Turn Down the Static, and Regain a Sense of True North
With all of the noise about politics, social media drama, and issues of the day, it can be incredibly hard to maintain an authentic sense of direction. Sometimes I feel like I am spinning as I try to focus on each crisis served up by life.
In this environment, it is easy to lose touch with our values and remember which direction we want to head when we feel commandeered by these external forces. This is especially true if we are emotionally triggered because those emotions cloud our vision and judgment. We may even second guess our intuition and choices.
And it isn’t as if we can or should stop emotional reactions. We are human after all.
What we can do is recognize that the emotions, the crises, the drama — they are all static in our minds. That static can distort our perceptions of reality and lead us to feel astray leading to a sense of being off balance or off course.
Once we understand what is going on, we can actively turn down the volume on the static in order to recalibrate — remembering that true north resides within. We may temporarily lose touch with our internal guidance system, but this is a reminder that it is still there.
No one can know what you want better than you. There are lots of opinions, but direction comes from within because it is an individual matter based on preferences and values. When we turn control over our lives to what others think, what others want from us, what is popular, or the crisis of the day, we become adrift from our personal true north. True happiness will not be found there.
It is so easy to become misguided in this way. The external static is deafening. We start to feel like we “should” do this; we “should” want that; we “should” be something other than the person we are.
I have seen a lot of people who are not living their lives for themselves (and I am not talking about being selfish here), and they have tremendous anxiety. They are anxious because external demands are ever-changing, and they are so detached from a personal trust and vision that they don’t have any sense of direction.
This blog is a reminder that true north — what is important TO YOU — what gives your life meaning — what you consider to be a life worth living — resides within you. No stamp of approval needed from others. That resides within you as well, and you can give it on demand.
All of this starts with self-trust and the recognition that you have an internal compass. Ask yourself what you want and need to live your best life, and listen to the answer without judgment. What comes next is up to you.
Turn down the static by:
- Writing down what is important to you and what makes you happy. Here is a link with lots of free worksheets to help you clarify. https://www.actmindfully.com.au/upimages/2016_Complete_Worksheets_for_Russ_Harris_ACT_Books.pdf
- Charting a course to increase time spent on the things that make you happy.
- Giving yourself permission to set boundaries on the demands that take away from these things.
- Making a plan to hold yourself accountable.
- Developing a daily practice for centering, including exercising, meditating, journaling, and talking with supportive others (friends or support groups)
- Surrounding yourself with people who support you and the life you want to lead.
- Paying attention to the negative self-talk in your head and arguing with it instead of allowing it tear you down. The link above has worksheets for this too.
- Noticing emotions and allowing them to flow while detaching without reacting impulsively. Emotions do not regularly have a rational relationship to facts.
- Reading a self-help book to give you the skills to stay the course. Change is super hard for even the most committed folks. (Russ Harris, Brene Brown, Simon Sinek, David Burns, to name a few)
- Asking for professional help. Therapists are great listeners and problem solvers. (Psychologytoday.com)
I also write self-help books that are practical and relatable if you want to know more. (They’ve gotten pretty good reviews!)
Move on Motherf*cker: Live, Laugh, and Let Sh*t Go
Amazon.com: Move on Motherf*cker: Live, Laugh, and Let Sh*t Go: 9781684034864: Eckleberry-Hunt PhD ABPP, Jodie, Byrne…