- Do you feel exhausted?
- Do you feel that no matter how much you focus on “gratitude”, you are still worrying yourself sick about the “what ifs”, “if only” and “why”s?
Recession, downturns, layoffs, epidemics, unexpected, unprecedented and other gloom and doom, true or fear-mongered stories on repeat, can do that for you.
Also called mental burnout: the feeling of self-fulfilling depletion from too much worrying and not enough replenishing.
How can we do 2023 differently?
There will always be unexpected and unplanned. But we can add new tools to our ever-expanding toolbox of dealing and managing.
Introducing for 2023: the concept of detachment.
What is it? what is it not?- follow this (by far) non-exhaustive guide.
Detaching ain’t disengaging
We start the discussion on detachment by being clear about what we are trying to achieve here: more peace of mind. Not denial, not letting things fall through the cracks, not resigning from responsibilities, duties or commitments, or breaching a contract with ourselves or someone else.
When the collective image of detachment is about a dude sitting on a rock at the high of a mountain, blissfully ignoring the turmoils of life, reality says certain stuff we put on the backburner in the hope they disappear have this uncanny ability to come back and bite us where it hurts.
So in here, we are not ignoring, escaping or disengaging (unless we do it consciously because we know there is nothing left for us).
What we are detaching from is the unnecessary worrying and accompanying anxiety that are not enriching our lives: it is the opposite of disengagement, it’s not avoidance, but a conscious act of taking responsibility for what we do in our life.
Let’s now explore some of the many faces of “detaching”.
Be selective in what you take personally
The first item that comes to mind is when we think (and then feel in our bodies) that what is happening in the world not only will affect us personally but will cause us to rethink our plans and goals. A current example is when many of my clients shy away from asking for a long overdue promotion because their company “is not doing well this year”.
If you were to ask me where to start my detachment cure, I would definitely tell you to be aware of what you are making your problem.
Don’t engage in a drama that has zero usefulness for you. Learn what needs to be taken personally and let the rest out of your mind. In another word, focus on what you can plan, control, get better at (if that’s what you want) and less about all the rest.
There will always be upsetting news, obstacles and challenges – and you will always have enough to do on your plate.
When you see yourself worrying about the state of the world, go back to your goals and take an empowering action.
Have a stronger sense of your-self, of your worth, and identity
Another personal favorite mantra when it comes to building inner strength; this time, it is about getting ourselves outside the usual “I should be having xyz, or else it means I failed somehow”.
I will start by asking you to consider the following statement: your “right to exist” is not linked to your work title, your shape, your bank account. You choose to seek that promotion because you have worked hard to get there; you decide what you want your finances to be. It’s a personal choice that you may make because it is aligned with your values and goals.
Detachment is also knowing that even if you don’t have the title you deserve, your pride is in knowing that you did your best, you gave it your 110%, and that a career setback will not impact your will to achieve and grow on both a personal and professional level.
Do not place all your “sense of achievement” eggs in one basket. Know your value and what you are bringing to the table. You will find the recognition and validation elsewhere.
Practice your version of mind hygiene
Meaning… take responsibility for what you are letting in your life. Not everything that crosses your path is for your highest good. Everyone has an agenda. Choose which is congruent with yours and decide what to do with it.
Practicing mind hygiene should in reality be the first item on the detachment list. It’s only when we consciously decide how to use our resources (mental, physical, our time, our attention), without guilt or shame that we truly free ourselves from the external noise – including from other people’s opinions when they are not helpful.
Lastly, here are a few questions to help you start the process of detaching:
- Who do I want to be in 2023?
- What do I commit to change in my behavior, my thinking, elsewhere?
- What do I want to do more of?
- And less of?
- With all the above in mind, how do I want 2023 to be for me – what are my goals?