When I find myself in a challenging situation, I ask myself a very simple question.
But before I get to what that question is, let me give you an example of when I’ve found myself asking it.
I don’t know how to read a map. I have absolutely zero sense of direction. I hate getting lost. I also hate being late. This is a (very) dangerous combination. And it happens to me quite often – I find myself in a new city (or a new part of town), I’m on my way to a client or a meeting, and I’m terrified of getting lost and/or arriving late.
I also hate cycling next to someone. Especially my kids. I never learned how to ride a bike NEXT to someone I gave birth to, with my arm on their back, helping them move forward on their precious, tiny legs. I’m not a Dutch mom. I am so scared I will fall and take my kids down with me. My kids are now 22 and 18. They are big and strong and (thanks to their dad!) excellent and confident cyclists. They know mom has to cycle BEHIND them, never next to them. We all cycled together last night. In the dark. To a new place.
So…when these challenging situations, which might seem small to someone else (they are big to me, because they are MINE, thank you very much), I started asking myself one simple question:
‘What would easy look like here?’
That’s it. What would easy look like in this situation?
What words would I use if this was easy for me?
How would I stand, what would my posture look like?
What would someone be thinking if they thought this was easy?
So I started to apply this.
It means I would leave extra early.
It means I would not hold the handlebars too tight.
It means I would pretend it was not such a big deal.
And I would act like it was easy.
So this is what I’ve been doing. Acting like something is easy for me when it’s actually not. And it truly helps me make these situations easier to cope with, and then, they actually become…easier to do.
And guess what? I’ve been using this technique with some of my clients. One of them was terrified to get up and speak in a group. She had always delegated it, and feared having to speak up at meetings or (gasp) give a presentation. All eyes on her. Horror of horrors.
I asked her to say ‘What would easy look like?’ while she was preparing (and delivering!) her next talk.
She asked herself, then acted like it was easy.
And then she could not believe how relaxed she felt, not just in her body but also in her mind. She felt her spirit and her soul actually loosen up for the first time in far too long.
She spoke up.
She spoke out.
She texted me the next morning – ‘OMG why didn’t I do this sooner?! It was actually FUN to do! I’m going to use this with my kids!’
So, my dear, ask yourself this the next time you are worried or stressed about a challenging situation.
Have a super week!
May it be full of fun challenges.