Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Impulse Control –
................ “Then Don’t”

True story:
A friend of mine, we’ll call her Mary, recently had an event which really brought home the simplicity of: there are no uncontrollable impulses, only those we choose to not control.

The event: Mary was at the doctor’s office, and knew she was going to get an injection in her thumb joint. She’s had this type of procedure before and was anxious. Very anxious!

To say she ‘doesn’t like’ to get shots is an understatement. Even more than being scared of the pain & discomfort, she was afraid she would scream ---which she has done many times in the past. In her words: “I always scream when I get shots.”

When Mary saw the syringe in the doctor’s hand, she mentioned her anxiety and told him: “I don’t want to scream.” He replied: “Then don’t”. So she didn’t.
It was that simple.

With those two words, “then don’t” Mary realized she could control the impulse. She DID indeed have a choice: to scream, or not scream. She COULD command and control her muscles, and she did.

She went against her old habit pattern, and this was an ‘old’ habit – many decades old.

Yes, she did choose to repeat/mumble something else to keep her mind busy – but she did not scream. The reason? Because she decided to not scream.

When she told me the story, Mary was soooo excited. Proud too. After all these years – she didn’t ‘give in’ to the strong urge to use her speech muscles to shriek, cause more discomfort to herself and the other people around her.

Every act of self-control produces a sense of self-respect – and this is a great example of just that!

© 2011 Rose VanSickle ~ All rights reserved