It all feels like its falling apart when you screw up and show your jealous side... AGAIN.
But, there is an important mindset to have when you are trying to tame your jealousy and in today's episode, I'm sharing the importance of practicing, not mastering.
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[00:00:00] Shanenn Bryant: Welcome to another quick dump episode of Jealousy Junkie the podcast to help you go from jealous and anxious in your relationship to calm and confident.
[00:00:11] Shanenn Bryant: I'm your host Shanenn Bryant and I'd like to remind you, I'm not a psychologist or psychiatrist or medical doctor. Just simply a former extreme jealous girl sharing my experiences and what's worked for me. And today I want to share with you the importance of what I found of having a mindset of practicing, not mastering.
[00:00:35] Shanenn Bryant: Okay. You screwed up. Again! You've been working on your jealous feelings. You've been trying really hard not to make comments, or get upset, bring up the past. And then it's Saturday night and you and your lover are all snuggled up watching a movie. And.... she's naked. The good old, reliable, unnecessary nudity right there in your living room. And you lose it. Or maybe it's parent night at school. You're with your partner and the baby mama walks in with her. "We have a kid together and you don't" attitude. And as soon as you get in the car, you unleashed all your theories of her intentions and your expected rules of engagement for your partner. And it's on. The argument is in full swing.
[00:01:34] Shanenn Bryant: I have been there so many times. The next morning, it sort of feels like a guilt hangover. Like when you drank too much in your twenties and you wake up the next morning, like, "oh, what did I do?" "What did I say?" "What kind of damage control do I need to do?" It feels similar after having a jealous meltdown and you feel embarrassed, ashamed, guilty, sad. And still a little mad.
[00:02:10] Shanenn Bryant: You feel more worried than ever about your relationship, and you can still feel the tension and disappointment from your partner. Then down the rabbit hole, you go again, thinking now you have to start all over and that you're never going to get over this jealousy thing.
[00:02:26] Shanenn Bryant: Well, this is the exact time that you need to remind yourself. It's okay. I'm practicing right now, not mastering.
[00:02:38] Shanenn Bryant: And there's a reason. This is really important when trying to tame your jealousy or any habit for that matter.
[00:02:45] Shanenn Bryant: If you've tried to learn a new instrument as an adult or a new language, it's so hard. Adult brains are lazy. They just want to do what it knows best. And doing something new feels uncomfortable. We don't want to be uncomfortable. We feel incompetent. So, we quit.
[00:03:08] Shanenn Bryant: There's a great Ted talk about the power of mindfulness by Shauna Shapiro. At the age of 17, she had like spinal fusion surgery and she was unable to walk. She talks about her journey and her time with a monk who said these five words. And I think they're so powerful. "What you practice grows stronger."
[00:03:31] Shanenn Bryant: So, let's look at this quote of "what you practice grows stronger" from both sides.
[00:03:39] Shanenn Bryant: On one side, that means stopping what you've been practicing, takes practice. If you've been practicing trying to control your partner's actions or their environment or your environment. It's going to take practice to stop. If you have jealous compulsion's that you're giving into, those will grow stronger.
[00:04:03] Shanenn Bryant: If you tell yourself you're never going to get over this jealousy stuff. You're not worthy of love. You're a horrible partner. You're not as pretty as the ex or girls on social media. Practicing those thought patterns and beliefs unfortunately we'll lead you or already have led you to mastering them.
[00:04:24] Shanenn Bryant: You've practiced your negative self-speech so often and for so long that you've mastered it.
[00:04:31] Shanenn Bryant: If you don't have a set action plan for what you're going to do, when you feel that jealous pressure cooker boiling, that's your practice. No plan. That's the practice. All of that just grows and grows and grows.
[00:04:53] Shanenn Bryant: But the same is true on the positive side. Mastering a new habit and mastering a new mindset takes practice. So if you've taken steps and filled out the Action Habits Worksheet from the website, and you're now practicing taming your action habits, that practice will grow stronger.
[00:05:14] Shanenn Bryant: If you've been working on holding in your fiery comments, not checking their email, practicing self-love most importantly. Practicing being open to new explanations and new beliefs. That practice will eventually grow into mastery.
[00:05:31] Shanenn Bryant: If you're practicing tools and techniques, and really holding yourself accountable, or have a coach or mentor that's holding you accountable and you've really given it your all and you mess up. That's okay.
[00:05:46] Shanenn Bryant: How in the world are you going to change something so quickly when you may have had an unhealthy attachment style that developed all the way back in childhood.
[00:05:56] Shanenn Bryant: And if you're curious what your attachment style is, I do have an attachment style quiz that you can take as a starting point. The link to that quiz is in the show notes.
[00:06:09] Shanenn Bryant: It could be that you were betrayed years ago and you still have your security walls up. You can't expect to be perfect overnight. You can't master this after a couple of tries.
[00:06:23] Shanenn Bryant: Look at how a baby learns to walk. It's a process. They start small, baby steps.
[00:06:29] Shanenn Bryant: They don't just stand up and attempt to walk all the way across the room. They first learned to pull themselves up using some type of support, a coffee table, a couch, a chair. They lose their balance, and they fall on their bum. They might cry. They get frustrated. But they reach out for that coffee table and try again.
[00:06:49] Shanenn Bryant: After many failed attempts and some successful ones. Now they're standing and have the confidence to take a little step. Then another and another. Eventually with enough practice, they're walking. They may feel bruised, but they found freedom.
[00:07:07] Shanenn Bryant: And they may still fall from time to time, but they can never imagine life again without walking. And I found it's the same with jealousy, insecurity, and changing your mindset. You have to take baby steps and know; you're probably going to get some bumps and bruises along the way. That's not failure. That's practicing. That's progress.
[00:07:39] Shanenn Bryant: What you practice will grow. You screwed up, you fell down. It's okay. As long as you're practicing.
[00:07:48] Shanenn Bryant: I know you may be feeling like you've been trying to get over this thing for years. And you've been working on it and that could be, and if so, give yourself some grace. Don't beat yourself up because that causes other struggles. That'll take your focus away from the goal.
[00:08:09] Shanenn Bryant: But I also want you to be really honest in how much you've been practicing. Do you have a game plan in place when you feel that pressure cooker boiling? Are you meditating? Journaling? Do you have your custom response prompts identified and laid out? Are you going back and questioning those stories that you've been telling yourself and really challenging your relationship beliefs?
[00:08:39] Shanenn Bryant: And please don't take that as you should be doing all of these things at one time, because you shouldn't.
[00:08:46] Shanenn Bryant: But you want to have a plan of attack and some selected tools and techniques that you can practice. And practice consistently over time to see what works and what doesn't work for you.
[00:09:08] Shanenn Bryant: Now, you may have the issue with your partner still being upset with you for your meltdown or your blow up. And what I found is this was the time when I needed reassurance from them the most. Like, please talk to me, please love me. Give me affection. Reassure me. Give me, gimme, gimme.
[00:09:28] Shanenn Bryant: And you might be met with resistance because they're still upset. You may be getting short responses or one-word answers. They're avoiding. They're distant. If that's the case, you want to go listen to Molly Howes in episode 7, because she tells you how to give a good apology.
[00:09:48] Shanenn Bryant: But also gives you some guidance on how you can still bring up that issue that you were upset about in the first place.
[00:09:55] Shanenn Bryant: Because I know that. While, yes, you feel bad about your meltdown, but you haven't forgotten about that. You haven't forgotten about what triggered you initially. So she gives you some really good guidance on how to still communicate with your partner and bring up that issue in hopes of sort of resolving it, or at least having some boundaries the next time.
[00:10:20] Shanenn Bryant: If you're looking for a community to cheer you up while you're practicing or to lift you up, when you screw join the private Jealousy Junkie Facebook group. The link to join is in the show notes.
[00:10:35] Shanenn Bryant: So stop beating yourself up when you screw up. Your focus should be on practicing, not mastering. And soon that practice will grow. Until next time, keep practicing and remember you're not alone.