My Heart Was Pounding! Who Was Going to Jump Off the Cliff? Practicing Pausing & Noticing
Imagine you’re at the scene in Marvel’s Endgame where Hawkeye and the Black Widow realize that one of them has to sacrifice themselves by jumping off the cliff in Vomir to get the Soul Stone. Who’s it going to be? Are you really going to have to say goodbye to one of your favorite characters? You’re holding your breath when, suddenly, the power goes out.
Imagine you’re checking your social media page and you see that a friend is off on another vacation overseas. Didn’t they just get back from some great adventure? How come they get to go to so many amazing places? You’re thinking about other cool stuff your friend does and things they have that you don’t when there’s a knock on the door.
Imagine you just tuned into a favorite song on the radio that you haven’t heard in ages. A smile comes to your lips as you remember the words and melody. Then someone reaches over and changes the station.
What do these three scenarios have in common? OK. Maybe they’re all frustrating, but they’re also opportunities that provided a pause so you could notice your thoughts and feelings. Did you notice feeling anxious and sad for Hawkeye and the Black Widow? Did you notice feeling envious from the comparison with your friend? Did you notice going from feeling happy to upset when the radio station was changed?
These are critical skills, so that’s why they’re the second part of the Practice Step in the “Immunity to Negativity FormulaTM.” The more we do these steps when it’s “easy” or has a lower risk, the better we get.
Then, when we’re actually in a situation where we’re bombarded with someone else’s negativity, we have an improved ability to pause and notice in the moment (steps three and four). This is key to taking back our power and choosing how we respond instead of just reacting.
Give it a try this week. Look for “easy” opportunities to practice pausing and noticing and improve your skill.