Have you ever heard the saying “you’re making a mountain out of a molehill”? Well, let’s chat about this for a moment.
First, I had to ask myself ‘where did this saying come from’? According to the ever-popular Wikipedia, it originated sometime in the 16th century (do they just say that when they have no idea where it came from…lol). Wikipedia also hosts the description as follows:
“making a mountain out of a molehill is an idiom referring to over-reactive, histrionic behaviour where a person makes too much of a minor issue.”
In ‘Sara terms’ that means making a whole lotta somethin’ out of a whole lotta nothin’. It is when your mind makes such a BIG deal out of something that is truly not that big.
We usually do this when one of the following happens:
- You don’t want to do the task or deal with the issue at hand
- You cannot figure out the solutions in 2.2 seconds (that is not scientific. That is me being a smartass)
- You cannot control the situation at hand…OR the person you are dealing with
- You are trying to make something work and it just won’t
- My fav…when you have the biggest to-do list in the entire galaxy…and it is all in your head.
The above are usually followed by the famous saying ‘I don’t know how…’
Can you relate to any or all the above? I know that I can. For me, it is mostly number 2 or number 5.
See, the main item that I 99% of the time make into a mountain is technology. O.M.G…it drives me crazy when my computer doesn’t co-operate, or my cell phone is being nasty or better yet when the apps on my television are not responding…I would seriously give up and run to my husband and make him fix it. Which meant that by the time I get to R.H. my little molehill has become the biggest mountain possible and then I am uploading it to him when he is not even expecting it. Now, how fair is that…it’s not, right? I cannot expect that my ‘emergency’ to become his priority. He has a life outside of my mountains.
Take this week, for example, I did a wicked video for Instagram and posted it, well…so I thought. I went back into Instagram and it showed the video was still loading. I scratched my head and decided to leave it alone and check in later. 4 hours go by and I go to post on Instagram again and guess what…the video was still loading! So, I decided to load a photo in the hopes that it would push the video out into the interweb…haha! All it did was get the photo stuck. I started to get frustrated, so I turned Instagram off and said forget it. I have other things to do.
Fast forward to bedtime…midnight may I add. I went onto Instagram again and those dang posts were still stuck in the upload position. OOOO.MMMM.GGGG I freaked out! Okay, not like a spazzy freakout, I wasn’t throwing things or yelling at people, but I could feel my blood starting to boil. I looked at my husband and I got the ‘don’t look at me’ line as he was not about to deal with my mountain as he was turning in for the night. It probably didn’t help that I was super tired either. I actually said out loud ‘forget you Instagram, I am going to bed!’
6:30 am came quickly and as I got out of bed I wanted to post to Instagram to say good morning to the world, and…you guessed it, those posts were still stuck. I remembered the frustration that I felt the day before and, at that moment, I said ‘not today Instagram! Not today!” I took a HUGE deep breath and asked, ‘how do I fix this’. I waited a moment and the answer came to me…uninstall and reinstall the app. I proceeded to do so and voila…FIXED!
I cannot believe what I learned from this drawn-out process of Instagram not co-operating with me and I want to share it with you.
- Don’t freak out, it only adds to the mountain
- Don’t expect someone else to take on your mountain, they don’t want your problem when it is not expected. This can make the person irritable and cranky
- Take a deep breath, or 2 or 3 or 50. Learn to calm yourself down because you cannot complete or do anything with your are high strung.
- Changing my words from ‘I don’t know how’ to ‘how do I’ was the best thing I could have done because it shifted my mindset from negative or positive, which allowed me to see the situation clearer, it helped me to realize that I did know the answer
- Don’t try and fix your mountain before going to sleep. You are not in the right mindset and you are only going to make the situation worse, aka you are going to grow that mountain to epic heights
We as humans tend to make the little things in life, that can be easily solved, into mountains. I believe that this is one of the main causes of stress. We need to stop this habit. My hope is that you can learn from my lesson and decide to choose to keep your molehills just that, molehills.
BONUS: I mentioned that number 5 was one of my mountains. I found a way to fix this so that the molehill stays a molehill. What I do is at the beginning of the week I do a brain dump. I take pen to paper and within 10-15 minutes I have my entire to-do list out of my brain and onto the paper.
I write anything and everything that comes to mind and I keep writing until I run out of items. Boy, it feels so good to have an empty brain. I include business, personal, fun and annoying activities, chores and anything else that comes to mind. This may even include having a shower or changing my socks. Whatever it is it gets written down.
From there I go through the list and mark every item from urgent to non-urgent. I remove the non-urgent off the weekly list and only deal with the urgent items first that week. If I run out of the urgent items I, then turn to the non-urgent list that I created.
When you get all your to-dos organized on paper it gives you a clear mind to start to tackle the list AND you probably will notice that the list isn’t as big as the entire galaxy.
Let’s make a pack right now to be more aware of when we are turning a molehill into a mountain and choose to deal with the situation differently. Let’s change the habit, our life journey will thank you.
~ XO Sara