Updated: Sep 15
The other day, a friend called me to ‘vent’ about his current situation. For 30 minutes, he proceeded to tell me everything that was ‘wrong’ with his life; basically, he is overwhelmed (been there, done that…right?). About halfway through our call, I started to notice a pattern – everything he was stressed and complaining about was metaphorical, NONE of it had happened or even existed. Maybe this sounds weird, who gets stressed about imaginary things? Um…everyone. Think of how many times you’ve heard someone say, “I just already know that my dinner with so-and-so on Thursday is going to be a shitshow because all they do is talk about themselves”, no? How about, “my rent is going to go up in a few months and I’m really stressed about it” …or my personal favorite, “I’m never going to find someone to love/marry/have children with”. Get it?
Today’s conversations are so inundated with talk of the future, what-if’s and constant ‘planning’ - it is no wonder we are all so stressed, overwhelmed and feeling quite literally out of control. Once I realized what my friend was doing, I stopped him mid-sentence, “you do realize that none of what you’re talking about exists in real life, right?
What your stressed about is all in your head”. Silence.
See, here’s the thing…our minds are FUCKING POWERFUL, for better or for worse. We see, speak & think things into existence every day, our mental worries manifest themselves into the physical realm and we convince ourselves that things will go wrong because we want to be prepared for the worst. We never want our expectations to be too high, too optimistic, too promising. So, we set ourselves up for things to be stressful and negative and boring and annoying and painful until…they are exactly that.
We are so deep in our own reeling thoughts that we don’t allow that Thursday night dinner to be fun and just a great excuse to practice patience, we block ourselves from receiving money that will cover the rent upcharge and we radiate energy that tells a prospective lover, to kindly fuck off. Are you seeing how intense the power of the mind is? Take a minute to examine your life as it is right now – think about the things you feel stressed about, have they happened yet? Or are you willing negative situations into your life? Interesting to think about, right? If you saw things going amazingly well - expecting that you are going to get the most out of experiences, that you are going to make more money that you could ever spend and that the love of your life is waiting for you around the corner – would your life play out differently?
Oh wait, but what if you get disappointed?! Come on.
You are strong, you are resilient, you have bounced back from so many ‘disappointing’ things and you are now better for it. That’s life. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather shoot my shot 10 times and miss one than think of all the reasons it won’t get in the hoop, stress myself out, get discouraged and then end up walking off the court. By stressing over the future and being worried about disappointment, you might be missing out on the victory, accomplishment and joy of 9 shots going in. What if those shots were 9 new friends you meet through the chatty girl at dinner or 9 times the amount of money you’re making now or better yet, 9 dates with an amazing person who you are starting to fall in love with? Just saying. Shoot your shot.
Devyn Penney is a certified life & intimacy coach and the author of, "Mastering the Art of Internal Intimacy". This blog is dedicated to ending small talk by having Big Conversations, "the only way we connect is through love, empathy and an open line of communication".