The Fastest Way to Getting Out of Your Head
I wrote here about the only question you need to ask yourself when making a decision.
But sometimes we can be so in our head about things that the above question isn’t helpful. We don’t know how we feel. We simultaneously feel two things at once. We don’t know what we want. We let logic and facts get in the way of things. What about then? How do we know what’s most important to us? And how do we then move forward making decisions that are both in alignment with where we’re at today, and also pulling us in the direction of our objectives?
An example: Yesterday I was standing in the wine aisle in the grocery store. I was looking to try something new. I did what I suggested in the post above on making decisions – I considered which ones felt the best.
I kept coming back to this one bottle. It was so pretty, and all the words were written in French. It felt exotic. It felt luxurious. And then I looked at the price. I quickly went from “that’s the one” to trying to find a different one because it was 3x what I normally would’ve spent on a bottle of wine. When I realized what I was doing, I reached into my mental toolkit for my next best question, the question that always pulls me in the right direction.
I bought the French bottle.
My solution to when I’m in my head, and feeling conflicting feelings (bottle = beautiful and good, price = notsogood), the system I have is a two parter:
Part 1 you really only have to do once or twice to really get in the vibe of:
Close your eyes, and imagine what you’d consider to be the best version of yourself. What does she do? What does she wear? Where does she shop? What does her day look like? How does she talk to herself? How does she treat others?
Note: “best” version is not the same thing as “perfect” version. Perfect suggests some sort of unattainable level of existence that is unrealistic, irritating, and hard to sustain. Best is the version of you that you’d most like to be – for me that includes things like being loving to myself and others, savoring the moment, being in integrity with who I really am, and showing up as me regardless of the response of others among other things.
Get a solid vision of this “best” version of you, really sink into this powerful person and how she shows up in the world. It’s important that you really get to know her, because there’s one question we’re going to continually ask her over and over that’s going to up-level our experiences.
Part 2 (this is the part I considered in front of the bottles of vino): Whenever you’re considering something – Should I workout or take a nap? What should I wear to this wedding? How should I respond to this snarky email? – Anywhere that you might normally be “in your head” trying to “muggle” your way to a solution, pause and ask yourself this one question: What would the best version of myself do?
For me, the answers look like this:
She’d spend the extra money, because the better experience will be a lifetime memory. She wears what she feels comfortable and confident in, regardless of how others might perceive her, judge her, or make assumptions about her. She answers the snarky email with confidence, honesty, and love, regardless of the attitude of the person who sent it. She talks to herself like she would any 10-year old girl (or anyone else for that matter!) – “You are beautiful, wonderful and smart, always. You can do anything. Anything.”
My goal is to respond as often as I can from the best version of myself.
It’s not always possible. Most of the time it looks like me catching myself in the middle of something (like being hard on myself for making a mistake), pausing, and then pivoting to how the best version of me would move forward. Maybe someday I’ll be her all day every day. For now it’s just about noticing where I’m playing small and old thought patterns are creeping in, and choosing to step closer to who I want to be. Every time I’ve done it, I bring myself closer to being that version of me.
When I asked myself what the best version of me would buy in the wine aisle, she’d have bought the beautiful french bottle. It was more than she’d spent on wine before, but it was an experience to savor and not all that much more money in the grand scheme of things.
It’s also important to be truthful with yourself in terms of where you’re at and how you’re feeling. I was slightly uncomfortable at first, but the extra money I spent wasn’t going to break my bank account by any means. It was a small step outside my comfort zone, and likely the next time that happens, I won’t feel half as uncomfortable. However, if you’re booking a plane ticket, and the idea of first class “feels” a lot better to you than coach, and the couple hundred dollar difference makes your stomach drop, you’re not going to feel good buying a first class ticket. You’ll most likely be in a cringe of nervous regret through the whole experience, which completely negates the point of you buying the ticket. Be honest with where you’re at in stepping outside your comfort zone.
As I continually make choices as the woman who is the best version of me, the gap is constantly closing between who I am and who she is. And every day, I get closer and closer to her by asking that question.
So I now ask you: What would the best version of yourself do?