How’s That Working for You?
I’ve found that my automatic reaction to a situation isn’t always the best. But it’s automatic, so it’s difficult to see. When I notice I’m getting the same, unwanted results, I ask the simple question,
How’s that working for you, Beth?
This is how I start to question something I have been doing for a while but isn’t working any longer.
The first part of the statement gets me to question what I’m doing. Why do I continue to do the same thing and get the same result? Maybe I should look at alternatives?
When I ask this question, it gives me a chance to look at the situation from a distance, arm’s length if you will. Putting some distance between myself and the change I’m considering, allows me to take a view outside of me. It’s as if the person asking the question (me) is looking at it through a different lens, one not so personal and influenced by my beliefs.
At the same time, including my name in the question, makes it personal. That is just as important because it brings the question right up in my face to really think about my choices, instead of the reflexive opinion or judgment that often automatically occurs.
Taken together, the question, ‘How’s it working for you, Beth?’ is a tool I’ve used with my most emotionally difficult changes.
That’s how I learned to deal with anger. Anger has been a common theme in my life. Not sure where it came from, but I remember many situations that were totally blown out of proportion because I let my anger get the better of me.
When I asked, ‘How’s it working for you, Beth?’, I remember feeling really frustrated with myself. The simple question stopped me in my tracks and forced me to acknowledge my part in the situation, without allowing me to blame someone or something else.
It was when I started noticing how often I asked myself this question, that I realize it was a powerful tool to deal with strong and difficult emotions.
Try it the next time you get frustrated with yourself. You might find it useful to calm yourself down and take the emotions away when you are reacting automatically.