Just this week I had a wonderful conversation with a dear friend and she brought up she knew she was AWFULIZING the situation but she couldn’t help it. I started to laugh as I had not really heard that terminology before but began to really relate to the situation. As I pondered all that we talked about and began listening to other friends and co-workers this week, I quickly realized this was the sad state of mind for many people including myself. I am not sure why all of a sudden it is the hot topic of conversation, perhaps it is the January blues we encounter after the holiday hustle and bustle or lack of sunshine as we have had more cloudy days than sunshine. The pouring rain and bitter cold or snow in some parts of Texas. We all need a little more Vitamin D. We also need to be more like Teflon and let some stuff just roll right off of us. Don’t let it stick and begin to melt into our being or belief system.
Our whole society is faced with added stress and worry. We burn up a lot of time and energy agonizing about what is going to happen next. The fears almost always turn out to be more of a wild projection than the truth or reality. You are going to get fired because you didn’t sell enough this month or year, you will never make the deadline as they put unrealistic expectations on you, the paper you wrote for finals won’t be right and you will fail, they aren’t going to accept me as I am too fat, too old, too short, too tall, blah blah blah…the list can go on and on. To others it is the irrational practice of thinking everything is going to hell-in-a-hand basket, even though it is not. That is what we call AWFULIZING…you would think we would know the routine by now, but NO, our brains love to stew, since they are tuned to a survival instinct that sees things through a disaster whenever possible. WHY is that? Are you guilty in AWFULIZING?
As I am sipping on a delicious cup of ginger pear tea, the news is blaring in the background I quickly realize many of the things that are fed into our subconscious mind can inflict the negativity and things that cause our minds to AWFULIZE. There is terrorist attacks, natural disasters, accidents, murders, rape, debt, and illness, disease on and on and on. For my sport lovin friends your team didn’t make the playoff or chosen to the big bowl game. Every second of every day our brain is bombarded by way too much data. Most of how we process things is by a natural reaction of danger detectors. The early warning signs that we seem to pay attention to more negative than positive things. Other forms might be people we are associated with, perhaps friends or people we work with. They have the daily mantra of Chicken Little “The sky is falling”! Retailers, merchants and advertising spend thousands of dollars in manipulating and controlling to gain power or sell their product through AWFULIZING. I like to refer to it as Satan at work. He loves nothing more than to mess with our minds and dwell on negativity!
Added stress at work or home can also deplete our energy making us more vulnerable to the AWFULIZING state of mind. Things are blown way out of proportion. The unreturned phone call, the meeting you missed or better yet you weren’t even invited to, the disapproving tone of someone’s voice are all signals impending doom. Let’s face it AWFULIZING is awful…it is the byproduct of irrational self-talk. It turns everything into worse case scenario.
Just because we have a bad day doesn’t mean you should give in and make it a bad week. Don’t let another second of the negativity define who you are. This is where faith steps in…now don’t get me wrong I am just as guilty in AWFULIZING as the next guy but I am trying to be more keenly aware when I am doing this and make the shift we talked about a few weeks back and dwell upon the positive, continue to feed my mind and soul with those things that truly matter. I know bad things are going to happen and just as our pastor spoke about in church this week, at some point and time we will all experience some form of suffering. It may be a diagnosis, divorce, death of a loved one or job and financial loss. For those of you who have encountered more than your far share then maybe you have more of a right to AWFULIZE. But scripture specifically tells us in 1 Peter 4:12 “Dear friend, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice in as much as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.” It is so important to be in his word each and every day.
How do you overcome or change your state of mind when AWFULIZING finds its way creeping in your thoughts, your words and maybe even your actions? Personally, I think being more conscience and aware of signs that might trigger AWFULIZING, is it certain people, places or times of year? Maybe when you have too much time on your hands? I find it especially easy when I am trying to make positive changes or improvements in my life. AWFULIZING always raises its ugly head and usually is the one thing holding me back. I strongly encourage each of us to find help through wise council, whether it is a counselor, a coach, a good friend, family member or one who is an expert in the field of the change you desire. Accountability will really help especially in the beginning stages or when you become stuck from moving forward. Make a list of all the reasons why you should and what is holding you back. Accepting all that has been, yes you may have failed preciously but what if the next time the situation improves or you overcome. Just think how good you will feel. Quit AWFULIZING, procrastinating and let’s wake up saying this is a new day to begin again, you will no longer allow that stronghold or AWFULIZING to hold you back! I promise you nine times out of ten the situation is never as bad as you AWFULIZE it to be.
While “Takin Time Out” this next week, consider really listening to what you say to yourself. Our self-talk plays another key role whether you are AWFULIZING or not. Do you hear words like, “That’s horrible”, “I will never be able to recover”, “I will never find someone to love me” I have a chest pain probably have a heart condition” or “My life is over”. Do you have a tendency to exaggerate long after the initial reaction? How do you characterize your typical response to undesired outcomes. Readjust your mindset from AWFULIZING to awesomeness! Break it down and as you start to with awe pause shift your mind and continue to someness….yes this is awesomness! Until next time my friend no more AWFULIZING and let’s make it an awesome week…