Have you got a 48 hour rule?

I find making decisions tough.

It is just how it is for me.

I mean, the very origin of the word should hold a clue: to cut off.

In making a decision, we cut off all the other possibilities.

As someone who likes options and freedom (ummm, hello…almost all my courses, coaching programmes and projects are about how to build more freedom into our lives), it should be no surprise that I like to have my cake and eat it too (*side note* wtf kind of phrase is that, anyway?!).

Because of my relationship to decision making, I need to use a few tricks on myself.

Here’s one I want to share, which I call the “48 Hour Rule”.

You can use it when:

1. You want to “try on” a decision and see how it feels

2. To stop yourself from making an impulsive decision

3. To reverse a decision that don’t work for you

I had to put the rule into action this past weekend. Twice.

As I am sure you are well aware, it was Black Friday last Friday. What you maybe don’t know is that I LOVE creating beautiful spaces and am right at the finish line of our new guest studio that has been under construction for the last couple of months.

The timing is perfect ’cause I need to get it guest-ready in the next two weeks. I’m talking fridges, stoves, glasses, linen, beds, towels, tiles, paint. You get the idea.

So, naturally, I was preparing for Black Friday as one would prepare for a race: hard.

(As a side, I actually hate shopping, and am a striving minimalist. But, if you are buying the stuff anyway, might as well be when its on sale).

My entire house needed painting and I discovered a mega deal on exterior wall paint on Tuesday and had the perfect opportunity to put the 48 hour rule into practice in the wait for Friday.

Here’s what you do:

You make an imaginary decision about something and wait 48 hours with that decision before taking action.

Simple.

Hubby and I both liked a rather modern grey colour and I got to “try on” the choice mentally while waiting for Friday to arrive.

I felt good. The 48 hour rule had returned a confirmation. All systems go!

Friday arrived and I went and bought 100 litres of the stuff.

The painter immediately got busy and at first, we all loved it. (That’s the wonderful Fikile approving 🙂

The shade is gorgeous.

There was excitement all round.

But, as the painter progressed and the entire house turned darker and darker…my doubts crept in.

By Saturday morning, I woke up with a knot in my stomach and the pang of regret that I lived in a dark gloomy house.

I wearily brought this up with hubby, and we put the 48 hour rule in action again.

For the rest of the weekend (while the painter wasn’t available anyway), I wondered what it would be like to have a white house again versus this grey one.

Each time I ran that emotional query, the answer came back the same:

Yes, I want white!

When Monday rolled around, I called the paint shop…explained how horrid it looked grey and asked if they’d exchange it.

They will!

Yay!

And, there you have it, guys.

The simplest way to check how you feel with cutting off possibilities.

And, giving yourself permission to change your mind when something isn’t working and you’ve made the choice you don’t feel good about.

This coming week, ‘try on’ the “48 Hour Rule” and don’t be afraid to use it to change back if it feels right.

Yours in freedom & friendship,

Tamryn

P.s. My house is now a shiny shade of brilliant white, and I am over the moon that I had the courage to reverse a decision that would have been horrid to live with.

Can we talk about mental health?

I used to hate using the term mental health.

If I had to use it, I’d insert it into sentences under my breath, like one would a swear word.

I only recently realised why.

When we talk about mental health, we are almost always actually talking about the absence of it.

We mean ‘mentally unhealthy’.

And, no one wants to be mentally unhealthy or, worse, mentally unwell or ill.

But, can we talk about this for a little bit?

I’ll start 🤓.

I have to work really deliberately on my mental health.

Kind of like how I have to work on my physical health, or I’ll be physically unfit and physically unhealthy.

I need to eat fresh food, drink water, and move. Every day.

If I don’t, I feel very unwell, physically.

There you go.

That was easy.

No big deal to talk about being unfit, right?

It makes perfect sense.

Then, why is it so taboo to talk about needing to work on mental fitness. Why is there so much shame in it?

I don’t know the answer to that question, but, I know that it’s true that almost nobody wants to admit they need a mental health regime…or talk about what happens when we don’t feel mentally well (including me, until now).

This is how I see it…

Our minds are incredibly powerful machines, but, almost no focus is put on giving us skills on how to use it.

If you want to learn how to drive a car, you take lessons and get a license….but, our minds?

We’re just left to the wilderness. Stumble along until it all works out. Or doesn’t.

Not once during my 15+ years of education was I taught any practically applicable tools on how to run my mind and be mentally healthy.

The result is that my adulthood thus far has a graveyard of ideas and half-projects that I haven’t able to bring to life, relationships that have suffered and hours and hours of agony.

You see, if I am not focusing on my mental health regime, I am terrible to around and I get nothing done.

I am moody, volatile, angry and snappy. I procrastinate and get depressed. It ain’t pretty to be around. And, it’s even worse to be trapped in my own skin.

I’ve got big dreams and plans – but, without being mentally fit, I have no chance of achieving them.

In the last few years I’ve wasted months and thousands of dollars because my mental hygiene hasn’t been in place and I haven’t been able to show up the way I need to in order to have the life I want.

Maybe you can relate? Have you ever felt so frustrated and desperate that you’ve Googled “How do I get my shit together?”

I looked everywhere for someone else who had already created a system or product I could use, but there just isn’t one I could find.

I had to ‘scratch my own itch’ and create a system for myself.

This is what I do and it keeps me on track.

Every week I focus on and implement a new mental health habit.

I pick a new tool, habit or ritual (one that I’ve learned about from other successful “Titans” in the world. Usually from Tim Ferriss’ Tools of Titans. What’s the point of these amazing resources if we don’t actually implement them?!)

I deliberately apply it to my life for that week.

I have an accountability partner who checks in with me and whom I check in with.

At the end of the week I assess if the new tool has added value to my life and the decide to keep it or ditch it.

That’s it. Simple, but not easy.

It has changed my life completely.

If you’d like to play along, I’ve created a way for you to do that. You can benefit from the ground-work I’m already putting in.

Each week, I’ll be setting a new challenge containing a tool or habit that’s working for me, assign you an accountability partner and get us all that bit closer to achieving our goals (and becoming a more mentally healthy version of ourselves).

Keep your eyes out for when it releases. You can join this group https://facebook.com/groups/differently.life to be sure you don’t miss it.

I can’t wait to have you as part of it.

Yours in friendship and freedom,

Tamryn

Man in the arena

You know that one thing you know you will never do ‘cause you are too 💩 scared?

For me, it’s karaoke 🎤

I like to seen as ‘together’ and ‘awesome’ (it’s a thing of mine that I’m working on) and since I can’t sing to save my life, karaoke would make me appear ‘human’ and ‘normal’ or, worse, incompetent 🙈

That just wasn’t how I’ve been prepared to show up, until recently.

See, it was my fav cousin’s 50th fancy-dress karaoke birthday party and she chose me as her wing woman in the opening act. I adore Darlene and needed to show up, fully.

As I typed a reply to her ‘Yes, I will sing with you’ I could hardly believe my own eyes.

I instantly felt anxious.

Like, waiting-outside-the-headmaster’s-office level of tummy-turning.

As the days and then hours tick-tocked away and the moment I needed to ‘make a fool of myself’ drew closer, I really had to dig deep.

It was only in a last minute panic while in the car on the way to the event that I remembered a trick that I have taught other people about for years…but, never *really* had an activity that scared the bejesus out of me enough that I actually needed to use it.

It worked, and you can use it too.

As we drove and I felt my tummy flutter (and seriously considered feigning a fender bender as an excuse as to why we couldn’t make it), I *decided* that feeling was excitement, not nervousness.

That’s it.

I went a level deeper.

I imagined how fun it would actually be to giggle and laugh and PLAY the fool rather than be the fool.

I pictured Darlene’s big smile as we were having fun and I imagined how we would talk about how awesome it was to have sung karaoke…IN THE PAST 🤣🤣🤣

In an instant, I felt the sensation shift to genuine excitement.

It was fleeting, but it was there.

Anxiousness returned. So, I imagined again.

Excitement was back.

I thought to myself …”Wow, this actually does work… it is some crazy powerful stuff”.

Listen… I still couldn’t eat any of the starters and felt so tingly I didn’t dare have too much “liquid courage”. But, I was genuinely excited and I did it.

And, it WAS fun.

There’s science behind my trick (Harvard science), do some reading around it.

But, more than reading about it – try it!

The physiological state of anxiousness of socially evaluative situations is exactly the same as the physiological state of excitement and you can mentally re-frame it.

The very next time you are being assessed or judged and feel anxious .. a test, a presentation, karaoke…anything, put it into practice.

Let me know how it goes…

Your friend in freedom,

Tamryn

P.S. Mel Robbins, who I mentioned in last week’s mail, also talks about this exact re-framing in her book The 5 Second Rule. I really recommend it.

P.P.S. It’s my son Max’s first birthday today…so, I didn’t actually write this email today. I’m out having fun with him.

Yay for automation!

P.P.P.S. Did I mention I was dressed as Marylin and was wearing my 94 year old grandma-in-law’s wig👇