There’s a graphic I sometimes show clients where I write Belief or Thought or Feeling on one side of a piece of paper and, on the other side, I write Behavior.
Then we draw a line from what they’re imagining has to come first to what outcome they want.
For example, someone might say something like, “If only I could feel more energetic, then I would get back to hiking.” So we draw the line from belief/thought/feeling to behavior.
Or maybe they say, “If only I could get back to painting, then I could feel creative again.” So we draw the line from behavior to belief/thought/feeling.
Thing is, while behavior is often the place of greater agency for most of us – that is, it’s often easier for us to change our behaviors than our beliefs, thoughts, or feelings – wherever we might feel like the easier lift to us on a given topic on a given day turns these two arenas of humaning into a feedback loop, even if it starts spinning painfully slowly at first:
Following this idea, I made myself a list the other day that I called “Things I do Easily When Feeling Good”.
On it are really basic things like flossing my teeth and moving my body.
There are also playful things like making silly faces in the mirror and dancing in the kitchen.
Last week, I also did a whole lot more socializing than is normal in any given week for me – that’s on the list, too.
Making the list was a part of a new guideline for myself: Do the things that I find easy or even automatic when I’m feeling better.
Let me be clear: I’m not feeling poorly, exactly.
I laugh every day. I find meaning in every day. I’m truly and deeply grateful for my work, my home, my pup, my loved ones, and especially Theresa, every day.
I’ve been noticing, though, a lower-than-normal baseline, though.
A shorter fuse.
Once I noticed this (you can read more on this at BizCatalyst360), it instantly became my job to do something about it. That, to me, is one of the major components of adulting – as my friend’s recently-departed grandmother would say, “When you know better, you do better.”
And I am doing better – as in, I’m doing these things and more and as in I’m starting to feel a wee bit better.
I know that’s a step too far for a lot of folks but, for me, sharing has long been an instinctive way I suck the energy from the shame that can threaten to make hard situations harder.
Whatever helps your believe/thought/feeling -> behavior feedback loop spin in positive ways, I wish that for you this week, and always.
And, friend, push back against anything and everything in you that works to keep you from reaching out for support.
None of us can do this life thing alone.
And why would we even try? There are so many caring humans and helpful resources all around…