I was mortified. Literally, I could not speak. (Which, for a professional motivational speaker, is not a good thing.)
Just a few minutes earlier, my physical therapist had taken photos of me standing in front of a wall. He had photographed me from the front, back and both sides. And now we were looking at my pictures on his computer and he was pointing out everything wrong with my alignment.
“See how your head juts forward. Notice the way your shoulders are uneven, as well as your hips. Look at the way your arms rotate slightly forward as well…”
Finally, I started in, “Oh my gosh, Brian! I look horrible! This is awful! I’m a MESS!
Brian stopped me, and, with absolutely no emotion whatsoever said, “Linda. It’s just information. With it, we can make some changes. Without it, you will continue to have issues with your back forever. And – they will probably get worse.”
Wait. What? It’s just information? Let me think about that a minute.
Then it hit me. He was right. It really WAS just information. I was the one putting all this interpretation on what I saw as BAD, WRONG and DOWNRIGHT EVIL! And it was that interpretation that was sending me into a state of emotional lockdown. And, as we all know, NOTHING positive ever comes out of that emotional state. Which made me wonder – how many times in life do I do this??? A lot. I’m certain.
If you are anything like me at all, this may be true for you as well.
So let’s make a promise, you and I. In the future, when we see or hear something about ourselves that we don’t like, let’s IMMEDIATELY replace the critical judgment with the words, “It’s just information.” For instance…
- You get a substandard performance review: “It’s just information. Tell me more so I can fix this.”
- You get home to discover that you have been wearing two different earrings all day long: “It’s just information. I’ll pay more attention.”
- You get on the scale and weigh…um…more than you would like: “It’s just information. I’m going back to the gym and ditching the nightly hot fudge sundaes.”
- You are notified that you won the $80,000,000 lottery: “It’s just infor…. Oh NO, it’s NOT!”