then I applied to grad school. Took me three tries, but I got into grad school and I graduated with honors. I didn’t go on to my PhD, but that’s ok. I probably could have if I’d wanted to, but my goals changed.

I’m here to tell you that you shouldn’t be scared of criticism. It’s meant to help you. Make you stronger. Had that advisor never told me I probably wasn’t grad school material, I might have just slouched through undergrad like I did high school.

Criticism isn’t bad. It can sting but it can motivate you! If you let it.

So let the criticism come.

Humble is the new sexy #TheRunningWriter

Humble is the new sexy

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There’s just something about humility that makes me smile.

I had to look up the word to see what it “officially” meant.

Humble: not proud or arrogant; modest

And that led me to look up another word.

Modest: free from ostentation or showy extravagance.

I think showy, bragging, and ostentatious people jump out to me because it feels fake. Like the person is trying to hide inadequacies or insecurities.

That makes me a little sad for two reasons: 1) they don’t love themselves and 2) they don’t trust me enough to be real with me.

We all have insecurities, struggles and inadequacies, and hiding behind showy and boisterous behaviors really isn’t hiding. We can see through it.

It’s ok to be super rich, super sexy, super athletic, super whatever, but it’s what you do with it that counts.

Focusing on other people is key to staying humble. Finding out their stories, learning about their lives. Posting pictures of other people instead of only yourself. Donating time to serving people in need.

I think we get stuck in showy when we are in the me, me, me mode, hyper-focusing on ourselves.

Shift the focus and you’ll take a step into humility.