Last night I looked in the mirror after I had finished brushing my teeth and thought that I was really beautiful. Do you have these moments when you catch your reflection in a mirror or shop window and think, “Boy, I look good!”? Well, last night I felt like that!
This morning when saw myself I almost changed my mind… My hair was a curly-frizzy mess, my eyes were sleepy, no matter how much I tried to keep them wide open, my face was grayish white and I had a big red line left by the pillow all across my cheek.
Do you know how they say that we all need our beauty sleep? Well, that was not it. This morning after spending 8 hours in bed I had definitely awakened from some special kind of ugliness sleep. I could have easily passed a casting for any horror movie looking like this. I felt frustration building up. How will I ever make THIS girl staring back at me look somewhat decent!
Before coming to a final conclusion that this was not my day, I remembered an article that I read yesterday. It talked about attachment to a certain idea being the number one reason for work stress.
For example, when we have one of those really bad days at work when everything seems to go wrong and nothing gets done, the reason for our stress could be our attachment to the idea that we must be extremely productive every day. It is an interesting thought. At least it resonates with me. I know that when I have one of those super-productive days I often expect that the next day will be just as great (which is obviously not realistic). We cannot perform at the maximum of our efficiency and creativity every single day.
Remembering this concept, I asked myself, “Why do I feel stressed? Is there any particular idea that I am clinging to?” The answer was obvious I was. I believed that I should look great every day, no exceptions, no bad hair days, no ugliness sleep fazes. This “attachment” was causing me a lot of unnecessary stress. Was it worth worrying about? Absolutely not! It was ridiculous, not to mention vain, to continue holding onto the idea that I must look very good at every time of night and day.
After I realized this, I immediately felt much better.
What is the moral of the story? Whenever you feel stressed, it is a sure sign that you are clinging onto some idea that causes your frustration. The best way to deal with frustration is to release our attachment to this idea.
Let’s take goal-setting, for example. It might seem that the whole point of Goal-Setting is to strongly desire your goals, to visualize them daily and be very attached to them. But this is a misleading perception.
There is a huge difference between desiring something and being attached to it. When you really want to achieve your goal – you feel enthusiastic, happy and full of energy. You are enjoying the process and having fun.
On the other hand, when you become attached to your goal, you find yourself obsessing and worrying about it. It is no longer enjoyable, because you believe that in order to be happy you must first reach whatever you set out to reach.
As difficult as it may be for overachievers to accept, we will never have full control over how the exact outcome of our goals will show up.
It does not mean that you should not take proactive steps to fulfill your dreams. Quite the opposite! Always do your best! Just do not put your happiness, self-confidence and life satisfaction at stake.
Next time you feel anxious or stressed out, ask yourself “What idea am I holding on to?” and “Is it worth the stress?” In most cases it isn’t.
Release your emotional attachment to the outcome and 80% of your fears, doubts, worries will disappear right away!
“Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go.” – Herman Hesse