Why I’m thinking twice about a ‘return to normal’

How do you feel about the idea of “reentry”?

To be honest, I don’t like it. It implies a one-way journey back to how things were. And I don’t think it’s going to be that simple. I don’t believe a one-way journey back to where things were is right for all of us.

I’m not the only one who’s thinking twice about this (I’m finding Matt Haig‘s thoughts particularly resonant just now) but I wonder how many of us are speaking up?

Yesterday I was invited to join a gathering happening in a couple of weeks time, and I said yes, automatically using my old criteria:

🤔 was I free that day? could I travel there?

🤔 did I like the people? might it be ‘fun’?

🤔 would it benefit me or my business?

And yet as I came off the phone call, I felt uncomfortable. Wait… no, I don’t want to meet up… but I also very much don’t want to be the party-pooper, the boring one, the one who “misses out”…

It brings up the quieting realisation that I’ve spent a ridiculous amount of time & energy in the past trying to avoid being ‘that’ person. Whilst at the same time trying so hard to be me. Wondering why it didn’t feel possible. It’s only now that I realise where the problem lies. It’s in the words that are too-often attached to introvert behaviour.

How can words make such a big difference?

Words can be very powerful, whether positive or negative. They immediately inspire mental pictures, memories and emotions. And, depending what comes up on the inside, we might shift forward, or hold back.

Often with clients we look at the words they use & it always brings shifts in thinking! Do I always remember to do this with myself? No, of course not 🤦‍♀️ (which is why I always have a coach of my own!)

However! When I do realise that words are what is holding me back, I turn to my journal with a few questions to start untangling what’s going on, and re-framing my thoughts. Here are the questions I’m asking myself right now, and I’m offering them to you too…

🌟what comes up when you hear the phrase “missing out“? what do you think you’re missing out on if you say no? how would it feel to flip that and think about what you’re gaining?

🌟 what’s your definition of “fun”? and your definition of “boring”? how do they match up with the definitions we’re used to using?

🌟 how would you like to describe your introvert preferences? what words feel generous and nurturing?

Let your answers come up without judgement, and know that, if they feel right for you, they are right. As you re-frame any old thoughts about typical introvert (or extrovert) behaviour, notice how it feels now?

Re-framing is a powerful, free tool you can tap into any time.

Noticing what words don’t work for you and choosing ones that do is empowering, and free too! I’d love to hear what re-frames comes up for you, please do email if you’d like to share.

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