“I shouldn’t feel that way.”
“They shouldn’t do that.”
...The two thoughts that cause me the most suffering, hands down.
In either case, I’m arguing with reality. This party is hip and filled with interesting people, and I should want to stay (even if the reality is that my jeans are too tight and I can’t find a sincere connection.) The people I’m creating a product for should dedicate time to self development. (Well, the reality is that they want inspiration with no effort on their part.)
When we focus on what we wish was happening right now instead of what is happening, we are no longer able to interact creatively with reality.
It doesn’t mean that we hop on out of the party the minute we notice we feel uncomfortable. It also doesn’t mean that we see a crappy situation and insist on marinating in it . But simply accepting a feeling or a situation (“Huh! I feel so uncomfortable right now”) creates space for responding accordingly. (“I’m going to try swapping this wine for some peppermint tea and go talk to that woman in the purple stockings.”) It’s when we reject the reality of what is happening that we’re stuck numbing, or pretending, or fleeing, or ignoring, or judging.
And that, my friends, is how entrepreneurs make products no one wants. And how Emily looks up after 4 hours of should-ing to an emotional hangover of regret and frustration.
So the next time you’re tired, or annoyed, or someone is doing something unexpected or unwelcome, start by saying “Huh!” Then describe to yourself what’s happening. Then, take a breath and see if you can spot anyone with purple stockings on to chat with.