97. Circumstantial Power

Sometimes our circumstances make us feel stuck; stuck in thoughts and feelings that we don’t want to have. Our thoughts do create our feelings, but sometimes we will want to change our circumstances.

Listen in to Learn:

  • How to gain more motivation
  • When to know to change your circumstances
  • Why you have more power than you think

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0:00 What’s up everyone? It’s Jennie Dildine, the LDS mission coach and you are listening to the LDS mission Podcast, episode number 97 circumstantial power. Hey, I’m Jenny, the LDS mission coach. And whether you’re preparing to serve a mission, currently serving a returned missionary or a missionary mama like me, I created this podcast just for you. Are you searching for epic confidence? Ready to love yourself and to learn the how of doing hard things? Then let’s go. I will help you step powerfully into your potential and never question your purpose. Again. It’s time to embrace yourself. Embrace your mission. Embrace your life, and embrace what’s next.

0:50 Hey, everybody, welcome to the podcast. I’m gonna let you in on a little secret. Sometimes, if I can’t get my head in the right place to record a podcast, I have a dance party. So right before this, I had a dance party right here in my office. No one else in my house. Just me dance party in a dance partying it up to Taylor Swift be jeweled because why not? It’s a good song. Right? Alright, so now you know something else about me. Okay, you guys, I’m so happy that you’re here today on the podcast, I am so honored and grateful that you would choose to spend some time here getting mental and emotional tools for the people that you love, or maybe just for yourself. I am coming up on two years that I’ve been doing this podcast and recording episodes every single week. In fact, I’ve got a fun guest coming here up for my 100th episode, which I cannot wait to share that with you. It’s gonna be so fun. But today, I’m just feeling so grateful and honored for the work that we get to do in the world to help missionaries and to help return missionaries. And I heard another story yesterday as I always do have a sister missionary who just was on fire. And then just one day, she woke up and was anxious and depressed on her mission. And just struggled after that, and then ended up coming home earlier than she had expected. Which is totally fine. Again, I recorded a podcast last week early returned missionaries. And sometimes I highly recommend that missionaries do come home. But what I would love is for us to get more tools to more missionaries before they leave. So it is not such a mental and emotional challenge when they get out there because, man it it’s tough just without like having the tools to sort of manage your mind. I was reading through one of my emails that you get if you

3:08 sign up for I think it’s a free video class that I have. When one of the emails that goes out to you after you sign up for that I was kind of reading through that this morning. And one of the things that it said is most missionaries forget to prepare their most valuable asset. And I think for a long time we’re like, Well, my most valuable asset is my spirituality, or my ability to know the Scriptures or the Scripture stories or my person, like my confidence or something like that. But your most valuable asset on the mission is your mind. Did you guys know this, because if you know how to manage your mind, then you also know how to show up as the kind of missionary that you want to be. And also give yourself compassion when maybe you’re not showing up, like the kind of missionary that you want to be, which happens to all of us. And so, such important work we’re doing here. On to the giveaway. We’ve been doing a giveaway every month, or not every month, but every week in April to celebrate my birthday month, which was started April 1, that’s my birthday And we’ve been giving away a $50 amazon gift card every Friday. This is the last giveaway of the amazon giftcard that I’m going down to town with my family. And when I returned back, I’m going to announce a winner of a 10 session package. And I’m going to put all of your names back into a hat. And then we’re going to draw out a name of someone who gets a 10 session package which is awesome. I was just feeling particularly drawn to do this. And so keep submitting your reviews Tell your friends submit their reviews And that is how you can enter for that giveaway. So the winner of the Amazon gift card this week is Molly V err or mull over m O l l i v i e r, and it’s five stars. And it says missionary Mama’s with an exclamation point. She says, I am loving this podcast as we get ready to send my oldest off to Canada. I’m so on board with the idea of supporting the emotional and mental health of missionaries and their families. And this podcast is for sure meeting this important need. Oh, God, I’m so glad. Thank you, Jenny for offering us lots of empowering ideas and thoughts about the missionary experience. Thank you so much for this review. And I am totally on board with you. I hear you. It is such an important need. And I love that you called it the missionary experience because it is like some I’ve had some people tell me like the mission ends when you get home. It starts when you start your home MTC or go to the MTC is not the case, the mission experience if you think about it extends far before that. And far after that, is because it’s just a unique thing that we do in our faith tradition. And so getting lots of tools, mental and emotional tools for the entire mission experience is what we’re here to do. Thank you so much. If this is you, Molly, Molly Vir ma Oliver, just go ahead and reach out on Instagram. Jennie dot, the LDS mission coach, or send me an email Jennie at Jennie dildine.com. And we will get that amazon giftcard sent over to you. Alright, today we are talking about circumstantial power. And this is something that has been on my mind a lot lately, especially with the way that the weather has not been cooperating with many of us, many of you are probably having amazing weather, I have one client missionary client in Florida, who says that the weather is just awesome there. And actually maybe getting too hot already. But for many of us who live out west. And in many other parts of the United States, at least the weather is not cooperating. Meaning it’s just not feeling like spring. We keep getting snow, I woke up to snow just last week. And I’m like, Really, we’re at the end of April, can we be done with this already. I’m just looking forward to warmer weather, warmer weather warming, you know, getting out in the sun, even if the sun would come up come out, that would help me so much. And maybe you feel the same way. Plus, I started noticing sort of this trend with many of my clients. And when I start to notice a trend, I’d like to be able to talk about it on here, because I’m sure if they’re going through it that you might be going through it too. So I want to share it with you here. Most of the time, I am going to teach on this podcast and everything that you have heard me teach probably this far thus far is that thoughts create feelings. And I do still believe this. This is actually where I think our power lies. you’ve maybe heard me talk about it and say our agency lies with the way that we think about things. This is where we have the most influence because sometimes I share with my client in a most extreme example, even if someone tied me to this chair in my office for the rest of the day, I still have power to think and then feel what I want to feel

8:56 even if I if I have no agency to do anything else the rest of the day. So that is one of the things that is so empowering about understanding that your thoughts create your feelings. Now there’s a whole line of thinking and teaching that also talks about how sometimes we have just like a nervous system response. So that’s not what I’m talking about here. Sometimes I do feel like that that happens is that lower caveman brain just comes online super fast, we can’t even make sense of what’s happening. When it happens so quickly that we can always wrap our brain around what the thought is before the emotion just shows up in our body. And that’s what I kind of think of as a nervous system response. But if we’re not in a nervous system response, I really do believe that all of the power we have is in our thinking and then those that thinking right that thought that synapse connect connects in our brain and then sends vibrations or hormones through our bodies, which we call feelings. So this is where I’ve kind of come to is, if it’s true that our thoughts create our feelings, then many of my clients, right, especially after the first session or two, they’re like, Well, I don’t want to feel sad. I don’t want to feel lonely. I don’t want to feel anxious. I don’t want to feel disappointed in myself. So help me change my thought.

10:29 Because if it it, kind of, we can just deduce. Let me start here. Because then we can just see, well, if thoughts create feelings, then and I want to feel something different, well, then I just change the thought. But just because you can change your thoughts doesn’t mean you should. Okay, and I’m gonna give you lots of examples. One example that just comes to mind really quickly, is just because, like if my grandpa dies, and he did, both of my grandpa’s are passed now, I have one grandma left on the earth with us, and shout out to Grandma Smith, I love you. But if one of my relatives passes away, and goes to heaven, I do have the power to think thoughts that could change the way I feel. But sometimes, I’m not going to want to. And sometimes I shouldn’t, it would be weird, if I just changed all of my thoughts to not be sad. Like, I want to be sad if someone I love passes on to the other side. Does this make sense? Okay, so I’ve been playing with this idea of circumstantial power. And I think it’s kind of funny. As a side note, I think a few of my upcoming episodes are about power. I know last week, I used the word powerful as an acronym for missionaries who come home earlier than they expected. I guess I’m just like, on this power thing, like creating power from the inside power to navigate your life and power to choose what you want to choose. So here we are talking about circumstantial power. Now, we could all argue that even though thoughts create feelings, that sometimes the circumstance that we’re in makes it more challenging to think the thoughts we want to think, which in turn makes it harder for us to feel the way that we want to feel. And so

12:43 on the one side of the coin, it’s like, thoughts create feelings. On the other side of the coin is circumstances matter. Okay, so if it is snowing, day upon day upon day upon day in the middle of April, and I can’t see the grass. This isn’t the case here. But some of my clients still can’t see the grass because the snow hasn’t melted yet.

13:10 That circumstance is going to affect the way that I choose to think now. Can I still just decide I love the snow. Okay, the snow is creating moisture. And, and think thoughts that make me feel differently for sure I can, but sometimes I’m not going to want to. And sometimes it makes it really challenging to do so.

13:36 So circumstances matter, they do have an impact on what allows us to what it allows us to think, and then how we feel. Now I never want you to decide then that something outside of you has power to make you feel anything, because then all of a sudden we’re giving our power away. But I want to sort of think about this idea of circumstantial power. So this idea of circumstantial power is I want you to think of it maybe as like a supplement to thought power. So there’s thought power, and then there’s circumstantial power. Most people think that the circumstance, right? The thing that’s happening makes them feel something and we’ve learned all along the podcast here that that’s not true, that your thoughts create your feelings. But the trap that most people run into then is if they want to feel happy, they think it’s because of who they’re with, or how things are going on the mission or whatever. And instead, what we’re going to do is we’re going to change the circumstance and still understand that we have the power to think and feel what we want to think and feel. Okay. So let me give you a couple examples of what this might look like. And we’ll just preface all of it by saying that sometimes we just need to change the circumstance

15:19 instead of working on changing our thoughts, and it’s totally fine to do so. As long as we’re not giving our power away to the circumstance, we still take ownership of the thoughts that we’re thinking, and the feelings that we’re feeling. Okay, here is one example. I was talking to a returned missionary. She’s in Provo. And she just said, Oh, I just feel like I’m in a rut. I can’t seem to get motivated. It’s hard for me to want to get my work done. We’re heading into finals. And I just feel like I’m dragging my feet. And I just said to her, she’s like, can you help me change my thought, so I can feel more motivated? And I said, Well, we could. But I’ve been thinking a lot about this idea of circumstantial power. So with all of the weather that was happening in Provo, and, you know, all of the finals, and everything, was making it challenging for her to think that thought she wanted to think. So I said to her, what if we just changed the circumstance? I said, How can we shake things up? Do you need to take your laptop and do your work at a different place in the library? Do you need to form a study group? Do you need to get in the car and drive up to the Provo temple and work on your laptop there? Do you need to do your homework at a different time that you’ve never done it before? Do you need to change up the order of your day? Do you need to work out twice a day? Do you need to invite your boyfriend to quiz you on something? Anyway. The point being we get in this way of being this way of doing things, when instead we could just change the circumstance. Not that we’re gonna not do our homework not that we’re not going to get the things done that we need to for finals. But we just change it up like do we need to go see a concert? Do we need to walk outside for a while?

17:38 Like every 10 minutes, we work on homework, and then we walk outside for a while. Okay, do you get what I’m saying? So instead of just like, I’m just gonna change my thought we actually changed the environment, we change the circumstance to get our thoughts flowing in the way that we want them to.

17:53 Another client I was talking to, he was telling me how he was dating this girl. And it just started to feel like maybe she wasn’t the one for him. And there was just like a couple of things that were kind of starting to bug him a little bit. And nothing was seriously wrong. But it was just starting to feel a little bit off. And he came to us session and he just said, Can you help me change my thoughts about this girl, so that I can, you know, get to feeling the way I want to feel which is not bugged and not annoyed? But like more in love or in like with her? And I said, Well, we can. But just because we can doesn’t mean we should.

18:34 Maybe we just want to change the circumstance. Maybe we just want to not date her anymore.

18:42 Okay. And many of you will be thinking right now I’m sure like, Well, how do I know? How do I know if I want to, to change the circumstance? Or if I just want to change my thoughts? And the answer is you guys you just totally get to decide. It’s totally up to you.

18:59 You just totally get to decide. Okay, another example, a client

19:04 who had a sister in law, this was one of a missionary mom client, her sister in law would just come over and she would stay longer than she would like her to win. She just stayed and stayed and stayed and stayed. And she really felt okay about her being there, but not for such a long time. And she said to me, can you just help me change my thoughts so I can feel more compassionate and loving? And I said, Well, we can.

19:30 But is there a way for us to change to change the circumstance? Like, do we need to set a boundary? Do we need to say at five o’clock, I’m leaving? Do we need to change the way that the process works, so that we don’t have to be in this situation in the first place. Another example that I have for you as a personal example, is if for me, I do all of my work here at home. But sometimes when I’m here, it’s hard for me to get my thoughts in the right kind of frame of mind, because I’ve got laundry out there, I’ve got dishes out there. I’ve got, you know, all of my kids stuff out there, outside of my office is what I mean when I say out there. And so finally, I was like, what if, instead of trying to change my thoughts about this office, what if I just change the circumstance and decided to work somewhere else sometimes. And so where I’m at with that, instead of just being here is like, I need to create motivation here in this office? Because

20:46 I’m just going to change my thoughts about it. All right. Or I need to create the emotion of like being creative and open and inspired here in this office, and what thoughts do I need to think, totally fine, and we can, but what I found is if I go somewhere else, like to the park, or to this little studio office, that I created, that is where all of my inspiration starts to happen, because I don’t have to do the work to manage my mind. I just get to change the circumstance. And there’s a lot of power in that. Okay, another client who is totally overwhelmed with finals.

21:32 I guess another RM are many of you are overwhelmed with finals right now. Should be winding down, I think. But okay, so this one again, she was like, I just need to be motivated. And I’m like, well, we can, what? We can change our thought. But what if we just want to change it up?

21:52 What what do you need to allow yourself to think the thoughts that you want to think to get motivated? This could apply on the mission too, right? Is we get kind of, in this, like, mundane cycle of the things that we do every single day. And what what’s interesting, right is our brain loves familiarity. But it also craves spontaneity.

22:17 And so, just one day, like, I mean, maybe we read our scriptures upside down, I don’t know, just anything, to change it up to get things moving in a different direction. Because our brain will get in those patterns of thinking. And we just shake it up, we change the circumstance. And that allows us to start thinking, and then feeling something different. My kids, my married kids that live in Provo, a couple of weekends ago, they were like so tired of the overcast and the snow, they just,

22:53 you know, and they could have just said, Oh, we’re just gonna think different thoughts so that we can feel different things. But instead, they were like, You know what sounds fun is let’s just drive south as far south as it takes to see the sun. And they just went for it. And I’m sure all of you thinking this is like, Oh, well, I don’t have time to do that. I can’t do that. But think about what it’s costing you to not change things up. So hopefully those examples give you some ideas about what I mean, sometimes we just want to change the circumstance. And that gives us power than to change our thoughts. But I have a couple guidelines for you if you want to start trying out this idea of circumstantial power.

23:39 Number one, acknowledge that the experience is going to change your thoughts and not your feelings. Right. I was actually teaching in Relief Society yesterday. And pretty much everyone in there was like, Well, if this happens, then I feel this. Right? Because they don’t know these tools. And

24:02 if you drive south to find the sun, just remember this number one thing is that when you drive south to change, when you drive south to chase the sun and find the sun, your thoughts, then change it allows you to think thoughts that then change your feelings. Pay or if you decide to go on a walk in between, like every 10 minutes while you’re studying is that allows you to change your thoughts and not your feelings. And the reason I want you to remember this is because I always want everyone listening on here to have complete power and ownership of their experience. Right? So it’s not like we’re putting it purpose, like our emotions on to the circumstance. We’re going to keep those separate so that we can always retain power and agency and influence over the experience we’re having key number two.

24:56 Sometimes you’ll want to feel

25:00 You’ll the way you feel first, and then decide to change the circumstance. So an example I have is one client I was working with, she was working at a dental office, and

25:14 that there was a person working there that she just wasn’t getting along with. And we, you know, got together. And she’s like, I just want to change my thoughts and feelings about this person that’s working with me in the office. And I said, Well, we can. And in this case, I think we should,

25:35 because what I noticed is that she kept blaming the other person for her feelings.

25:44 But that’s, and so sometimes you’ll, you’ll want to stay in the circumstance, just so you can really tell your brain and keep reminding your brain and teach your brain how to think what you want to think, first, and then change the circumstance. Okay, so this could apply to a job, maybe there’s a job that you just don’t love. And if you’ve been listening to this long enough, you know that the job doesn’t create your feelings, your thoughts about the job does. So sometimes you’ll just want to kind of test yourself a little bit to be like, Okay, I’m gonna stay in this job and tell I can create satisfaction. Because I know the satisfaction comes from my thinking. And once I’ve trained my brain to think and feel the way I want to, and stop blaming my job, then that’s when I’m going to change the circumstance. Okay.

26:38 The third thing guideline for circumstantial power, is that know that if you change the circumstance, that is often a temporary fix, because it’s not going to last forever. So it reminds me of like, someone who,

26:55 you know, weighs a certain amount of weight. And then they maybe have this thought, like, I don’t like my body, and then they lose all the weight, they change the circumstance. And then they still have the thought, I don’t like my body.

27:10 Okay, just know that you can change the circumstance. But your ultimate power comes from changing your thought, your brain is going to go with you, your brain is going to go with you, when you drive cell to find the sun, your brain is going to go with you, when you go on your walk, your brain is going to go with you, when you’re setting boundaries, your brain is going to be back with you after you’ve

27:38 taken whatever circumstantial action that you want to take. Okay, so that’s just good to know. Because then sometimes we’re like, Oh, I thought this was going to fix it. Just know that lower Cape membranes always going to be pointing out the problems. Okay. I’m gonna give you three more kind of tips, things to think about ideas for ways that you can change the circumstance and tap into circumstantial power, so long as you’re kind of following the three guidelines that I just shared with you. Number one, setting a boundary. Sometimes we just need to set a boundary for ourselves, or set a boundary that we share with someone else. So go back and listen to my boundaries episode, if you’re if you need to learn more about that. Number two, change your routine, do your homework in a new place, have your comp study outside, take a different way to the bus, stop whatever you need to do. And number three, purposely on purpose do more of what you love. I’ve been doing. I’ve been watching, I think I mentioned this already.

28:47 renovation shows at night on purpose. And many people would look at that and be like, Oh, why are you doing that? And that for me, is just changing the circumstance. And just allowing my brain to think something else so that I can feel something else from time to time. And then doing that for myself, allows me to come back to my family and to my work that I’m doing here on the podcast and with missionaries. So much more revived and recharged. Okay, so I invite you to sort of play with this idea of circumstantial power, remembering that still always our thoughts that create our feelings, but sometimes we want to change the circumstance. All right. I hope you all have the most amazing week and we will talk to you next time.

29:42 Serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints can present a unique set of challenges, and many of those challenges you might not even see coming. So you’re gonna want a unique set of solutions. It’s easier than you think to overcome worry and anxiety serve the successful mission you’ve always dreamed of.

30:00 and navigate your post mission experience with confidence. That is why I created some amazing free goodies that I’m sharing in my show notes. Maybe you’ll want to grab the free training for preparing missionaries, my video course for RMS or maybe you and I should hop on a free strategy call. If you’re ready to take your preparedness to serve or your preparedness to come home to the next level. Then go grab one of those freebies. And in the meantime, no matter which part of the mission experience you are involved in, just know that Jenny, the LDS mission coach is thinking about you every single day

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Hey! I'm Jennie - The LDS Mission Coach.

Preparing for, serving and coming home from an LDS Mission can present countless changes and transitions. I’ve seen these changes put missionaries at the mercy of their emotions and questioning their abilities. With the tools I teach, young adults empower themselves to navigate every moment of the mission experience with epic, unwavering confidence.

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