Who’s Your “Everybody”?

VTfallI was walking yesterday, in the beautiful fall weather here in Vermont, and was thinking about the upcoming talk on stress that I am doing later this week at the Rutland Regional Medical Center. I was going through the list of stress factors for the presentation and got to our “Everybody”. The “Everybody” is a very important factor in our stress and it is unique for each of us.

Who is “Everybody”? It is a small group of people who raised us and individuals who became very important to us at crucial developmental stages in our lives. It is a committee of a few key people put together by our social self to protect and help us. On the other hand, it is also the “Everybody” whose perceived opinion we use internally to make decisions or to judge ourselves in our minds. For example, think of when you are asked to do something that is outside your comfort zone or something you have never considered. Your response might be, “Everybody will think I am crazy!” You can come up with your own situation for your use of “Everybody”, but few of us escape his influence.

The problem is, during the time in our life when these folks were instilling their ideals into our little brains, our brains took their opinion as fact. Those ideas may have served us well back then when we needed guidance and protection, but often they no longer serve us and can make us self critical. It is not always such a bad thing, but when we are feeling uneasy about something and can’t put our finger on it, we may simply be pushing back against one of their beliefs. A good way to be sure we are running our own lives, and not letting “Everybody” make our decisions is to notice whether we are making a decision on automatic pilot based on a limiting belief or if we are settling on our own well-thought out choice based on our adult self. I know it sounds like making our own adult choices should be automatic, but we may be surprised to find how often the “Everybody’s” way of doing things or opinions may come into our daily life. It comes in the form of how we parent, how we clean our house, how we drive, what and how we eat, exercise…..You get the idea.

I had another thought as I was walking. As if we don’t suffer enough from our “Everybody”, we also have “Second-hand Everybody”. I can’t wait to tell you about that on Thursday October 10th, 2013 from 6 – 7:30 pm at RRMC. I hope to see you there!

Enjoy this beautiful fall day!