In our first meeting last week, our group leader posed the question, “Why do we push away good feelings?”
I was amazed and inspired by the depth of the conversation that followed (especially considering we had all just met), and I left that night still ruminating over why I personally tend to push away good feelings. I had an “ah-ha” moment on the car ride home, and I’d love to know if this is true for you, too.
Some part of me believes that feeling good for too long will lead to complacency. As a recovering achievement junkie, I tend to get anxious if I’ve been feeling content or peaceful for “too long.” Allowing myself to simply feel good about where I’m at and enjoy some calm downtime is uncomfortable because it means I’m not doing enough or not striving for the next goal. And how will I ever achieve (insert next major life goal) if I’m not constantly pushing and striving and chasing it? (Sound familiar?)
But that’s not at all how I want to live my life. I want to practice what Lissa Rankin calls being “eggy” (vs. always being “spermy”). What does “eggy” mean? It’s all about taking inspired actions, but letting go of the outcome. It’s about trusting that people, opportunities, and experiences will show up in your life exactly when they’re supposed to — it’s simply your job to be open and aware enough to receive them.
This sounds too easy, right? And sometimes it is. It feels really freeing to let go of your own iron grip on how a situation will work out, and it’s a relief to let go of feeling like you alone have to do and control everything. When I really allow myself to simply feel good, do only the things that naturally energize me, and let go of my own agenda, I feel (perhaps counter-intuitively) really powerful and authentic.
But at times, being “eggy” is really tough. As Lissa describes:
“Being eggy requires managing the anxiety that comes with not pushing and overworking. When you’re working your ass off, at least you can reassure yourself with the knowledge that you’re ‘doing everything you can.’ When you’re being eggy, you might feel like a slacker, and that might freak you out, and then you might lose faith in the power of your eggyness- and then, paradoxically, being eggy doesn’t work.”
In our modern culture where achievement, long work days, and external measures of success are often how we define our self-worth, it’s hard to give yourself permission to take a breath and truly enjoy feeling good (without some lingering anxiety). But I think embracing the concept of “eggyness” more often is a pretty good start.
So now it’s your turn: Why do YOU push away good feelings?
Kristen (& Rachel)