The one where I wore my slippers to the bank…

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Ever just had “one of those days?”

True story. Today, I had a 10am session with a client and an 11:30 appointment to get three separate banking things done that I’ve been meaning to do. I woke up in the morning, put on a sweater and crop-leggings, and of course my house slippers because #teletherapist life. I drank coffee, had the session, felt great, and then responded to a few emails. I looked at the clock, and it was 11:20, so I was like “OOH gotta go!” Grabbed my keys and out the door I went (my office is like three steps from my garage door, so it was a quick dart out).

I walked into the bank (made it with 2 minutes to spare by the way), sat in the lobby and waited for my appointment. At this point I am thinking, “I am totally crushing this whole adulting thing.” I headed back to my banker’s office and casually chatted about my business, my life, and what I needed to get done there during the appointment. While talking about one of those things, I had to go back out to the car and grab a letter. As I was hustle-shuffling (you know – that thing that is somewhere between a saunter and a speed-walk?)  through the lobby, that is when I looked down and noticed….

“MOTHER OF … I’M WEARING THE SLIPPERS MY GRANDMA GAVE ME. IN PUBLIC. AT THE BANK. TALKING TO MY BUSINESS BANKER.”

So what did I do?
Panicked?
Stopped breathing?
Jumped into my car and sped away without finishing the meeting?

Full disclosure – pieces of all those things occurred or crossed my mind. I felt a rise of panic, embarrassment, fear, and shame. My breath did catch in my throat for a second. And I TOTALLY considered leaving right then and there (to be honest, I probably would have given this slightly more serious consideration if I did not leave my purse in the banker’s office while I ran out…)

So, instead, I used some deep breathing, quickly challenged my cognitive errors (darn you, mind-reading and catastrophizing!), and engaged in a little positive self-talk. My inner-critic voice was SCREAMING at me, trying to bring me down, telling me I am unprepared, unprofessional, and that I should be so embarrassed. But, I did a quick clap-back at that voice. I asked myself what I would tell a friend in a similar situation?

So, I reminded myself that I’m a rockstar for knocking some stuff off my list today and making use of the few hours I have between clients. After all, I could have napped, played with my cats, or watched Netflix (all perfectly reasonable things to do, btw). But instead I chose to take some of that down time and get some needed banking done.

I reminded myself that I’m doing the best I can, and if the worst thing I do today is wear slippers in a bank…. then I’m doing okay!

BUT! This reaction, and the skills that helped me get here, DID NOT happen overnight. Lots of practice, trials, and errors went into this outcome – as opposed to the other outcome where I duck into my car, never return, and switch banks immediately.

Practice, folx. Rewire that brain. When we have spent years engaging in patterns of problematic thinking(like thinking we know what others are thinking, focusing on the worst case scenario outcome, and not offering ourselves compassion), and we need to take time and practice new ways of thinking. We need to identify those unhelpful, irrational thoughts, weigh the evidence for them, challenge them, and then reframe.

I can help you with that! I love sitting alongside someone as we think about our thinking, and re-work our neural pathways into more positive endings to our story. I can help you learn how to clap back at the inner critic. Laugh through it. Show yourself some compassion. Stop shoulding all over yourself!

If this resonates in any way, let me help you! Let’s practice some new ways to respond to embarrassment, anxiety, stress, and panic! I’m here when you’re ready ♥ Reach out to schedule your free 20 minute phone/video consultation and let’s see if I may be a good fit to help you not run for the hills the next time you wear your slippers to the bank!

Talk soon! Be bold, friends!

-Dr. B



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