Mindset Moment: A Story About New Shoes
It's all about the approach to a challenging situation. This also is about overthinking.
A couple weeks ago, I got new sneakers. My previous treadmill sneakers were wearing through and poking me in the heels.
My mother, who is a very observant listener, got me a gift card for Christmas to a shoe store, which definitely was a motivator. Since it wasn't cash, and was a designated use, it make me want to invest quicker.
So I did. And when I went, they didn't have my usual brand, so I had to evaluate a whole bunch of different ones. The shoes I settled with needed to have extra padding in the heels, because I wear through that part so fast. Like, I once had sneakers that painfully wore through after a couple months and the rest of the shoe still looked mint. It's serious lol.
So I brought them home and tried them out a few days later, excited to be without heel pain. And ten minutes later on the treadmill, I'm limping off and scrambling for my hiking shoes, which are looser in the back.
A deluge of thoughts began:
"I know thet aren't broken in, but this is so bad!"
"I wish I had stayed in these longer at the store!"
"Is it right to return these after using them for 10 minutes?"
"I don't feel like driving two towns away to return these."
"I wish I had just bought my old brand online, and taken a chance."
All of these thoughts of regret! Sadness that maybe my gift with good intention was wasted.
I tried again the next day. I lasted 15 minutes before I switched shoes.
That night I drained a dime-sized blister from my left heel.
New thoughts ensued.
"How long does it take to break in sneakers? I can't remember."
"Surely the designers of these things of this reputable brand know how not to maim their customers, right?"
"I need to check my receipt when I get upstairs for the return policy."
My thoughts were not very positive about this, to say the least. I was slightly stressing.
And then I stopped. I wore my hiking shoes for a handful of days while the blister healed.
I decided to give it one more try. Something told me to just be a little more patient during the break-in period.
I paid attention to my gut feelings about it. I tired the shoes again.
They were loose. Comfortable loose.
The situation is laughable because immediately I knew what happened.
The weekend I bought these was my final weekend of holiday eating. When I wore them the first two times, my body had not yet let go of some of that water weight from eating extra salt, sugar, maybe even from drinking (not 100% about this but is a possibility).
Some water retention let go in that week and the shoes fit. Very well!
I've never personally experienced this before. Now I'll never forget it and I'll remember to be patient.
You see, this is common behavior from me. I experience an unpleasant situation and all I want to do is fix it. I need to take control and make it better ASAP.
Yet in the back of my mind, something was telling me to wait. And I made the right decision by waiting.
What would have happened otherwise? A wasted hour of a day off to drive out and exchange, and risk making the same mistake again?
A wasted pair of new shoes because they sat there with me being afraid to try again?
Me feeling bad around my mother that I made a poor decision with her gift?
It's such a simple situation but it's an opportunity to stand back and examine how I was thinking about and handling it.
If your gut is telling you to wait and stop being so hasty, follow that advice. It would feel like an urgent red flag otherwise.
Remember that getting things to gel with you takes time.
Overthinking can sometimes be so totally unnecessary and not needed.
Things have a way of working out. Sure, it's hard to stand back and wait, but sometimes just looking imward to see what your inner feelings are saying can calm down your brain.
How does this resonate with you? Have you experienced a similar situation?