What’s better, Teflon or Velcro?
In a recent blog entry, I suggested that we all could benefit from becoming a little more Teflon-like: let things go, don’t take every little conflict to heart, move on. Quite a few of you wrote to me in response, so I figured it might be worth looking at a few solid strategies for becoming more teflon-ish:
Strategy Number 1: “Is it True?”
When you’re feeling slighted or wrong-done-by and are filled with negative and judgemental thoughts about someone, pinpoint the most troubling thought (“they should have given me that promotion”) and ask yourself: ‘is it true? can I absolutely know that it’s true?’. Get silent and go deep within yourself, pondering that question without being velcroed to your oh-so-compelling story about that person or situation. In most cases, you will find that you cannot be absolutely sure that your thought is true. Once you realize that, the thought might just slip away, as if it were sliding of a teflon pan. (This wonderful question is adapted from the ground-breaking work of Byron Katy).
Strategy Number 2: Call Your 80-Year-Old to the Rescue
When you’re in the grip of those negative thoughts, when they cling to you like permanent glue, imagine a much older and wiser you providing you with sage advice for finding peace right now. Chances are that the ‘80 year-old you’ will offer insights that will enable you to shed off some of the Velcro and free you to express your Teflon self.
Strategy Number 3: Take a Mini-Vacation
A mini-vacation is doing something – anything! – that will remove you mentally or physically from the challenging situation or from your negative thoughts, thereby providing you with a chance to regroup and obtain a new perspective. Once the Adrenalin and Cortisol (AKA ‘the Stress Hormone’) in your system subside, more balanced thinking can emerge. A mini vacation can be as short as ten minutes. For example, dropping everything and taking a little walk, or taking a bath (not at work!), making a phone call to someone fun, or plunging into a good book. Basically, anything that will open up a different neuron path in your brain.
So what will you put on the menu today, will it be Velcro, or a healthy dose of Teflon?