Expectations vs You

Hello Fuzzbutts,

Hope you’re all doing well! Feeling good? Keeping yourself grounded? Maybe you’re a little stressed out because of everything around you or maybe your goals aren’t coming to fruition. It might be your expectations are off and the difference between expectation and reality is what’s driving you crazy.

Say you wanted to lose 100 lbs in a year. That’s almost 10 lbs a month. If you’ve never lost more than 4 pounds so far, is it reasonable to expect yourself to double that? Maybe. Maybe not. However, if you’re halfway through the year and you’ve lost maybe 20 lbs, you’re going to find yourself very frustrated that you’re not on track. You’ve made great progress, just not at the timetable you’re expecting. If you had been better about your expectations though and said 50 pounds, you’d still feel pretty good halfway through the year if you lost the same 20 lbs.

I also see a lot of people putting expectations on others or even the entire world. They expect others to behave a certain way or think a certain way. If it doesn’t happen, it really ends up bothering them. It would be like me saying “I expect everyone to be productive” and then getting angrier every time I see somebody wasting away all their time (there’s a lot of them). It doesn’t do me any good to put those expectations on others and it only results in feeling bad. There are certain behaviors that should be expected like not expecting a stranger to randomly run up to you screaming, sure. However, we have to be reasonable in what we expect of ourselves and others. Often times, it just means lowering expectations.

I hope you start to analyze your own expectations of yourself and others. Are your goals and responsibilities actually reasonable or are you expecting too much (or too little!). Are you putting expectations on others and becoming frustrated when they don’t live up to them? Reassess how you think when it comes to things like this and hopefully you’ll find the peace of mind you need when everything around you seems to be failing.

Recognizing Your Emotions

Hi Fuzzbutts!

Have you had a day recently where you wandered around feeling stressed? How about just angry where everybody got on your nerves? Well that’s normal, depending on all sorts of factors going on. Could just be a lack of sleep. Could be a lot of stuff has gone wrong and you’re feeling frustrated. The first trick is to catch yourself when you feel this way. Once you catch yourself, tell yourself how you feel.

This has been helpful this week and last for me. There have been a couple of days where this wuff didn’t sleep well. I’d go to work and find things just getting on my nerves or I just feel like I don’t have the patience for certain things. So what do I do? Analyze how I feel. Is anyone actually doing anything different? Why am I reacting so differently? “I’m tired and irritable. I need a nap.” was all I needed to say to myself and I felt better instantly. I knew what was going on with me and what was affecting my emotions and just knowing that gave me way more patience when dealing with others. I was tired but at least people didn’t bother me as much.

I had another time when things kept breaking down or not working. I’m sitting there, doing everything right, from my point of view, and things still went wrong. After a few hours of that, it was clear I was feeling stressed. “I’m frustrated and stressed out.” and suddenly I felt more clear. Things were still broken but I was able to let it go and sort out everything that had been done and other options to try.

So if you catch yourself feeling terrible in one way or another, stop yourself and try to identify the specific feelings you’re having in that moment. If you can go a cat’s whisker further, try to identify WHY you feel that way. Not necessary but it all helps. So keep good track of yourself and see how you feel!

Good luck fuzzbutts!

Knocking out those negative voices!

Rawr! Intense wuff!

So yesterday morning I looked up the obstacle course and some of it looks intense! Of course, my brain did what many brains might do- tell me I couldn’t do it. I see something that looks awkward or I haven’t done before and a powerful voice in my head says “You should quit. That’s too much. You aren’t ready for that.” And then builds onto my anxiety. Before I began to imitate the cowardly lion, I caught myself and realized my brain was trying to push me right back into my safe bubble. It’s an obstacle course full of people I don’t know! So what if I end up looking silly on some of them and doing the penalty burpees? As difficult as some of it looks, there’s no realistic reason to expect to get hurt!

Even when you think rationally, your mind can still build thoseĀ feelings of anxiety or other issues. One way of dealing with it is channeling that energy. Being anxious just keeps you stressed so turn that energy into something else! By imagining the negative voice as a separate entity from myself, I can see it as something to be irritated by, converting that anxiety into annoyance which is something I can work with.

You’re not prepared enough.” POW! I’m going to lay out what I’m going to wear. “You don’t know how to do that! You’ve never done that before!” KABOOM! I’m going to try! Not like there’s a bunch of places with a hanging rope I can practice climbing. I can at least watch videos to learn what the technique is supposed to be so I can try when I get there. “You’re not strong enough.” BIFF! I’m way stronger than I was and I’ve never tested myself before so what do you know about what I can and can’t do? “It’s going to go badly.” WHACK! It won’t but even if it does, I can always sign up for another one and train more with a better idea of what I need to work on!

So yeah. My own technique is to make the negative voice something separate you can fight against. Channel the energy into something you can use like developing plans or working harder toward your goals!

Good luck, fuzzbutts!

Taking the digital break

Hello fuzzbutts!

As we continue to work toward our goals and pushing on the tasks at hand, it can become a bit overwhelming. We put in the effort to eat right and sleep well to maintain our energy. Sometimes we stretch too thin and have a hard time focusing. This happens when our phones constantly ding, notifications pop up even on Windows 10, and friends are trying to message us on Telegram and Discord!

Well, aside from a little mindfulness meditation sometimes, we need to take a step back from the distractions. Having to leave the house for a few hours, I made the most of it by going to the park and sitting down with a sketchbook for a bit. Sure I had my phone with me but I put it on Do-Not-Disturb and played some music while I sat there. Sitting in a park for 3 hours will really make your brain feel weird. I entered a different state of mind.

After a bit of time (because 3 hours feels like forever) I was walking along the path, picking up seeds from the palm trees and tossing them to squirrels to watch them pick them up. One came just inches from my hand! Eventually, my mind started to wander to the things I needed to do. Some of it actually made me feel like I’m spread too thin again, even if I just think of the goals I set last week. So maybe I need to tweak things already. By taking a big step away from doing the work, you’ll be able to see how you’re doing with your goals and efforts.

So take some time to get away from all the things keeping you busy and try to just detox from all the distractions. It’ll help you get your mind right and you’ll feel better after taking some time to go outside!

Have fun, furries!

Wednesday Tailtip: Stop and Assess!

Hi Fuzzbutts!

This week I wanted to give you a tip that will keep you aware and moving toward your goals. It’s actually very simple but it’s hard to remember!

Throughout your day, whether it’s at work or home, I want you to just pause. Just stop whatever you’re doing for a few seconds and ask yourself “Is what I am doing helping me toward my goals?”

It’s a powerful question when we stop to think about it. Sometimes we might just be lounging with Netflix. If your goal is to become a potato, then you’ll answer the question positively. If whatever you’re doing isn’t help you toward your goals, then figure out what is the next step you need to move toward your goals. Maybe you’re using the distraction as a way to procrastinate because of some fears in your back of your mind. Recognize your thoughts and actions and then get to work.

Now, sometimes it’s helpful to be a slothy furry. You’ve had a nasty day or you went through a lot and are just exhausted. It’s alright to be tired and to use certain opportunities to recharge. However, you know you best. Are you seriously in need of a recharge or are you just putting off your future? Even if you are tired, think about one tiny thing you could do today to move you toward your goal.

It’s not the easiest habit to stop whatever you’re doing and ask yourself this question but, once you do, you’ll become much more aware of your mind and where you are with your life. Good luck, fuzzbutts!