Have you ever had one of those moments when, in an instant, you question everything about your life?
In this (awesome) podcast with Vanessa Van Edwards, she says, for her, it happens like this: she's sitting in traffic and starts to think about how much she dislikes her commute. Suddenly she's wondering why she commutes every day. Does she even like her job? Should she quit? Should she move to Hawaii, where she'll never have to commute, and teach surfing?
In a matter of seconds, one action forces her to spiral into questioning everything.
For me, it looks like this: Katie (generic name!) has not called me back in a few weeks. Is she mad at me? Wait, I haven't talked to any of my long-distance friends in weeks. Is everyone mad at me? Do they even like me? Am I not a fun person? Have people been lying to me for years and they aren't actually my friends?
These moments are important because they help us see what we really value.
One of my greatest insecurities is worrying that people don't like me. For someone else, it might be having an impactful career, being perceived as capable or having a job they enjoy.
In the podcast, Vanessa talks about how, when we're having a moment of insecurity, we can stop the spiral by practicing gratitude. If we do it enough, eventually, our brains will be reprogrammed to trigger toward thankfulness, as opposed to insecurity.
I thought this was amazing!
I'm a huge believer that gratitude, joy and optimism are habits. While certain people have a more natural inclination toward them, I've always subscribed to the idea that everyone has great capacity for joy.
She said when she's sitting in traffic she thinks about everything in her life she's grateful for. It has changed her commute to the degree that, now, when she gets stopped at the same red light every day, she looks forward to it.
When I'm feeling insecure, lately I've been thinking about all of the beautiful friendships in my life. The practice has been so fulfilling and I thought I'd share the insights with you. Happy grateful Wednesday!
I am thankful for you!