My heart was racing, I was panicked, I couldn’t think straight, and I was speeding. My body always has the same response anytime I think I’m going to be late somewhere. And by late, I really mean being late for being early. Last weekend my sister and I attended Beachbody Super Saturday with some of the other coaches (and my coach) from the team I work on. I had the time management planned to a T, as usual, and thought the morning was off to a great start. Once my sister and I left our meeting point to head to the convention center, my sister realized he left her phone in her car.
Now mind you we were only about 5 mins away from her car and it wasn’t that far out of the way to get back, however, tell that to my anxiety. I immediately felt frustrated and profusely asked her if she is sure it’s not in her bag. I even asked her if she really needed it, which is so mean because I would also need my lifeline. My body was tense, I could feel my blood pressure increase, my breaths became shallower, and my brain couldn’t process why in the world she could be so careless and risk making us late.
In that moment I allowed my anxiety to control the situation. I didn’t use rational thought and reasoning with the part of my brain that was over processing information. Was I really in danger of physical harm by being later than expected to the event? Absolutely not. Should I have lashed out the way I did and made her feel like complete shit, like she messed up the entire day? NO. These are the situations I am still a work in progress.
What I should have done is taken a moment to breathe. A deep inhale, deep exhale. Focus my attention on the task at hand, which was retrieving her phone. I have this weird phobia of being late for anything, and I have had that my entire life. I think this stems from wanting to please people and I associate being late with making others angry or disappointed. I need to remember that sometimes you do everything you can to be timely and there are occasions it doesn’t work out.
We ended up making it close to the time I had mentally scheduled for myself and had an absolutely amazing experience. But I risked potentially losing that experience or ruining it before it began because I couldn’t control my anxiety. I know this is an area where I need to focus more of my attention for improvement. Maybe try being late to a few things on purpose to realize that I am not going to die if I don’t make it to things early. I had someone ask me once what one of my faults is and I replied that I am too timely. That statement clearly still holds true today.
Tiffany, I am incredibly sorry I almost ruined our day together. I love you!