Do you ever have this feeling like you are stuck somewhere else? It is a feeling like you are replaying and reliving history, or that you are trying on all possible future scenarios, but this leaves you with no headspace left to fully be aware of the present.
It is a dangerous time warp to be in. Being stuck in the past, the future, or bouncing between the two means that you miss any true experience of reality in the present. It means you are only living life with a filter on it, just swimming through the days wearing some foggy swim goggles. If we can’t experience the present in HD clarity, our memories can’t be terribly crisp either. And so, days (years?!) can go by without really paying attention to what is happening in that moment, and the memories become just as stale. It is how we wake up to see ten years have gone by, and we’re wondering what the hell we’ve been doing this whole time.
There are two common emotions that cause us to lose presence in the present, regret and fear. Regret is time travel back to the past, where you ruminate on something that can no longer be changed because it already happened. Fear is time travel to any number of possible futures, where you think of all of the “what ifs” that could happen. It is often strong enough to cause us to do nothing in the present. High-achievers and people who are naturally good “planners” really love to beat the future to death, especially under the guise that we are being “responsible.”
What would it feel like to enjoy the present for what it is, rather than feel stress and fear for the future, or rumination from the past? Would it feel easy? Free? Light? Like you were living in high definition, or technicolor? What might you see that you are currently missing entirely? The difference may be tiny, yet shocking.
“Every day of our lives we are on the verge of making those slight changes that would make all the difference.” –Mignon McLaughlin
Let’s break this down with this equation: Thoughts create feelings, and feelings create actions.
Notice your thoughts: What are you thinking about right now? Are you thinking in the past, present, or future? Find a new, more powerful thought that serves you and allows you to live in HD in the present.
Notice your feelings: What feeling do you get from your old thought? What feeling do you get now from the new thought that replaced it?
Change your actions: If you can find a new thought, and you recognize that a better feeling comes from it, you will feel inclined to take a different action. If this new thought and feeling are true, what new action will you take? How will you stay active in the present tense?
About the author:
Katie Rasoul is the Chief Awesome Officer for Team Awesome, a leadership coaching and culture consulting firm. Find out more by visiting www.teamawesomecoaching.com or join the Team Awesome Community for awesomeness coming straight to your inbox. Follow Team Awesome on Facebook and Twitter.
Originally published at www.teamawesomecoaching.com