Hijacked by Our Inner Toddler
Much of our lives is spent reacting to our preferences: avoiding the things we don’t like and seeking the things we do like.
This includes people too. There are people we don’t like very much, so we either avoid them or put up with them. Then there’s the people we do like and we try to be around them.
Of course, around the people we do admire, we often wonder how we fit into their preferences. Do they like us, or would they rather not be around us???
So we spend our lives reacting to our own preferences and trying to fit well into other people’s preferences.
But why? Why does it matter to us whether we like something or not, or whether someone else likes us or not? It’s as if there’s some driving force behind this system that keeps it going from when we were young to when we get old…getting what we like…avoiding what we don’t like.
A hint at what our preferences are about can be seen in our "triggers." We get triggered when something pushes up hard against our preferences. And triggers are all about being okay...When we're triggered, we don't think we're okay.
So our preferences aren't actually about getting what we want and avoiding what we don’t want. Our preferences are about us being okay.
When a kid is scared or worried, one of the go-to phrases out of adults’ mouths is, “It’s going to be okay.” Even if it’s really scary, dangerous, or painful right now, we somehow know that we will feel better if we know that everything is going to be okay.
Somewhere along the way, though, we bought into a story that we can’t or shouldn’t be okay unless we get what we like and avoid what we don’t like. Our minds and spirits have been hijacked by a toddler!!
We as adults still want to know that everything is going to be okay too. We just don’t have someone holding us and telling us that quite as often.
We all want to be okay, and we think the solution is getting the universe to align with our preferences.
How can I be positive when the weather is like this? How can I be kind to her when she talks to people like that? How can I feel good about myself when I look like this?
Well, it's kind of obvious, but the universe doesn't give a crap about our preferences! It doesn't care whether we get what we like or avoid what we don't like.
That’s part of my job as a coach - to remind people that they’re okay and they’re going to be okay. You can stop wondering if you’re getting it right. You can stop worrying if you’re going to make it or not. You can forgive your mistakes, let go of your self-judgment, and start showing up from here, right where you are, as your best.
What would life be like if we weren’t so attached to our preferences? What if instead of needing our preferences met, we were able to be free, empowered, and effective at what we’re really committed to and really after?
A whole new world of possibility opens up to us when we stop caring about our preferences and start caring about fulfilling what we’re really committed to and passionate about.
In a way, we could call this simply trading our small and insignificant preferences for larger and more impactful preferences. Great. Trade away. Comfort the inner toddler that wants to get its way, and then go be an adult and make a positive impact on the world.
Thanks so much for reading. 🙏❤️
P.S. As a transformational coach, I help people move beyond their self-imposed limitations to live their best lives and feel amazing. If you’re interested in finding out how I can support you, reach out and let’s talk. 💌