Do we need to toughen up?

I realized over the weekend that I was being oversensitive about a particular issue. I was worried and anxious about something that wasn’t worth losing sleep over.

The truth is, I’ve been going through a bit of a rough patch lately.

Nothing major, just enough to temporarily throw me a bit off balance. On a positive note, I am firing on all cylinders again now.

This rough patch got me thinking. It forced me to ask the question. Do I need to toughen up?

Here are some thoughts to consider if you feel like you need some toughening up.

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Don’t take things so personally

When I was working for a sales company in Sydney the new secretary turned to me one day and said, ‘How can you let the salespeople treat you like that?’

I remember being shocked at the time. The truth was sometimes the salespeople would get extremely bossy and irritable. But it wasn’t really at me.

Half the time it was simply a release valve for the stress they were under to perform. My answer to my coworker was simply – ‘Don’t take it personally.’

My coworker took every raised voice, every bit of abruptness, and every cranky salesperson as a personal attack.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe in people treating their staff poorly and now I am older and wiser (and better at standing up for myself) I realize there were times I should have put the odd salesperson in their place.

Despite that, I know that most of the anxiety buzzing around the office at month-end cut off was nothing personal against me.

Feel like you need some help building up your resilience? CreativeLive has a great online course, How to Be Bold, Resilient and Better Than Ever that can help. This course is run by Tabatha Coffey. Tabatha can help you identify your fears, work through your failures and mistakes and become more resilient to setbacks. We all fall down but it’s how we bounce back that really counts.

Have a look at the course curriculum to see if it suits your needs.

Stop obsessing

I was going to write a full blog post about this topic this week (and I still might at some stage). Last week I went through a minor obsessing stage. 

Someone disappointed me and I couldn’t get it out of my mind. I thought about it every day. Not all day, every day – just a few minutes a day. Just enough to be mildly annoying and at times distracting.

Eventually, I spoke to the person and everything was fine.

The result – I had obsessed for a week over absolutely nothing. Imagine what else I could have done with that energy.

Related postHow to Stop Obsessing

Understand It’s Not Always About You

I had a conversation with a friend recently. He thought he had done something wrong and I was upset with him.

I kindly had to say to him, ‘I mean this in the nicest way, but it’s not always about you.’

While he was worrying he had done something wrong, I was just having a bad week, which had nothing at all to do with him.

Ask yourself, how many times have you worried about what someone was thinking, only to find out it was something else entirely and not at all related to you?

An example is when you get called into the boss’s office and your first thought is, “What have I done?”

Related postIt’s Not All About You

Stop Worrying About Every Little Thing

Let’s face it, life gives us enough big-ticket items to worry about.

Don’t add to that by worrying about the small crap.

I used to be a shocking worrier. A ‘worry wart’ I think they called them.  I’m much better now but I still have my moments.

Take a deep breath, reassess the situation and ask yourself, ‘Is this really worth worrying about?’ Most of the time the answer will be no.

Related postHow to Worry Less

Stop Complaining

Admittedly we can all be prone to a whine now and then. Fair enough.

But if you are one of those people who constantly complain (about everything and anything), you should know you are probably driving everyone else around you a bit nuts.

Now would be a good time to stop.

At the very least, cut back.

Related post – Do We Talk Too Much About Our Problems? Time To Talk About Our Joys

Let go of the unimportant

Thankfully, I don’t consider myself a grudge-holder. Occasionally my friends even tell me I forgive people too easily.

Holding a grudge doesn’t help anyone. In most cases, it will just make you a bitter and possibly physically sick person.

As they say, life is too short.

It doesn’t mean you need to forgive everyone either. Sometimes it is more about letting go of negative feelings.  Mostly, it’s about moving on.

Many people think when they are holding a grudge against someone, they are somehow hurting them. That’s rarely the case. The other person is more than likely going about their life as normal. The grudge holder is more likely to be the one that gets hurt carrying all of that negative emotion and energy around.

Think of a new parent. Though I am not a parent myself, I am reasonably sure once that new baby comes into your life, your priorities change. Dramatically. I doubt if new parents worry about the same trivial stuff they used to.  They suddenly have a much bigger picture in mind.

If you feel your life could benefit from a lot less judgment, I suggest reading Judgment Detox: Release the Beliefs that Hold You Back from Living a Better Life by Gabrielle Bernstein.

Stop Being a Drama Queen (or King)

We’ve all met these people, haven’t we? They come rushing up to us with an apparently HUGE problem. Then you find out what the problem is. Granted everyone’s problems are important to them. 

But come on…

I know I’ve had my Drama Queen moments. Probably more than I would care to admit. Hopefully, none of my close friends or ex-boyfriends will write in and give examples – because I definitely know there are some!

There definitely comes a point where you need to shake that persona off.

The interesting thing about drama queens is that their problems are usually self-generated. Their bad behavior has a habit of causing more problems and issues.  A bit like the domino effect.

This is one of the reasons, I am not a big fan of reality television. Other than the fact that most of them are rat experiments (put a bunch of people together in a confined environment and watch them turn on each other) they encourage the drama queen syndrome.  They are all about overreacting to one crisis after another.   The problem is the crisis is so trivial, most times I just don’t care about the outcome.

Related postAre You Creating Drama in Your Life?

Focus Internally

All too often we become fixated on what is happening in someone else’s life. Most of the above examples generally focus on other people (external forces).

Bring the focus back to you.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean that you should become fixated on yourself in an unhealthy way. This isn’t about scrutinizing your looks or weight, or dwelling on your insecurities.

It’s more of a mental thing.

Focus on the positive outcomes you want to produce in your own life. Get clear on what you want and what makes you happy.

Focus on your mental toughness and inner strength.

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