I experienced a moment yesterday evening while driving home. I found myself feeling frustrated because there was a car in front of me that was going slower than I wanted to go. I mean how dare they drive the actual speed limit?!! I have been in this profession long enough that the majority of the time I am able to catch myself when this is happening and really ask myself why I am actually frustrated. As all of my clients know, I am pretty candid when it comes to owning my own mistakes and failures and also am a huge advocate for therapists who can be human and feel confident and secure enough to freely discuss our own mistakes and use them as opportunities to model what we did in response (practice what we preach). Here is what I came up with.
The night before, I knew that the weather was going to be nice and I got super excited that I could take the doors and top off of my jeep. There is something therapeutic and overall relaxing when the doors and top are off while I am driving. It is similar to what I hear people who ride motorcycles describe.
Anyways, I realized in that moment of frustration that I was literally getting frustrated because this car in front of me was enabling my drive to last longer; which means that I got to spend more time in this vehicle that I was so excited about driving with the top and doors off.
This is just one small example but I started wondering about how many times that we get exactly what we wanted and still complain. That car was literally enabling me to have more time in my “relaxation place” and I was getting frustrated with them. HUH??!! This is where accountability plays a significant role in enhancing our quality of life and overall happiness. If you are one who doesn’t take any time to recognize and acknowledge when things do go your way, or worse, do what I did in the previous example and actually complain when it goes better than you expected; YOU are actively creating and exacerbating whatever situation(s) you are in. Our decision to be accountable for the changes we want in our lives is the most important dictator of our success.
The mental health tip is to acknowledge when life goes right for you and don’t act so damn entitled and greedy. Just enjoy the moment…and then use that momentum to continue getting better.