Do you fight your emotions?

written by Erica Quam

Do your emotions get the best of you?

Your emotions will move you closer to or further away from the things that you want in life. Believe it or not, you are in charge of your feelings and emotions.

* Here's are two lists of emotions:

List 1)

  • boredom
  • pessimism
  • frustration/irritation/impatience
  • overwhelm
  • disappointment
  • doubt
  • worry
  • blame
  • discouragement
  • anger
  • revenge
  • hatred/rage
  • jealousy
  • insecurity/guilt/unworthiness
  • fear/grief/depression/despair/powerlessness

List 2)

  • joy/appreciation/empowered/freedom/love
  • passion
  • enthusiasm/eagerness
  • happiness
  • positive expectation/belief
  • optimism
  • hopefulness
  • contentment

The first list moves you further away from what you want in life. The second list takes you closer to what you want. Let's figure out how to spend more time on the left.

Common complaints:

  • He just makes me feel worthless.
  • She makes me get so angry!
  • That coach always makes me feel discouraged.

In reality, no one makes you feel anything. You just feel. You experience your own emotions.

Bring your power back by changing your words:

  • I feel worthless when he criticizes me.
  • I get angry when she doesn't do what I expect her to do.
  • I feel discouraged around that coach, because I believe I haven't lived up to his expectations.

Changing your words puts you back in the driver's seat. 

Okay, so now what?

Let's look at examples of a few inner dialogues you can have with yourself to take things one step further:

  • When he criticizes me, do I really believe what he is saying? I have the choice to feel worthless. Am I worthless? I know I'm not worthless. I feel empowered.
  • When she doesn't do what I expect her to do, it makes me angry. Why am I angry? What about her not doing what I'm asking makes me angry? It probably relates to a past experience that I've had where I lack control. Will I help the situation by getting angry? Nope. Okay. Let's try a different approach.
  • Why am I disappointed when I don't live up to that coach's expectations? Am I doing my best? Yep. I'm doing all that I can do. I believe I'm doing my best. 

It's not about hiding your emotions and feelings and trying NOT to feel them. 

It's acknowledging them and then finding a way for you to move forward. 

One of the 'lowest' emotions people experience is fear.

Fear stops you from doing the things you are capable of doing. Fear keeps you playing small. Fear just creates more fear. Have you ever heard the term, "self-fulfilling prophecy"? When all you do is FOCUS on what you are afraid'll probably manifest that thing that you fear.

For example, in the sport of swimming, during relay exchanges, if a swimmer is scared of false-starting (leaving the blocks early) and all she focuses on is NOT false-starting, then guess what. She's gonna false start. Because she's still focusing on what she's afraid of...and that's what she'll get. 

To get out of fear, you have to flip the switch...and not be afraid anymore. That sounds difficult. AND you can do it. The thing with fear is that it's in the future - it hasn't happened yet. When you decide to change how you feel in the moment - and shift from fear (or worry, or doubt) to faith (or trust, appreciation, or gratitude) - you change what is possible in your life.

Take one step forward...towards faith, gratitude, appreciation, or trust and shift away from fear.  

What actual steps can you take? 

  • Choose your friends carefully and spend more of your time with positive people.
  • Stay away (as much as you can) from people who complain, blame, whine, & criticize all the time
  • Stop watching so much news or reading papers that have a fear-based angle
  • Do LOTS of things that keep you in the present moment: yoga, meditation, focus on the breath
  • Go for a walk outside and look at all the amazing things around you
  • Make a list of things you are grateful for

What helps you to flip the switch from an emotion from list 1 to an emotion on list 2? Share your comment below.

* List of 22 emotions taken from the book, Ask and It Is Given by Esther and Jerry Hicks