Ask Ruby

with teenage girl life coach, Sami Halvorsen

This month's question:

How can I stop procrastinating?

Ruby's answer:

Procrastination really is just avoiding doing the things that you need to do. When we are avoiding doing something that we don’t want to do, it is not actually the task that we are avoiding doing. It is the feeling we think we will feel, when we do the activity, that we are avoiding. For example, if a parent asks you to take out the trash, the reason you don’t jump up and do it right away isn’t because it’s too hard to take out the trash. It’s because you are avoiding feeling interrupted, or stressed out, or afraid to go out in the dark, or maybe embarrassed because your neighbors might see you in your pjs:) 
 
When we avoid something it is just simply because we see the threat of a bad feeling looming in the horizon if we do the task. Here are three questions I like to ask when I see that I am avoiding getting something done that I need to do:
 
1) What is the feeling that I am avoiding feeling? Most of the time for me I put off tasks because I fear the feeling of overwhelm and anxiety. 
2) How can I be brave and have courage to face this feeling? We don’t give ourselves enough credit for how strong we can be when facing unwanted emotions. 
3) What else is possible to feel? Many times our brains just want to focus on the negative emotions that are possible, but in actuality there are so many other emotions available to us when we complete a task. For example, completing tasks leads to feelings of relief, confidence, peace, pride,  contentment and relaxation. Those feelings are much more of a motivator to complete tasks than the negative ones!

Previous Ask Ruby Questions

Question:

At times I feel like I talk so bad about myself. What are things I can do to love myself more?

Ruby's answer:

Most humans are very good at talking bad about themselves (and other people, right?) It’s because our brains are programmed to look for all the negative and bad things in the world around us. Do you notice how it is very natural and easy to complain instead of being grateful? Noticing the bad in the world is almost effortless, and it is the same when it comes to noticing the bad about ourselves. If you want to love yourself you have to be stronger than the natural part of your brain. Loving ourselves comes from thinking about the good parts of ourselves, being grateful for who we are, and what our amazing selves can do. We are all blessed with talents and traits that come from our Heavenly parents. If you can learn to look for the good in you, you will start to love yourself more. And by the way, we don’t have to be perfect to love ourselves!

Question:

How can you get disturbing or unsettling thoughts out of your mind?

Ruby's answer:

This is such a great question! Our brains on average think over 60,000 thoughts each day, and many times the majority of these thoughts are not positive and happy, unicorn and rainbow thoughts! This is very normal.  Our brains spend all day thinking thoughts about everything. A lot of time we don’t even notice our brain thinking thoughts. 
 
We actually CANNOT control what thoughts enter into our brains. They just come!
 
If you can’t control what thoughts enter your brain, then what CAN you do? First, you have to notice the thought that you are thinking that is disturbing or unsettlingly to you. Our thoughts create our feelings, and many times our thoughts will create unsettling feelings in our bodies. Once we notice the thought, we have to train our brain to think a different way. The more you train your brain to think a different way the less often the disturbing thought will continue to come. 
 
For example, let’s say your disturbing thought is Nobody cares about me. When this thought comes up in your brain you will need to train your brain to fight this thought by telling yourself it isn’t true, finding evidence for how it’s not true, and start showing your brain this is a thought error and pointing out to your brain the people that care about and love you. You can train your brain to find what you want it to find. Do you want to believe Nobody cares about me or do you want to believe There’s a world of people that love me? Whatever you put your mind to work on finding it will find it! You are always in control of your thoughts, your thoughts are never in control of you.
 
Good luck! Sami (aka Ruby)

Question:

How can I not be scared about people talking bad about me?

Ruby's answer:

It’s very normal for our brains to be on the lookout for someone talking bad about us, or not liking us.

 

Our brains are designed for survival, and when someone rejects us in any way, we feel threatened and afraid. In order to overcome this natural part of our brains that wants to be concerned about what others think, we have to truly define ourselves and decide on our own who we are.

 

For example, let’s say that someone says behind my back that I have purple hair (which I totally don’t). And, even though I like purple, it’s just not my choice of hair color, so my hair is definitely not purple!  When I can be 100 percent confident that my hair is NOT purple, then whatever people say about my hair being purple, doesn’t actually matter, because, I know the truth!

 

What are the things about you that are true? How can you define yourself so that when people state their negative opinions of you, they won’t matter, because you already have your own?