I’ve been experiencing something new lately. I haven’t been thrilled with it and yet I’m doing the best I can with what I have. Employing self-care. Utilizing my tools. Reminding myself it’s okay and I’ll get through it.
I’m not even sure when it really started. I just know I suddenly began questioning myself and the interactions I had with people. We’d chat and have a pleasant time together. Everything seemed to flow and be positive. The interaction was over and we’d go our separate ways.
And then the insecurities would come flooding in.
Did I say something offensive? Were any of my actions upsetting in any way? Was I too self-focused? Did I ask enough questions about them? Did I reciprocate in the conversation? Did I listen well enough? Did I act, in any way, better than? Oh, gosh, how do I fix it? I don’t even know what I did wrong, but I know I’ve got to fix it.
Here’s a perfect example:
My sister and I were chatting on the phone about our new passions. We had a grand time – both excited about sharing with someone totally into what we had to say. I learned all about her hobby and hopes and the direction she’d like to go. It was inspiring and I wanted to know how I could help and encourage her further. It was awesome.
I shared all about my pottery and how I’m stuck on mugs at the moment. I’m thrilled with how they feel and look – the glazes and handle shapes, the lip feel of different rims, how my tea keeps its heat a little longer if the rim comes in a bit. All the things you don’t think about until you start building them and really analyzing the different aspects. It was a great chat. I loved it.
And the next day she texted to thank me for the education and let me know she now understands why her favorite mug goes cold too fast for her liking. It had been demoted because of the new information. She was being genuine. She was glad to know and happy to start looking for a new favorite mug.
On my side, my brain decided to go in another direction. Immediately I thought, “Oh, gosh. I ruined her favorite mug. I should have kept my mouth shut. Now she’ll be upset with me and how do I fix that?!” I wanted to cry. My response was an apology for the loss of a favorite and verbalization of the fear that I caused her upset. I truly felt horrible. Anxiety-ridden heartache.
This opened up a dialogue. A chance to acknowledge this uncomfortable feeling and she gave me support in letting it go. I shared the experience with my husband. He had no clue I’d been silently dealing with this discomfort and fear. And as I discussed it with him I, once again, reminded myself, “I am responsible for my statements and the intention behind them. I am not responsible for how others react to them.”
In this vein, what are my intentions in my interactions? I live the kindest and most loving life I can lead. The people around me, who know and love me, are fully aware of this fact. And even so, there will be people who don’t like what I do or say. If I allow their reactions (that are influenced by their life experiences) to dictate how and who I am, I become their prisoner.
Over these last couple of months, while I’ve been navigating insecurity and stress, I’ve been my own prisoner.
Coming back to my roots and remembering my intention and hopes is helping me find a little peace in letting go. It’s a work in progress and I’m improving. I don’t know what triggered it, I just know I’m living with and navigating through it.
Thanks for listening – even life coaches can be insecure sometimes and need to vent.