Welcome to Format Free Friday and to the very first blog post on my REDISGNED blog – made better because I built it myself!
Deciding to build this site was a miserable process, mostly because I’ve always been terrible at technology. And it’s not just my opinion: Give me a new shiny gadget and within minutes of touching it, the machinery will malfunction in a way that no one has ever experienced. It’s a family curse, actually. The same thing happens to my sister, which alternately makes me feel validated and condemned to my technology handicap.
Now, if my clients could weigh in here, they would 1) confirm that I suck at technology, and 2) call me out on allowing this limiting belief to hold me back in life. See, I spend hours every day challenging my clients to distance themselves from disempowering beliefs and to align themselves with beliefs that will move them forward in life. Even though you can’t hear my clients’ voices, I heard them in my head, and I made the decision to test my own tools. Here’s what I did.
Identified the limiting belief: This wasn’t hard for me because I’m painfully aware of my inner bitch and what she says to me. You, however, may have to dig deeper to get in touch with the negative loop that plays in your head. My primary limiting belief went like this: “You suck at technology. You’ll never be able to build a website so you’ll need to hire someone to do it for you. It will cost thousands of dollars, so forget about clothing and cabs for the next year.”
Flip the belief (without bullshitting yourself): “I’m going to start with a clean slate, a beginner’s mind, and allow for the possibility that I can learn something new which may have been historically difficult for me. I’ve grown a lot since I last tried to build a website. I’m going to allow for new possibilities.” This is the mantra I repeated each time I logged into the website builder.
Pattern interrupt: I hit roadblocks. Every day. The website builder that I used offers 24/7 tech support, however, it’s via email. I would send out an email and it would often take an hour or longer to get a reply – a timeframe during which I was waiting, impatiently, because I couldn’t start the next step until I got an answer to my question. And then, the mother f^@k#&s would sometimes fail to answer my question in their response or misunderstand my question, requiring me to begin the email process all over again – because they don’t offer phone support - which made me angry, and rendered my little mantra USELESS. So I needed a more powerful intervention: The pattern interrupt.
I customize pattern interrupts for each of my clients because what works for one person doesn’t work for another. The basic principle behind a pattern interrupt is to remove yourself from the triggering situation, pull yourself out of your amygdala (the part of the brain that wants to fight, flee or freeze), and activate your prefrontal cortex (yourright mind). I do this by employing as many of the senses as I can (sight, smell, touch, and sound) and by engaging in hardcore exercise for 2 minutes. Here’s what I did:
1. Stepped away from the computer (removing myself from the triggering situation).
2. Ran down and then up 10 flights of stairs (hardcore exercise).
3. Ran the steps while listening to a playlist of songs that always makes me smile (sound).
4. As soon as I was done with the steps, came back inside, sprayed some lavender, which for me, is very calming (smell).
5. Grabbed an animal (I have 4 to choose from) and began petting him or her (touch & sight).
This entire process took 5 minutes. Using a scale from 0-10 (0=neutral, 10=postal), it consistently took me from 8+ down to 0 or 1 (1, only because I knew I had to go back to building the fucking website).
So there you have it, folks. It’s amazing what I can do when I just follow my own advice. Happy Friday. If you haven’t already subscribed, please show me some love!