I have an important question for you to think on. How often do you judge other people and react to them based on your judgment (read: get irritated/annoyed/upset with them) because they are prioritizing something differently than you? Think about it. Be honest. Sucks to admit, but this happens to me more than I’d like.
We’ve all been there. How many times have you been mad about something your spouse did or didn’t do? Something your extended family member chose not to do even though you wanted them to do it?
Here’s a recurring one for me: Sometimes when we are traveling for something, we will tell family we will be in town. If it doesn’t work out, I will admit that sometimes, my initial (my gut reaction) can be negative- haha (Read: indignant, annoyed, and judgmental) 🙂 Hey, I’ve never claimed to be perfect. I am perfectly imperfect- a work of art that will never be fully complete. But I digress.
Listen- the event or the precipitating factor is actually neutral. It doesn’t have any juice or meaning to it until we give it a story. That story generates an emotional response within us and then we often have some sort of action as a result. But we get to decide what story we create. We decide what our response is to the event in front of us.
It can be pretty knee-jerk also, and I find that this happens a lot with our kids or with extended family in general. Another common example for us is that we will consciously limit the amount of travel we do with the kids. So the event is: saying no to extended family about traveling to some gathering.
Our family may have responded with sadness, with irritation, with anger, with indignance OR they may have totally been fine about it (but usually it is a response of laying on the guilt trips and mild indignance. Don’t tell them I said that).
They are assigning meaning to our decision. They may have thought “they obviously don’t care as much about family time as we do.” Because they value family time so much that they personally WOULD have made the drive. They may have judged because our choice was out of alignment with what they would have done. We simply have different priorities- no better or worse. We weigh the pros and the cons and we come up with a different conclusion. Sometimes what feels right and good to us is NOT what feels right or good to others. And that’s ok.
If you can get there and get there quickly, if you can realize those nasty gremlin thoughts and turn it around, embracing a more supportive, kinder, more compassionate and more understanding approach, you will have a better, happier life filled with more of the same- more kindness shown to you, more compassion, and more understanding. If you can intentionally observe and choose a neutral perspective, where other people’s choices are not about you, and simply notice them, notice your preference, and love them anyways, I promise you it will be a game changer.
Today’s challenge- next time you find yourself irritated with someone, ask yourself what priority of yours is different than theirs. See how quickly you can spot it. Then give yourself a high five for being so awesome and aware. Then forgive yourself for the pissy thoughts you initially had. Then text them that you love them to make yourself feel better. Then continue forward with your day of awesomeness. Rinse and repeat. 🙂
Jamie Goins (ok heh that’s me) is a transformational life & business coach extraordinaire, training expert & founder of Intentional Perspective. ::Switching to 1st person:: If Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels ever had a love child, you’d probably get someone like me- not me, but close. 😉 It is my absolute passion to provide support, guidance, accountability, and encouragement to small business owners, mom-preneurs and others on their journey to gain clarity, discover new opportunities and achieve their highest aspirations. I love life, love having fun, and love helping others be outrageously successful. Come join me on my playground!