Meetings, meetings, meetings, we fill our days and lives with them. You have them with seniors, team members, externals, and friends. You listen to their needs and desires and help them solve their problems. But what about you, yourself? When was the last time you scheduled some time with your hopes, dreams, fears, and desires? When did you last schedule a meeting with yourself?
A mental meeting
After a very busy period between two jobs, family, friends, flatmates, a boyfriend, new acquaintances and volunteering, my level of positivity started to wear out. I decided to talk to someone to see how I could raise my energy levels again. But instead of telling me how to be more positive, I was requested to schedule a meeting with my ‘negative’ self.
Imagine yourself in a meeting room – one breath in, one breath out, close your eyes and imagine being in that place you are so often at. This time, the meeting room had as many chairs as needed . However, the room doesn’t contain standard colleagues or friends. No, the task is to only place negative emotions on the available seats. In whatever shape or form you can imagine them: people, shapes, storms, emptiness, colors, anything!
I cannot tell you I enjoyed setting up this meeting. It was certainly busy, but not with my favorite guests. My first reaction was that I had an incredible urge to open the door, send all these negative emotions out, and instead welcome positivity, happiness, solutions, energy, and all other positive emotions into the room.
The value of negative emotions
But just as in real life, we can’t always cancel the meetings we don’t want to have. So, there I was, having a meeting with my fears, insecurities, tiredness, and inner critic. With no way back, I had to listen to them. It was a very vulnerable meeting, but less scary than I thought. And just as in real life, once you stop ignoring problems or problematic people and you listen to them, they seem to dissolve very quickly. And sometimes, these ‘negative factors’ even bring in something valuable; maybe fear is right, and you have to consider some potential consequences of the choices you are about to make. Maybe tiredness is right by telling you that you need some peace and silence? You’ll never know if you’ve never taken the time to just sit with them.
Taking those few minutes for yourself – your whole self – results in extra time and space in your head in the following days and weeks. It’s probably the most effective meeting you’ll have in a long time! And instead of pushing away your negative thoughts and feelings, accepting them will actually give you more positive energy in the end.
So, open your agenda and schedule that time with yourself. Imagine that meeting room and take enough chairs to give both your positive and your negative emotions a seat at the table. Make sure they all have their moment to speak, but remember, you are and will always be the chair(wo)man – the director of your own life!