The Uncorked Conversation

Episode 11 Why Our Problems Are Not First World


Why Our Problems Are Not First World

In this episode, we explore the pitfalls of the term, “It’s a first world problem.” I reveal why we’re normally not sweating the small stuff, and I offer a better way to view “first world problems.” I also discuss why it’s so important to be aware of our painful thoughts and to dissolve them.

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The Uncorked Conversation Podcast with Allyson Scammell
Episode #11: Why Our Problems Are Not First World


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You are listening to the unworked conversation podcast with Alllyson Scammell episode number eleven. Hello and welcome to the uncorked conversation, a podcast for soul guided passion filled women entrepreneurs who want to uncork big magic in life and business without burning out.

We’ll get to the truth of how to uncork our core gifts, the ones we keep hidden inside, and how to infuse those gifts. Into our personal and professional life in a way that feels like magic.

We’ll also uncover how to truly experience the joy of the journey smart time management and planning. I’m your host Allyson Scammell. Let’s uncork.

Hello, Shantipax nation how are you today? I am doing great. I’m recording this episode in Portland Maine and the weather is absolutely delicious. You can smell the salty ocean air and it is spectacular.

Have you ever heard someone say or have you yourself ever said. Well that’s a first world problem. I’ve said it before but I don’t anymore and I’m going to explain why.

The term first world problem first appeared in 1979 in GK Payne’s work built environment but gained recognition on social media beginning around 2005. The term was even added to the Oxford Dictionary online in 2012.

A first world problem is used to minimize complaints about trivial issues by shaming the complainer or as good humoured self deprecation. As an aside I often get inspiration for podcast episodes from my clients.

Right now I have a Kadrey of ideally ideal and completely fabulous clients I simply adore them. And if you’re ever feeling called to become a sweet client of mine be sure to schedule a free 20 minute consultation on my Web site shantipax dot com.

Whenever I notice several clients grappling with this same problem around the same time I know that it’s likely a global theme that many other people are likely dealing with as well.

And although my clients haven’t been using the phrase that’s a first world problem they sometimes feel that their problems are trivial and thus the emotions they’re feeling about their problems are also trivial. So best to just drop it and move on.

In today’s episode I’m going to explain why you shouldn’t always just drop it and why our problems aren’t first world. And I’m going to offer a better way to view quote unquote first world problems. Our rational brain is a trickster.

When a seemingly insignificant event occurs in our lives triggering pain or dissatisfaction our brain will sometimes say shame on you for feeling bad about this trivial event. There are people in the world who are really suffering. Get over yourself. Thus, we actually feel guilty or shameful about feeling the negative emotion because we know we have so many good things going on in our lives.

We have housing we have food. We live in relative safety. We have our health because of these things our brain will imply that feeling anything but joy all the time is a first world luxury. Our trickster brains operate in this way because of social conditioning and from hearing expressions such as that’s a first world problem and other similar sentiments.

I want to challenge this social conditioning. The reason why is because our feelings always tell the true story and should be honored if we are feeling sad for example. Then the fundamental truth is we are feeling sad. Something is happening in our life to trigger sadness.

Now we may be creating unnecessary sadness and we may be misinterpreting a situation but the feeling is still there. Let’s say a friend cancels a coffee date at the last minute and we make that to mean they don’t value the friendship when in reality let’s say she is dealing with a personal matter that has nothing to do with us yet we don’t realize that and we’re sad.

The reason why we’re sad may not be true or valid but the sadness is your feelings are true they are real and they’re trying to get your attention. Your rational brain will tell you that your sadness is silly. It should be repressed it’s just a first world problem and that you should instead get over it and count your blessings. So when your brain tries to do this. Use it as an opportunity to say no I’m going to follow the feeling the feeling in this example is sadness.

The sadness was triggered by the friend cancelling the coffee date and it was actually triggered not by the cancellation itself but by the thought. My friend doesn’t value our friendship because she cancelled on me. Once you’ve identified the painful thought the next step is to dissolve it. I talk about dissolving limiting beliefs a lot on this podcast.

I offer a free training on using the most powerful tool I know of to dissolve limiting beliefs. If you can sign up for a free training on how to useF.T. to dissolve limiting beliefs on my website or in the show notes often you’ll discover in your exploration to dissolve the thought that it goes much deeper than you realize.

So getting back to our coffee example. Our friend counsels on us. And then we start to explore the thought that they don’t value the friendship. And in the exploration we actually uncover that it goes much deeper and that we’re really feeling tribalists or without true connections generally and our friends cancellation just triggered that.

The bottom line is your feelings are always real and want to be felt. Your thoughts may be making you feel unnecessary pain and that may indeed be trivial but if the pain is there then start by identifying the thought without judgment that is causing the pain.

Getting back to our lovely expression that’s a first world problem. The meaning behind the expression isn’t all bad. We can take it to mean not to sweat the small stuff or for it to serve as a reminder to be grateful for all the good things in our lives.

But let’s agree to recast the whole expression. First of all let’s get away from looking at the planet in terms of first second third. There is one world. It is planet Earth. Some nations are more developed than others and even that depends on how one defines developed.

Let’s instead envision a world where everyone thrives equally and let our language start to reflect that. Back to my lovely coffee example your friend cancels you feel sad and you realize you’re actually feeling sad because you’re feeling tribalist and without true connections that my friends is not sweating the small stuff that is not trivial.

Having true and authentic connections is a fundamental part of human happiness. So there is no small stuff there. But what if someone cuts you off in the supermarket parking lot and that makes you mad. Then you identify the thought that jerk shouldn’t have cut me off. Spend a minute exploring if there’s something more.

Is there something bigger going on. If the answer is no and you’re just feeling irked for being cut off then ask yourself. Will this situation upset me in a year’s time. If the answer is no it’s probably small stuff that you can just agree to let go and in the process of letting it go. Shift to a gratitude practice for all the things you are grateful for.

Be grateful in the moment for example for all the cars that aren’t cutting you off. So this is just the process of checking in to see if what you’re feeling and the circumstances that are causing it indeed are small stuff or not. I find that when working with clients ninety nine point nine nine nine percent of the time it is not small stuff and the thing that seems trivial that triggered the emotion is actually tied to a much much deeper pain deeper situation that is asking for you to explore it.

So it’s not trivial. We shouldn’t be ashamed our feelings are real and they’re asking us for our attention. And when it comes to shifting to feelings of gratitude for all the things in your life you’re feeling it because you actually are grateful not because you’ve been jilted or shamed into feeling grateful because other people on other parts of the planet have way less than you.

The gratitude is coming from an actual place of love connection and appreciation for all the things big and small that you have in your life. My challenge to you today is to always honor your feelings and not feel guilty about them or about all the good things that are happening in your life. Use your feelings as a prompt to explore painful thoughts and if the thoughts are actually part of a larger problem.

Hint they often are used tools such as E.F.T to help dissolve the thoughts and then shift to gratitude for the things in your life that you hold dear.

I challenge us all to shift expressions like first world problems to always honoring our feelings aware of their likely source letting go of the small stuff and practicing gratitude. And be sure to tune into next week’s episode No.12 where I’ll be talking more about how to cultivate a practice of gratitude.

That is all I have for today my dear friends have a great week. And until next time.

Stay the course. Looking for a tribe to call your own? Then join us at the Uncorked Cabal. We dream, scheme, and we discover new ways to infuse our core gifts into life and business without burning out. Find out how to join on my Website Shantipax.com. That’s s-h-a-n-t-i-p-a-x