Today I completely flipped out over something embarrassingly small. I was helping Jason out with something that should have been a fun break from my workday, but I turned it into something that was beyond stressful and something that caused me to get unduly irritated.
After I lost my cool, I noticed I was mentally beating myself up a bit for it. I was self-criticizing for not being more patient, more relaxed, more centered. But, recognizing these critical thoughts, I did something that my internet bud @heyamberrae talks about, as well as the insightful @brenebrown... I got CURIOUS. Why did this bug me so much? What was striking a chord that was inciting such a strong emotional response in me?
After some digging, I realized that I simply hadn't been able to sit down for more than two hours of uninterrupted work since I returned from San Francisco last week. I'm someone who needs time to sink into a more flow-like state and punctuated short-term bursts of work just won't cut it for me. So what seemed like a tiny task today actually turned into a much bigger annoyance, pulling me away from what I needed to feel productive. Once I was able to find the root of my frustration, it also illuminated an important value for me: control over my day and work schedule.
See, irritations and emotional responses and mini-meltdowns can actually be AMAZING learning tools because they often are a response to one of our highly held values being threatened. Get curious enough to investigate and you're one step closer to really understanding what's important to you.
So next time you think about getting critical with yourself over flipping out, get curious instead and see what you discover!