Why do you have parties?
I want you to really think about it.
This is a question that I asked myself while I was planning Mark’s 40th birthday party. The obvious thought might be, “Parties are fun- I want to have fun.” It was very enlightening when I realized that in the past, i often did not have fun at my own parties.
No fun?! What?????
I discovered that I throw parties to show my love. I LOVE TO TAKE CARE OF OTHER PEOPLE…it is my love language. In other words, the parties are not for me to enjoy- they are for others to enjoy.
The friday before Mark’s 40th birthday party, I confessed this belief to Mark. Mark’s first response was, “well- we have to change that!” I then took a deep dive into my thoughts so that I could make a change. Because I did want to have FUN!! I know that my result is a reflection of my thoughts…I am in control.
What I am about to share with you are the thought distortions that were taking away all of my fun!! I decided that for Mark’s 40th birthday party, not only would I have fun…but I would change my thoughts to generate my most favorite feeling- RELAXED.
Here were the top 5 thoughts that were holding me back:
“I’m not in my best shape.” This one really hits home because I am a health coach. I teach other women to embrace their bodies. We cannot be in our best shape 100% of the time…it is just not possible.
When I was thinking this thought, I started to feel shame. The shame made me want to hide…cancel the party…wear big baggy clothes…stay busy so I didn’t have to engage with anyone…avoid pictures.
You can see where this is going right??? The truth is…my body has nothing to do with whether or not i can have fun at the party. This is an example of my brain scanning for a problem. Everything is going smooth, so there must be a problem. Let me find it. My body seems like a good place to start.
I believe that I take great care of my body. I eat well. I exercise. I have a lot of amazing things happening right now…being in my best shape is irrelevant. This is what I believe, “My body is healthy and strong…I can party the day away because of this.” This thought allowed me to feel thankful…..and free.
“We are going to run out of food and/or drinks.” This is the classic scarcity mindset. But, let’s look at the evidence. When have I ever run out of food at a party?
If i ran out of prepared food, I could whip anything up in a hot minute. But- by thinking that we will run out of food….I will feel worried…so I will buy too much food to avoid feeling worried.
I decided to believe that, “running out of food and/or drink means that I picked the perfect cuisine and everyone is enjoying it.” This allowed me to feel content.
“People are going to stay forever.” The idea that guests should leave the party according to the invitation. We believe that the invitation is a boundary that we set. If we say end time is midnight…then we expect guests to comply with the guidelines. When they don’t, we may feel disrespected.
Do you see how this simple thought is not helpful?
How about, “This party is so amazing- people don’t want to leave.” This makes me feel truly happy!! In fact, at Mark’s party this past weekend, I felt so flattered when guests would comment, “Wow- you really know how to throw a party- this party is amazing!”
“People are going to ask for additional items that I am not offering.” This thought would often make me believe two things. The first thought is that I am not providing enough…feelings of inadequacy arise. The second thought is that the people making these comments are entitled which brings up feelings of frustration.
Both of these thoughts fall under the jumping to conclusions thought distortion. These original thoughts made me feel inadequate and frustrated.
Again- Not helpful.
I decided to believe, “everyone has different needs, and i am lucky that they feel comfortable telling me.” Definitely allows me to feel understanding and compassionate.
“Everyone else is going to have a good time…..but me.” It is clear that this thought will not result in a good time. Without dissecting this thought…I decided to believe, “I can have fun with everyone else- this is within my control.”
Let me just say…Mark’s party was EPIC.
I had more fun than ever, I felt more relaxed than ever, and I cannot wait to throw our next party. In fact, I hired the band, Simplified to return for my 40th birthday party next year!
Also….I felt good in my own skin, we didn’t run out of food, people did not stay forever, not one person had a crazy request, and i had THE BEST TIME. Do you see how all of my automatic thoughts could have made this experience very different?
We can decide our own result. We are in control. We can make it happen.
To hear more about Mark’s party this past weekend, check out this week’s podcast…
AND…Check out Simplified