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What's the real problem?

The human brain loves to bitch and moan.

At least this is 100% my experience of my own human brain. 

Quick to judge the person, circumstance, email, temp of the room, or to-do item on deck… Nothing is safe from it’s wrath. From the state of my desk to the state of my ass, my brain has a black belt in finding problems everywhere. 

This is it’s cruise control setting: be that asshole in the room who finds problems or flaws in everything. It’s wired for negative.

What’s extra fun is when I then turn around and mentally bitch slap myself for being judgy. Judge myself for judging. 

This whole blasted cycle is a recipe for being not only being counter-productive but covering up what’s at the root of our judgments: shameful judgments against ourselves. 

The rescue steps

There will never be a shortage of things to critique or complain about with your loud-mouthed lizard brain running the show in it’s cruise control mode. 

The real winning solution is rooted in awareness. Insert superhero steps. 

1) Rest my dear… nothing is wrong with you. Nadda. {deep breath}  In case you need it, here's your permission slip to let yourself be human. You're doing great, boo. Just knowing that you are a human, with a healthy brain that is naturally wired to be negative is literally step one. There is no problem here. It’s doing what it’s suppose to do: find problems and make assumptions for the worst. Of course it’s judging. Avoid creating another problem out of your brain doing the thing it’s not only wired to be doing, but has done for, like, ever. 

1.5) Practice believing that it’s not a problem to complain, and so then there is no need to berate yourself, or others, for complaining.  Literally say, to yourself “nothings gone wrong here.” Or “Naaaw, I think I’m (they’re, it’s) doing great”. Feel free to throw in a chuckle, or give yourself the ole mom-knows-best knowing grin of wisdom. You see what’s going on here, and won’t get sucked into the judging trap. Neutralize the negative with this knowledge, rather than engaging in it and going deeper into the sinkhole. Because the truth is, we’re all doing the best we can with what we have in the moment we're in. And our best is enough. Always.

2) Notice what you are complaining about. It’s helpful to get curious about what your brain thinks is a problem. Then you can explore why you think it’s a problem. Problems have a sting to them. Even if it’s an imaginary problem in the future or one that happened in the past, your brain is gonna be on it like white on rice - because keeping you safe and comfortable is job #1. So it will feel important and distracting unless you come to your higher brain senses and go into curiosity. “Hmmm, why do I think this is a problem?”. This isn’t time to go all mean girl on yourself, this is time to process what the judgement is, why it’s a problem, what you’re making it mean… all that. Give your judgy-judgerton a little attention. Most judgments go deep into a need to cover up or protect ourselves from a self-inflicted shame. If you go far enough here with curiosity you will likely find an AHA moment of self realization, leaning something about your inner cavewoman self as you explore. If you don’t get to an “aha” here, that’s totally ok. Aha’s take practice and honesty. Just knowing there is a nugget of wisdom to find under all the judgments helps keep me motivated to dig and discover and unravel unconscious and archaic thinking, whereas my judgement self wants to hide that unbecoming stuff. Practice letting yourself be honest with yourself. It’s amazing how difficult that can be when you’ve been in a judgy cycle. 

3) Celebrate noticing the judgement. The problem isn’t the complaining, it’s being stuck there. Awareness for the win. I promise you that as you practice jumping off the judgy train by engaging your curious awareness and offering yourself some grace, you will find yourself exercising more compassion for yourself and others, as well as chilling the eff out about the circumstances of the world. Bonus points for potentially learning a nugget of truth about yourself too. Don’t get frustrated that you are judging, instead turn noticing the judgement into a good thing. It’s always good practice to reward yourself for having some self awareness. Strengthening the neural pathways of self-awareness is a beauty trick that never goes out of style. Dopamine is the feel-good drug of choice you want to inject into each self awareness moment. Celebrate noticing judge by giving yourself a little smile and maybe a quick nod to your precious beating heart in there doing great.

Would you like to have someone to bring all your complaints and problems to? Someone to go into the mental stories that tangle you up so that you can declutter your brain and make space for more great ideas, happiness and peace? I have spots available for 1:1 coaching. This deep work is exactly what I do with clients daily. It’s difficult to avoid the slippery slope of saying “I shouldn’t complain” and wronging yourself, or belittling your judgments and complaints until you understand first hand what gold is underneath them. 

Let’s get down to the nuggets of gold in you.

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