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A new monthly segment for the show the Happier Approach Q&A. Answering listener questions about all things Live Happier and The Happier Approach. Have a question? Submit it here
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Hey everyone. I’m excited to be here today. Again, we’re recording on a Monday. I should just confess that I’m going to be doing them on Mondays, but I like the Sunday as a goal, and then, Monday will be my backup if I get too busy. My monger keeps telling me that I should do these episodes in advance, and so then if something happens on a Sunday and I don’t get recorded, it’s no big deal. That is where I need to go, start heading, but I just really like recording it, and then, putting it up and having you guys hear it right after I recorded it. There’s just something awesome about that. I get nervous when I’m sitting on content that I think is fun.
Today is the happier approach Q & A, and I’ve wanted to take one episode a month and turn it into a question and answer type format. I didn’t put out any call out for questions, but I’ve been getting some questions. I thought, okay, I’ll start it with this episode and turn this episode into the Happier Approach Q & A, and then on my website on the podcast page, I will put a link where you can go and ask a question.
The first question I have is, My Monger keeps coming back. What can I do? The easy answer to that is, yep, your monger is going to keep coming back and so you can’t do anything except for keep practicing ASK. That’s a disheartening answer, so I will give you more than just that because the bottom line is, your monger doesn’t go away. This book, The Happier Approach and my methodology are really teaching you a way to quiet the voice of the monger so that your biggest fan’s voice gets louder. It’s simultaneously quieting the monger and bringing in the voice of the biggest fan and making that voice a little louder. Your default isn’t always the monger; it’s sometimes is the biggest fan. That’s the idea behind the happier approach is not to get rid of the monger all together, and that will just send you down a rabbit hole. I have been down that rabbit hole of, oh, my God. I’m practicing ASK. Why isn’t this working? My monger is still here.
I can give you a couple of tips around that in the next question. I just really want you to know you are not going to be able to silence your monger completely. It’s still going to talk there. I have found that when your monger gets loud, it usually means you’re on to something. By on to something, I mean, you’re stretching your boundaries, you’re pulling out of your comfort zone, you’re chasing a big dream, you’re doing something uncomfortable.
It’s usually something good that you’re doing for yourself or your life, but your monger is freaked out because it wants you to stay small. Your monger wants you to be protected, so the more you do that puts you out there, the more at risk you are, the more your monger is going to shame you. It’s a counterintuitive thought process. I talk about that more next week in next week’s episode that’s coming up on Sunday. The bottom line is, your monger is going to be there, and the idea of the happier approach is to figure out how to slowly over time bringing up the voice of the biggest fan and diminishing more the voice of the monger is the plan. That’s the goal of the work of The Happier Approach.
The next question I have is, how quickly do I move through ASK? If I am sad, do I wait until I’m done feeling sad before I move on to getting into my body? That’s a great question. I just want to refresh what ASK is for a very new listener or haven’t read The Happier Approach. ASK is the acronym I used to quiet the monger and bring in the biggest fan. When you hear your monger talking you’re going to ASK, which simply means acknowledge what you’re feeling, is the A. Slow down and get into your body is the S. And K, kindly pull back to see the big picture.
The question is if I’m sad, do I wait until I’m done feeling sad to move on, to slow down and get into your body? There is not hard and fast rule for how this ASK works. I encourage you to make it your own. My thought process on that is when I acknowledge what I’m feeling, and I can say, “Oh, I’m feeling sad about this.” Then when I allow myself to slow down and get into my body, the emotion tends to come, so whether that’s tears or my stomach gets a little upset, or I just feel more blah overall. When I start feeling that way, then I know I can feel the feeling all the way through. It’s getting into my body, in the S, slow down and get into your body step, really allows me to feel the feeling a little bit more and to make it more real.
Now, the key is, and this is not in the question, but the key I have found, and I’ve done this with my clients. Sometimes, they’ll just stop there in the process. They won’t move on to kindly pull back and see the big picture. They’ll acknowledge what they’re feeling. They’ll slow down and get into their body. And those two are just so hard to do in and of themselves that they don’t do K, kindly pull back to see the big picture. The K one is, the kindly pull back to see the big picture, is the real monger fighter. Because when we can pull back and see the big picture, then that’s the voice of our biggest fan giving us other options.
This weekend I had my book party. It was fabulous. Thank you to any of you who came out and who are listening. It just was a really fun celebration of the book, and the people, and The Happier Approach, and the whole thing. I was nervous about doing, obviously. Very nervous about the book party and my monger was very chatty before that event. The idea of, okay, I woke up in the morning and I couldn’t fall back asleep, and so I’m like, okay, I’m feeling nervous. I’m feeling excited. I’m feeling scared this isn’t going to go well, or no one is going to show up, or it’s going to be a failure.
Then, I slow down and get into my body. Then, the next step is kindly pull back to see the big picture. I have to do that because that’s where the biggest fan steps in. When I pull back and see the big picture, I can be like, okay, I know five of my favorite people in the world are going to be there, so check that off, like, done. I don’t have to worry about no one showing up because I know at least five of my favorite people in the world are going to be there. We have great food coming and I know that’s it’s going to be surrounded by love and support. So I can start naming off the big picture of what that book party is going to look like. That’s where the biggest fan lives.
I hijacked the question a little bit to really encourage you to make sure you take ASK all the way through to K, and not just stop at feeling sad if that’s the feeling you’re having. If you have acknowledged that you’re feeling sad, and then you slow down and get into your body, the tears may come. You may feel it a little more holistically in your body, but then you can move on to K, the kindly pull back and see the big picture piece.
The last question is, someone, asked this to me at the book party actually, and she said, is it bad that I want to keep improving? Are you discouraging that in me? Absolutely not. I’m not discouraging wanting to keep improving. I am encouraging you to not beat yourself up for where you are. There’s a slight difference, and it’s a fine line, but for a lot of us, we feel we’re flawed just as we are. We tell ourselves when we get here then we’ll be okay. Believing in that, if I did it perfectly, my monger wouldn’t be chatting. If a hundred people came to the book party, my monger would be happy.
That belief system gets us in trouble because it will never be true. Even if I had a hundred people come to the book party, then my monger would be beating me up because I didn’t have enough food at the book party to serve a hundred people. There’s always something the monger is going to find. It’s the idea of, I’m okay as I am, and there’s stuff I want to do. There’s stuff that I want to accomplish. There are goals that I have for my life. If I don’t accomplish those, I’m not a terrible person. Once we can just say, okay, I want to keep improving, I want to keep improving as a therapist. I want to keep improving as a podcaster. I want to keep improving as a speaker.
All of that is great and true, but that doesn’t mean that I’m going to beat myself up for where I am now as a podcaster, or where I am now as a therapist. The power of the biggest fan is that it’s helping you improve. It’s helping you reach your goals. But it is doing that without beating you up, without criticizing where you’re starting. That’s the big point that you’ve got to make so that you can swallow is, that you’re okay as you are, and your biggest fan is just going to help you keep getting better.
I hope that that helped, those three questions, and getting some answers to your questions, some A to your Q, as the cool kids say. Again, if you have a question that you would like me to answer on this podcast, please head over to my live-happier.com/podcast. There will be a box or a link there for you to click on and you can enter your question there, or you can simply email me, firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know. I will throw it up here next month when I do another episode of The Happier Approach Q & A. Okay, that’s the show. Thanks for listening. The Happiness Hacks podcast comes out every week. If you have questions, please email me email@example.com. You can also follow me on Instagram and nancyjane_livehappier. Until next time here’s to living happier.
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