I do love using the Splat system and the Impact Map to help manage self-expectations and to lighten the load, when I’m having my worse days, without all the guilt. But there are plenty of times in life when adulting doesn’t offer any choice and we have to do what we have to do, no matter how terrible we feel.
Not too long ago, I was having an asteroid day, and I had to go work nine hours … on my feet. There were no options otherwise. And it was absolutely not a day I could positive-think my way around it. It was simply going to be miserable.
I needed something though. I needed some way to help me get through it all. As I had my post-shower, in-bed coffee and jotted in my journal, I found myself writing three phrases. They were statements of assurance. They fixed nothing, but reminded me of better things to come.
What got me through the day was stopping every hour, on the hour, to repeat these three assurances to myself. Yes, I remained miserable, all day, but these checkpoints indeed helped me feel assured. They also broke the nine-hour day down into nine one-hour stretches. I just did one hour at a time. I counted down minutes to the end of each hour, which was way less overwhelming than counting down until the end of the workday. I also checked in with myself; I was able to ask “How did I play? (if you’ve attended my first program or read my first book you know what I mean). I assured myself that I was doing my best and added this to my other three assurances.
Yes, I know I’ve been vague about what my assurances were because I wanted to explain the whole process and not make this about something else. See, my assurances leaned spiritual:
- God is with me.
- God has a plan, and this is part of it.
- I’ve got plenty of great surprises ahead.
Your own assurances don’t have to be spiritual. That’s just who I am and where I’m at. I do have another go-to assurance, which is “I survived Nebraska.” When I need to remind myself that all terrible moments eventually just become a memory, I think of one particular long drive across Nebraska, just highway and cornfields and no semblance of a bathroom in sight, when I had diarrhea.
(I did make it.)
One more way to stack on assurances is to play the fraction game. In my nine-hour day, each hour, I could tell myself, I survived one hour. I just have to do that same thing I already proved I could do, eight more times. This gets even better every hour!
What is your assurance mantra? Think of it now. Write it down somewhere. Then when your impossible day shows up, you’ve got it ready to go.