Have you ever been told to do something – by your boss, your spouse, a committee chair- and for some unknown reason it just brought out a sense of dread and resistance in you? Every time you think about that particular task, it not only rubs you the wrong way, but it brings out a tiny bit of anger and resentment?
But the worst part may be that the sense of dread and resentment just hangs over you like a little cloud that won’t go away?
Unfortunately, this is a part of life, and one that isn’t going anywhere. Like the saying goes, “You can’t change other people. You can only change yourself and your reaction.” So that’s what we’re going to spend some time on today- figuring out how to change your reaction to an instantaneous feeling that washes over you.
As women, sometimes we are great at holding it all in. We don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. We don’t want to upset the apple cart- so we just grin and bear it. While this is great for everyone else, it causes a significant amount of emotional distress for us.
Other times, instead of holding it in- we let it out! While initially we feel relieved of the built-up pressure, often we don't get the result we were looking for. Or we find the issue had gotten worse.
So, when something is dropped on you that you don’t want to do, here are your choices:
- Complain. This just drags out the ache and dread that you’re feeling to you and anyone around you.
- Resist doing it. This not only screams, “insubordination” but it also opens up a lot of extra drama. Not to mention the added stress of fear and anxiety because you are procrastinating or refusing to do it in the first place.
- Grin and bear it. Then you feel like you’re at the mercy of everyone else and no matter what, your life is out of your control (and miserable).
- Determine what is at the bottom of the matter. This is when you can truly start to change your reaction. But more importantly-this is how you start to feel relief from resisting.
To determine what’s at the bottom of the matter, start looking “around” the issue at hand. Do you not want to do it because that’s someone else’s job? Do you not want to do it because you don’t have the time? Do you not want to do it because you had other plans?
Once you figure out what’s driving these feelings, now you start to have to choices on your response. Choices are the key to feeling free and in control of your life. Some of these choices include talking to the person who asked you to do it and explaining your time demands, asking for extra support and resources to get it done, or choosing to adjust your expectations. Only you know the situation and yourself enough to know what will give the best lasting result. Don’t be afraid to trust yourself!
So the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed and dumped on, instead of resisting, resist the urge to resist and take a moment to determine just why that task is causing you so much distress. Then, and only then, can you start to clear up that feeling.
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