How old do you feel?

This is one of my favorite questions.

Particularly when someone (me included) is feeling scared or overwhelmed. 

How old do you feel right now?

When you’re looking at a pile of stuff to put away and a list of stuff to do and you can’t bring yourself to do just one thing, how old do you feel?

If you feel 8, let yourself go back there. What was your life like at 8? When did you feel overwhelmed at 8? When were you lost and couldn’t do just one thing?

If you ask yourself, “how old do I feel right now?” and you get an answer right away or a flashback to an earlier time, there’s a good chance you’re just reliving something old.

And it’s funny, isn’t it….you wouldn’t trust an 8 year old to make your decisions as an adult, would you?

But are you?

And there’s no secret to stopping it. This is the point where people start to look at me in that defeated, helpless kind of way, like “well, it’s been there since 8, I guess I’m stuck with it”.

Um, no. You just become aware of it and then act differently. Here’s what it looks like:

  • Feel overwhelmed today
  • Ask yourself how old you feel—maybe you remember how you tried to take care of your drunk mom when you were 8 and felt snowed under all the time
  • See that your issue today is not at all related to an 8 year old caring for a drunk mom. It’s triggering that, but it’s  NOT that
  • Act differently, even if it doesn’t feel comfortable

It’s not going to feel comfortable. But luckily, comfort is not a prerequisite for right action.

Related Posts:

What was the Big Ass Disaster (BAD) that shaped your life?

How your family triggers your stuff and reveals your patterns

Why you don’t love yourself more. And how to.

Become Your Own Habit-Free Success Story!

The Little School of Big Change Self-Study Course!

The Little School of Big Change is a program designed to help you overcome anxiety and unwanted habits without needing to rely on willpower or self-discipline.

Learn More

Get The Just A Thought Introduction and First Chapter for Free

Just a Thought: A No-Willpower Approach to End Self-Doubt and Make Peace with your Mind comes out October 1st. Download the Introduction and Chapter 1 now!

Get the 1st chapter free

Get a Free Student Access Account

Dr. Amy Johnson’s work has helped thousands of people find lasting freedom from unwanted habits and anxiety, and realize deeper meaning and peace of mind. Get access to free resources to help you on your journey by creating a free Student Access account today!

SIGN UP