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So many people have told me how brave I am for writing and publishing a book. We tend to compare our insides to other people’s outsides and think they have it all together. Today I am pulling back the veil on how I successfully (and unsuccessfully) dealt with my Monger attacks the week of my book launch.
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Hey everyone, I’m so excited to be back here. I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who sent me a message and responded via email or called me about the book that came out last Tuesday, January 30th, The Happier Approach. The response has been phenomenal and exciting, and I just was so excited to hear from everyone. If you haven’t gotten your copy, head to Amazon and you can get an eBook or a paperback book or an audiobook. Lots of different options for ways for you to hear and read The Happier Approach and start implementing it into your life.
This podcast is going to be a little different. I wanted to pull back the mystique or the veil; I guess you would say, of writing this book, and specifically this week of putting it out there into the world. A lot of people have been talking to me, and telling me how brave they think I am, and I’m so brave because I’ve written this book and put it out there, and how brave that is. Yes, I would argue it was brave to stick it out there. I always joke, is it brave or is it delusional? Who knows?
But I wanted to address that topic because I think we tend to put people upon on pedestals that do things that we deem brave and scary, and we assume that everything is awesome with them. Back to that idea of comparing your insides to other people’s outsides. I guess what I wanted to do was share a little bit of my insides from this week to let you know that it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Being brave is a choice, and it is something that we have to do daily, minute by minute sometimes, to really challenge ourselves to show up and be present.
In the book, I have a chapter called Knowing When the Monger is Running the Show. The reason I have that chapter in there is because I think a lot of us get so comfortable with the monger, we don’t even know it’s running the show. That was me, and it is me in a lot of ways, and that’s been a big part of my work in this inner critic stuff, is paying attention to when my monger is running the show.
One of the ways I know my monger is running the show is because I go into automatic. I go into kind of a numbing spot where I just run on autopilot, and I don’t engage with what’s engaging. So, when I wrote this book, and when I started writing it, I said to my husband, “I don’t want to go on autopilot when it comes to this book. I want to be intentional and show up all the way, so I’m present for everything that happens.”
Because when I do this autopilot, I miss opportunities and I miss ideas, and I’m not fully there. So that’s one way my monger lulls me into complacency is by just telling me how much I suck and it’s so hard to face that monger all the time. I just go into this autopilot. That has been a battle this week, is knowing that’s what I do. I think that’s the first step in a lot of this monger stuff is knowing what it is, your go-to is. My go-to is the autopilot. It’s also just really getting hopped up on doing right and making sure everything’s perfect, and so that pressure that everything has to be perfect becomes so great that I go into autopilot to relieve it.
My monger is telling me everything has to be perfect; it has to be just right. My BFF is like, “Don’t worry, let’s just sit on the couch and watch some Housewives and have some Reese’s peanut butter cups. Everything will be fine. Just relax, no big deal.” I don’t show up because my BFF is running the show. The more I do this work, the more I recognize the BFF is just as toxic as the monger. We just don’t recognize it.
Back to knowing when the monger’s running the show. This week, I’ve tried to be intentional about this numbing pattern that I have and knowing when I go on autopilot. It has been challenging, really challenging. To give you a little backstory, Monday of this week was the year anniversary of my dad’s death. Not surprisingly, it was a very, very hard day. Those anniversaries are just amazing to me that your body knows what’s happening before your mind does. It was a really hard day. I spent part of the day with family and just tried to really soak up what was happening.
Then the next day, Tuesday, was the day my book launched. So, it was a high energy day, and there was a lot of contact with people, great stories, and so much fun, but an underlying sadness that my dad wasn’t there to read the book and hear about the book, and be a part of the book. It’s kind of in this emotional rollercoaster. Are we going back-and-forth between being super excited about the book launch, and then also just this sadness in reliving this was the day of the funeral, and this is what we did this day and all that replaying of a year ago.
That to be said that it was really easy, it would have been really easy for me to numb out, and have the BFF had the perfect excuse. This is the anniversary week of your dad’s death, take it easy. You deserve it. Take the week off. I really had made a commitment to myself that I wasn’t going to do that. I think that is the key to being brave, is committing to yourself that you’re really going to show up this time. You’re really going to take whatever the next step is. It doesn’t have to be some ginormous, crazy, huge step. This book that I’ve written was a culmination of a lot of really tiny steps. It wasn’t like one day I woke up and had this brilliant idea to write a book, and here is the brilliant plan what the book’s going to be about and here we go.
No, no, no. This was years in the making and years of thinking about it. Years of writing and debating and talking. So, it takes tiny little steps I think when we read these memes on Facebook, we see these inspirational stories, we think oh my gosh, this has to be some huge, big thing I’m going to do. Nope. Bravery is choosing to show up every day. It’s me choosing to sit down at my computer and write. It’s me choosing to sit down at my computer and come up with some social media post to spread the word about my post.
So, this brings me to today. Today is the first day that I’ve really had a chance to just take it all in, and sit down, and make the next steps. Everything had gone up to the launch of the book, and then I didn’t really have what’s happening next. When I sat down today, one of the things on my list is to record this podcast. My monger was just so loud. You have nothing to say and no one wants to hear what you have to say anyway. Who do you think you are? That same refrain that monger has for me all the time.
I had practiced ASK multiple times. Multiple times this morning I practiced ASK. I acknowledged what I was feeling. I slowed down and got into my body. And I kindly pulled back to see the big picture. I was doing it kind of again on automatic. I wasn’t really showing up and doing the steps of ASK. I was like, yeah, yeah, yeah, I’m feeling scared. Let me roll my neck a little bit. Okay, and now I’m going to pull back and see the big picture, and kind of see yeah, this isn’t a big deal. There’s a lot of other things going on in the world.
It wasn’t actually doing ASK. I was automatic pilot doing ASK. It wasn’t helping. I bet I did ASK 20 times, and my monger was just like, “See? This doesn’t work. You really can’t help people. Who do you think you are?” It just built up more and more fodder for my monger.
Finally, it was 1:00. I was still in my pajamas, and I was like, I need to take care of myself here. I need to work out. I need to take a shower. I need to get dressed. I need to start the day and get serious about this. Within five minutes of my workout, I felt so much better, like I was able to really acknowledge like, wow, I am scared here, and I’m feeling really vulnerable and really out there. The slowing down really helps. I’m going to do some extra yoga stretches.
Then I was able to pull back and be like, okay this was one week in your life that was hard and stressful. Let’s see some other options of where we want to take this. My monger tends to convince me I need to have all the answers, and I need to be in charge. That is one of the biggest complaints I have about the coaching and counseling industry as a whole, and all of the “gurus” out there is that they act like they have it all together, and like they have the answers. That was why when I was in the shower, I was like, I’m going to do a podcast about how I don’t have all the answers. How I don’t really know what’s happening.
But this is how I did my day, and this is what worked for me. In the shower, I slowed way down. I got in the shower, and I was able to really implement ASK in a sincere way. When I came back to my office, it was a completely different day. I checked a whole bunch of stuff off my list. My brain was clear. I was ready to focus. My monger was not in charge anymore. It was my biggest fan, kind of stepped into the lead position. I got a lot done. Here I am recording a podcast showing you how this stuff works in real life.
That’s been my week in launching The Happier Approach. I hope that you will purchase the book and implement some of the stuff that’s in there because it’s one of those things, yes I wrote the book, and then every time I really implement what it says, it is helpful. I think that’s probably true for a lot of books out there, that I just never took the time to implement what they said because I was all looking for the easy answer, and looking for the quick fix. It isn’t out there.
There is no quick fix. We have to do the work. We have to slow down and show up, and face our mongers, and challenge our biggest fans, and tell our BFFs to take the day off. We have to get serious about this stuff if we’re going to be happier. It isn’t easy, but man, once we start implementing this stuff, it’s so much better. I promise. I swear. Do it.
So, your takeaway for today is to really pay attention and start noticing when your monger’s running the show. You know, is it that you numb out? Is it that you have a 10 reaction to a two problem? Is it that you take on more than you should? There are a lot of ways that our mongers lull us into a state of “safety” that isn’t really serving our higher purpose. It isn’t helping us get to the next thing.
Once we know what the behaviors we engage in, then we can start paying attention to those behaviors and start catching them. Today, I knew that I was doing the numbing and I wasn’t really showing up. I was just kind of jumping from thing to thing, and I was really unconscious in what I was doing. That’s when it hit me. Wait a minute; your monger’s in charge here. Your monger’s running the show.
We need to slow down and pay attention and notice when our monger is in charge. That is the key, and then we can implement ASK. We can implement ASK in a sincere, concrete, really showing up way. Not just a yeah, yeah, yeah, let me run through these three letters like I was doing earlier today. But like a let me pause and really do this so that I can get my biggest fan in charge and have my monger be quiet for a little bit.
Okay gang, that’s the show. Thanks for listening. The Happiness Hacks podcast comes out every week. If you have questions, please mail me, firstname.lastname@example.org. You could also follow me on Instagram at nancyjane_live happier, on Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn. I’m on all of them, people. So until next time, here’s to living happier.
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