YOU-TURN: A GUIDE TO MENTAL FLEXIBILITY
We constantly buy into false beliefs which are developed over time – either directly taught to us, or internalized over difficult experiences. We create these fixed beliefs that are not rooted in fact, but in fear. One of them is developing beliefs around All or Nothing Extremes; ‘if this… then that.’ We embrace rigidity and prohibit flexibility, marry black or white and divorce grey.
This post aims to teach you about the presence of this thinking and how to notice it and CHALLENGE it so that you can change and evolve. One way we create this fixed belief system in our minds is that we convince ourselves that once something is done, it's done – once we have made a decision or taken action we tell ourselves that we have to live with it and can't go back and address those issues. This is so wrong. Boundaries teach us that we matter, so noticing all or nothing thoughts and challenging them is essential for setting those beautiful boundaries with ourselves.
When you embrace that you can go back and clarify, or repair, or revisit and refocus, you develop a natural problem solving ability and thus you CREATE OPPORTUNITY. When you are flexible with yourself, you remain curious and thus you are better able to solve problems with an open mind.
At one point or another, we are going to make a choice or decision and down the line reassess them and realize there are aspects we want to change. That is OK. You may have said or done something to someone you want to correct - you are allowed to go back and verbalize this. The other person MAY NOT embrace you or support this, but that is not the point. The going back and ‘you-turning’ is for you, not for the other. It’s a growing opportunity to face an uncomfortable or undesirable situation and address it directly. By making you-turning an option, you realize that the world will not come to an end if the person on the other side does not feel similarly to you. Conversely, they might feel similarly and embrace your new sentiment and meet you in the middle and together you move forward. YAY. Either way you win.
You-turning is NOT the same as regret. I don’t believe in regret. We all make choices with what we have in the moment and where we are mentally/emotionally at that moment. If down the line you are in a new mind frame and you have new resources and new information, and you look back and see that same issue differently, you get to go back and address it if you so wish. Not for the other person, not to make another like you or see you differently, BUT FOR YOU. For you to be honest with yourself and give yourself that opportunity for experiencing what it is like to you-turn and not have your worst fears realized. Think exposure therapy 😊
This does not have to be about big loaded topics like break ups or fights/arguments (please do keep in mind that if you are you-turning to those issues you must be sure you know what you want to say and why you want to say it), but you-turning is for smaller issues as well. For example, you might have said yes to something and you realize you can't and don't want to do it anymore. Allowing yourself enough time without screwing someone over, you can you-turn and let them know that at the time you thought you could do it but after long consideration you realize it's not going to work out and you can no longer commit.
Another example of a you-turn could be that you snapped on the phone to someone and you didn't mean to. You can you-turn by calling or texting them after some consideration to let them know that you were not being clear and had other factors influencing your response and you apologize.
You can you-turn without ever including another person in your turn! Let's say you are out at an event and you choose your spot to sit or settle in, and it's not comfortable or someone next to you is giving off some bad vibes, you can pick up your stuff and find a new more comfortable spot. This one might seem so obvious and trivial, but stop and notice how often you settle for, or tolerate a physical space or environment that is not comfortable for you. Just you-turn and try somewhere new!
You-turning re-instills your sense of self control through building self trust and flexibility. After all, how much less pressure do we put on ourselves when we give ourselves permission to revisit or change our mind along the way...