Why You Don't Have To Feel Great To Do Great Stuff

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This week, I thought it might be useful to say a few words about sleep or lack of sleep! 

Here in the UK, it's almost got the point where we wake up each morning expecting it to be fine sunshine and warm weather during the daytime; but with that, of course, comes warm, muggy nights which can really play havoc with getting a good restful nights sleep. Whether you're on holiday or are working, it doesn't feel ideal if you've spent most of the night tossing and turning and feeling hot and bothered!

So what to do about it? Or more specifically how to be towards it. 

In my mind, there are two ways to approach the 'not getting to sleep' thing. 

When my daughter was a baby, right up until she was three years old, she would wake up several times during the night (she's now six and sleeps beautifully thank goodness!), but back then it felt like a really big deal to me. It felt like it had huge implications. 

- If I don't sleep tonight then tomorrow will be a write-off. 

- If I don't sleep, I will go mad lying here. 

- If I don't sleep, I will put on loads of weight because all I will do is eat sugar because I'm SO tired. 

You get the picture! Maybe you have your own version of that nocturnal chat with oneself?

Then a few months ago, I listened to a webinar run by Jamie Smart, which was not on the topic of sleep specifically, but what he was saying was so relatable. He said:

"You don't have to feel great to do great stuff."

In other words, the idea that a good night's sleep is linked to good days' work is just that. An idea. It doesn't make it true. 

We can have the best night's sleep and still have an unproductive day. Similarly, we can have a terrible night's sleep and achieve beyond what we imagined the following day. I remember once going for a job interview, having spent the previous night in A&E accompanying the friend I was staying with, who had broken her ankle falling down some steps. You would think that this ruined all chances of getting the job, but the call came through that afternoon with an offer and the question when could I start!

We tend to live in a world of universal beliefs that events or situations are tied to our feelings, but it's in the unraveling of that superstitious thinking, that we really begin to experience freedom. 

- Breaking a glass in the morning does not mean you will have a bad day. 

- Someone cutting you up while driving does not mean everyone else you encounter today will annoy you. 

- A client lets you down, doesn't mean they all will. 

Our feelings and emotions come directly from our thoughts, not from situations, other people, or things - even though it really, (really) seems like that sometimes! 

Which is good news when you think about it, because it means life can happen and do what it does with all its disappointments, annoyances, and mishaps on the outside, yet on the inside, we have an innate capacity to remain unaffected. 

Next time something annoying happens, try saying this to yourself "and yet still I'm OK".

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