For years I waded uncomfortably in the waters of uncertainty. Most of the time I was knee-deep trying to figure out how to live in a more calm and balanced way. I felt out of control a lot. I felt my time wasn't my own, and I felt a bit lost, like an anchorless soul bobbing untethered in the current.
I hit bottom when I found myself lying in bed crying, no peripheral vision, wondering what happened. It was a dark time for me especially because on the surface things seemed so right. Anyone who looked at my life would see a high-level, top-performing professional in a good marriage with beautiful children. This appeared to be the case, but it simply was not my reality.
Underneath that exterior was anxiety and depression. It took me a long time to acknowledge that. I felt guilty and badly that I seemed to have it all but still struggled with these kinds of feelings and difficulties.
Through medication, therapy, journaling, commitment, love and support from my husband and family, I got quiet inside and faced my truth. I got real, I got myself to OK. And then I got better.
The revelation of ‘OK’ as being enough for now changed things for me. Formerly Type A and perfection oriented, okay was never good enough. It simply wasn't in my vocabulary. Everything had to be better than OK. When it wasn't, I suffered disappointment and often resentment, lashing out at others for these failures. It didn’t go well; I yelled a lot.
I had learned that my yelling at others was a substitute for yelling at myself [for all the things that weren’t ‘going right’] and I took responsibility for my thoughts and feelings. ...that simple sentence makes it seem like it was easy and quick; it wasn’t.
But, eventually, it became OK.
The Platform of OK
If you are in a struggle and swirling in a negative place of any sort, sometimes it helps to figure out how to get to ‘OK.’ Perfect, excellent, fabulous may be better places to be, but just getting to OK puts you on the path headed in the right direction.
Now, as I Coach, I help my clients get to OK in order to get on the path to excellent. I use a visual of a platform-the Platform of OK-a solid place to stand where you can feel firm footing, even jump and down confidently sure that the platform will hold you.
When you are in any bad or negative place, you feel like you’re reaching your arms way up in the air and stretching your fingers to try to just get a grip on the platform, just to try to get to OK. Can you feel it? It’s elusive, just out of reach.
Now imagine that the way to ratchet down the platform into your reach is by creating a simple positive thought. And each positive thought you think ratchets the platform down closer to you:
- “I want to feel better than this” [ratchet down one notch]
- “I feel better when I am in control” [ratchet down another notch]
- “I decide how I want to feel; I want to feel OK” [ratchet down another notch]
Then imagine getting your fingertips on to the edge of the Platform, firmly grasping it. Now use additional positive thoughts to bring it down further:
- “I know what I want” [ratchet down closer]
- “I take action to feel better” [ratchet down closer]
- “I feel good now that I’m in charge” [ratchet down closer still]
Then, imagine yourself pulling that platform all the way down to the floor in front of you, stepping up on it and bouncing up and down a bit. How does it feel? Solid? Sure?
Is this a mind-game? It sure is!
Will these mind-games work for you? They might!
Can this mind-game hurt you? No!
Why not give it a try?
I learned the impact of mind-games through my own transformative journey from chaos to calm and now I teach them to clients. Thought reframe from the negative to positive is a powerful tool if you commit to the outcomes you desire for your best life.
Getting to the Platform of OK will help you on your way to ‘best.’