I’ve always hated surprises. Even “good” surprises – like an unexpected party or a publicly delivered promotion. I’d really rather know everything that could possibly happen and when and with whom – so that I can let myself believe I’m prepared.
At least, that used to be the case. Now I’m no longer sure surprises are as terrible as I once thought – especially since I realized that being surprised is basically part of being human.
Listen in this week to hear how I learned to open up to the idea that surprises MIGHT be something to enjoy and appreciate, rather than something to avoid at all costs.
Mentioned in this Episode
- Check out the Defying Gravity Revolution – a Candice-led community of Bees committed to stop wondering if they married the wrong guy so they can enjoy the marriage they imagined when they said “I do.”
- Grab your free e-copy of “Wife on Purpose” and the companion workbook HERE
- If you’re a coach who wants to up the trauma-informed factor in your sessions and your business, join the Trauma-Informed coaching interest list HERE.
- Follow Candice on Instagram and Facebook
‘s Up, Bees?!
Did you know… having a happier marriage doesn’t have to take forever. The connection and joy you crave really are just ONE sentence away from where you are today.
Coaching helps you find and shift the sentences in your way right now.
And that can happen FAST.
From answering just one powerful question.
From adopting one new thought you didn’t even know was an option for you to think.
One string of words and *BOOM* your marriage is forever changed.
That’s what happened in the Wife on Purpose book club last week.
Suzanne shed some pretty hefty guilt when I offered her the option to stop being mad at herself for noticing that she might be “smarter” than her guy.
She was feeling awful because she’d been telling herself that it was rude and conceited for her to acknowledge her own intelligence. Together, we tried on the idea that her noticing her intelligence might be no different than her noticing his height.
He’s taller than her. She’s smarter than him. He can reach the higher shelves. She can solve problems faster. Doesn’t mean she can’t climb on a stool or that he won’t solve the problems eventually. They both have their strengths. Maybe none of that has to mean anything about who’s more valuable – cuz both of their value is infinite and already intact no matter what.
Maybe she can acknowledge her intelligence without disparaging his and then come together to make their life exactly what they both want it to be.
Wouldn’t that be fun?
Stefanie came to the Wife on Purpose book club calls berating herself for wanting to change the way her husband interacts with their daughter. She was calling herself “controlling” and “bossy” – when it was also an option to see how the change she desired would more than likely serve him and his goals too.
She took my offer to stop calling herself controlling and start calling herself his advocate – because while she didn’t support his behavior, she DID support him. She saw a change that would help him get to more quickly get where he wanted to go with their daughter and… together we decided to call that helpful, not bossy.
Especially when she’s able to offer him advice from a detached place, not a demanding one. No pressure. No scolding. For EITHER of them.
That’s how us Bees build more stable homes and marriages we LOVE to live in.
Just one sentence.
One tiny shift in the way you tell your story brings a whole new relationship with yourself, your marriage and your life.
Which brings me to the topic of today’s episode – why I hate surprises.
I’ve never liked them. Not even “good” surprises – like birthday parties, last minute getaways or public promotions. I would REALLY have to work to get my nervous system on board in every one of those instances – at least at first, I’d probably come around – because being surprised is NOT my thing.
I like to know what’s coming.
It’s important to me to plan my outfit and fix my hair exactly right if I’m going to a party or taking a trip because people take pictures at those sorts of events. Pictures that last a lifetime and are likely to be displayed in any number of places. I don’t wanna be memorialized forever with smudged make-up or a messy mom bun.
Promotions often call for a speech of some sort and it can be difficult to sound eloquent on the fly. If I’m being honored for some reason, I want to make sure people in the audience don’t whisper behind their hands wondering who screwed up giving me this new opportunity. I want time to prepare and carefully curate my comments.
I also don’t want to caught off guard during a tragedy – any kind of tragedy. I’m like a boy scout that way… I want to be prepared. If my brain has her way, I’ll spend time imagining worst case scenarios and thinking my way through plans A B C and D.
Not because I’m a pessimist. Not really.
Just because I HATE surprises, so I try to limit the possibility for surprise in all scenarios.
About six months ago, I was running through the process of making a mental flow chart of what I’d do and what I’d need if that happened or this went down.
My very good friend patiently witnessed the entire process while we traveled home from a life coach event we’d just attended. She listened to me up the jetway, all through the terminal and down the escalator.
Then, just before we stepped into our separate Ubers, she turned back and called over her shoulder: “Why is it – really – that you hate being surprised?” then she got into her Uber without waiting for my answer.
Left me standing right there, open-mouthed on the curb.
Her question was a fair one though – “Why is it – really – that I hate being surprised?”
I thought about my answer for days afterward.
And – to be honest – I’m not really a huge fan of what I came up with.
The reason I hate surprises is that I haven’t yet learned that I’ll be there for myself through them.
Remember my whole thing about the party pictures? How I want to know what events are coming so I won’t be caught on camera looking sloppy?
Couple things there.
If I’m the kind of person who is there for myself no matter what, then I probably wouldn’t choose the word “sloppy” to describe my look.
It’s not very nice.
It’s also not a fact.
Let’s do a little mental photo shop – you ready? Let’s take this allegedly sloppy looking photo and put YOUR face where mine used to be. Everything else – hair, outfit, all of it – remains exactly the same.
The chances of me calling YOU sloppy are very, very low.
Casual, maybe… or relaxed.
Better yet, I’d probably call you self-assured and confident. Comfortable in your own skin.
Better still, I can easily see myself see you as beautiful. Messy mom bun and all.
Maybe I’d be more open to a surprise party if I trusted myself to see pictures of myself as beautiful – no matter the outfit.
I don’t trust myself that way yet, but it’s kinda fun to imagine what life would be like if I did.
So first – I don’t EVER have to call myself sloppy or frumpy. I’m thinking there’s not much upside to using those words on myself.
And if you feel tempted to tell me that calling yourself frumpy will motivate you to take better care of yourself – I hear that.
You might be right.
It’s also true that scolding yourself to improve is a pretty painful approach and it’s definitely not the only one.
What if you can see the beauty in yourself as you are right now AND love who you are right now enough to take even better care of yourself with clothes that fit well and skincare products that highlight your best features?
Which brings me to the second thing – if I’m the kind of person who is there for myself no matter what… it’s likely that I’d spend time taking care of myself each morning by getting ready for anything in a way that feels good to me.
Sometimes that’ll be full fashion and all the make-up.
Other times, I’ll go casual on purpose.
The point is – I dress myself on purpose, not throw on whatever’s closest because I’ve spent my morning getting everyone else what they need first.
So maybe I’d be more up for surprises in my life if I knew – for sure – that I’d stand by myself with kindness and love no matter what.
If I knew I’d choose flattering adjectives to describe myself.
If I trusted me to set myself up on purpose at the start of each day.
Then – if something unexpected arises – I’ll already be in the habit of thinking of myself as smart, kind, competent, resourceful, beautiful.
The woman who thinks that way about herself is the woman can handle anything.
And I am her. Or I could be if I wanted to.
So maybe I don’t really need to know what’s coming, I only need to remind myself that I’m right here by my own side to handle it – whatever “it” is.
*deep breath* – okay
Now – I totally get it if the concept of being right there by your own side to handle anything no matter what seems a little on the unfamiliar side.
Maybe you’re used to abandoning and discrediting yourself instead. A lot of us are.
So I’ve got a little hack to help you get in the habit.
Think of someone you KNOW loves you – no matter what and ALWAYS.
Maybe it’s a grandparent or aunt.
Could be a former coach or elementary school teacher.
Maybe it’s a dog you had as a kid.
Could be the God you believe in or a sort of spirit animal.
If none of those options are landing, you could also borrow ideas from books, music or TV.
I sometimes like to imagine Jack Pearson – or grown up Randall – from the TV show This is Us.
Zeke Braverman from Parenthood is also a good option (especially since that actor is the grandpa in my favorite Christmas movie: “The Family Stone”).
Your goal is to get someone or something in mind that you believe is full of only love and good intentions toward you.
Then… you take your cues about how to treat yourself from them.
Imagine how they’d respond to you throughout the day and soak up how that response feels.
Memorize the sensations that come with being fully seen, supported, held and loved the way you know that person or animal would do.
If you can, treat yourself that same way – with unending love and full belief in yourself – as often as possible.
Borrowing from last week’s episode, note that the way you feel when you imagine Zeke Braverman or Randall Pearson by your side? That’s what secure attachment is like.
Try bathing in that this week and then plan to keep this conversation going in next week’s episode.
For now, I want to thank every single one of you who joined us for the Wife on Purpose Book Club last week. I had a blast hanging out with you all.
If you were there, you know that the Defying Gravity Revolution doors are now open and will stay open through tomorrow, Monday Dec 12 @ midnight MT.
If you’re ready to stop wondering if you married the wrong guy and start enjoying the marriage you imagined when you said, “I do.” – head over to www.candicetoone.com/work-with-me/ to get in on the party (link is also in the show notes for easy access). See you around The Hive.
Choose courage, Bees and keep on flying!