Last week I was sitting in the doctor’s office for 4 hours, waiting to get my blood drawn.
That nasty glucose test you have to take if you’re pregnant? Nastier if you have to do the long version of a needle in your arm every hour.
And I knew I had to take this test. I knew it for a whole week and I was just MISERABLE about it. Snappy, grumpy, and a fucking delight to be around.
I know enough mindset tricks by now to recognize when I’m in a foul mood. And I can usually work myself out of it by journaling through what’s going on (million dollar stress hack - get it out on paper).
But sometimes I ignore it (like this one) and allow myself to just wallow. There are times you gotta do things you don’t wanna do, right? Suck it up and move on with life, even if you’re uncomfortable. It will end. Life will go on. No one is dying.
I had other things to do that week, so I neglected to process this feeling, and while it seems like a very small inconvenience (it was), it’s a GREAT example of how our brains can run away with our emotions if left unchecked.
The morning of the test, I’m in the shower anticipating the hunger I’m going to feel.
Did I mention they make you fast for 12 hours? It’s not the end of the world unless you’re pregnant, already cranky, haven’t slept, and got sick the last time you had to do this.
(See what I mean?)
And in that moment of early solitude, I finally started asking myself WHY I was freaking out so badly about this.
I was annoyed it was happening at all. I’d been fine with my 2 other kids.
I’d been eating much better with this pregnancy and taking better care of myself. Hell, I’d only gained 8 lbs so far. (The nurse told me this had nothing to do with it, but it still felt unfair)
I didn’t want to feel sick all day… AGAIN. It was like that feeling you have in college when you stay up all night working on a project and then force your way through the day on an entire pot of coffee.
I’m already hungry. What if I pass out? What if I vomit? What if it goes terribly wrong and I have to do this AGAIN? Lord help me.
100 other things I won’t list here like traffic, a stabby lab lady, no outlets for my laptop, etc.
Whine whine whine! I’m the victim! Poor me!
All of these negative thoughts swirled around in my head for a WEEK. Logically, I know people do this all the time, no one dies, you will get through it, it’s not like you’re NOT gonna do it, just fucking CHILL out, man. And I have this argument with myself because I don’t want to take the time to do the work.
It finally hits me (in the shower)...
This is actually a GIFT.
I was just gifted with 4+ hours of alone time.
No kids will be there to interrupt me.
I have plenty of time to get anything done that I want if/before the sugar crash happens.
I have wifi access and all of my tech stuff with me to entertain me.
Omg this is gonna be GREAT! It’s like a mini vacation!
… And I got on that train of thought instead.
Yes it might be uncomfortable for a little while, but I have a million distractions and more time than I usually have to do what I need to do today, all before noon.
I could have chosen this thought path days before, but I was too busy feeling sorry for myself.
We can always choose. There are great things inside of the uncomfortable things if we choose to look for them.
It’s easier to look for - and find - the negative... but we end up using our energy on worry or fear. And then we take it out on the people around us.
It can be inconsequential little things that just feel like a pain in the ass, but we give them immense power to lurk in the back of our brains and not even realize what’s going on.
Your brain is not programmed to find the positives. It’s programmed to look for dangers and problems in order to keep you alive. You have to intentionally override this survival mechanism.
But the point is - you have the power to do so.
Which is why it’s important to KEEP NOTICING. Even when you think you’ve mastered this mindset game? You haven’t. It goes on forever. You’re always going to be going another level deeper, until you die.
I created this graphic (at the top) for you while I was sitting in the waiting room as a reminder that things are happening FOR you, not TO you… if you’re willing to look.
We have to stop long enough to see it.
We have to choose it.
We have to decide we’re not going to sit in our shit pile and be a victim.
We have to search for the gift.
It’s always there, trying to show us something important about ourselves.
And what I learned is that it has the power to alter your entire day.
I chose to see my undesirable task at hand in a new light.
I ended up feeling fine.
None of those horrible things happened (they almost never do).
Time flew by.
I made friends with the lab lady.
Bonus: I found a vending machine with cherry coke on my way out (my favorite).
You can choose to look at things completely differently than how you’re seeing them right now.
You are not the victim, no matter how MUCH it might feel like that’s the case. You always have the opportunity to change your position and search for what the universe is trying to teach you right now.
It’s not always easy or fun to do this. I can think of hundreds of times when I just needed to be mad, hurt, or blame someone else in the moment. It also doesn’t mean we don’t have real feelings and just put on a brave front. That’s not real.
You have the power to choose the thoughts that are running around in your brain. You can change them anytime. Even if it takes you a week to notice they even exist.
Once you do, you can flip it around and find the silver lining in anything. And when that happens, you’re back in the driver’s seat of your life.
Save this graphic at the top. Use it as your background on your phone to remind yourself daily that it’s all FOR you and your evolution as a person.