How to Deal with Dread


August 5, 2014

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I just returned from California yesterday, and I’m already itching to go back soon! It’s such a beautiful part of the world, and we had an incredible few weeks.

However, the one thing that wasn’t exactly my favorite part of the trip was our two-hour bike ride across the Golden Gate Bridge.

For some reason, I really don’t like bikes. I feel like they are really uncomfortable and far too much effort. Even typing out those words sounds so silly seeing that I’m the queen of too much effort, and I spend 90 minutes in hot yoga classes which most people would say are very uncomfortable. It confuses me too, my friend! But I’ve tried, and I can’t force myself to enjoy cycling. Might as well be honest about it, right?

I also have to admit that I didn’t handle the few hours of the ride well – I sulked and made the whole experience much more difficult than it needed to be. Although the views were amazing and the ride was once-in-a-lifetime, I couldn’t shake the feeling of negativity and wished I could be doing something else with that time. I definitely was not living in the moment or practicing what I preach when it comes to positivity.

So what does this have to do with you? Well, when we were on our bike ride (i.e. the longest two hours of my life) I found myself thinking of you, and wondering whether there’s anything you dread or don’t enjoy in your own life. 

If you’re anything like me, the issue with these situations is that it’s tricky to put that positive spin on it or figure out if you’re supposed to be learning something when you feel so crappy. We know that it’s pointless to spend time and energy on being upset but sometimes, in that moment, it’s difficult not to just want to sulk about it.

So let me ask, are you going through the motions for someone else or because you have to? Are you checked out and just pedaling around without really considering your actions? Are you in a career that makes you dread each day? Are you living for the future? Are you only seeing the negative?

If so, here are six questions to ask yourself when you’re stuck in a less than ideal situation. Hopefully they will help you turn it around or at least learn something in the process.

  1. How is your attitude making the situation worse for you? What about for others?
  2. What positives can you find in what you’re experiencing?
  3. Is life trying to teach you something?
  4. Is this temporary or once-in-a-lifetime? (if not, maybe you need to make a change.)
  5. Is there a deeper reason why you’re not enjoying the experience? 
  6. Is this something you should have (and could have) said “No” to in the first place? (If so, say it next time!)

Over the next week or so, when you find yourself feeling grumpy, negative or dreading something on your calendar, ask yourself those questions and work on living in the moment, learning and being more positive instead. Just like getting that once-in-a-lifetime view of San Francisco on my bike ride, there’s always a bright side.

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts below and please forward this post onto anyone who might benefit from it.

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