Emotions are neutral and are simply cues for us to pay attention. Pay attention to your emotions without judgment. They may feel confusing, frustrating, and constantly changing. And that is OK. When dealing with our emotions, it is rarely a simple or pain-free process. The important thing is to keep at it! The easy thing to do is give up, and while that is an option, it is a very limiting one. If you want growth, keep exploring.
Try this exercise. I want you to choose an emotion that seems to keep resurfacing no matter what you do. You may have a very difficult time looking at this emotion as neutral because it may feel like it has a life beyond your control.
Grab some paper and a pen! You will want to write down your thoughts.
- The emotion I am dealing with is:
- It causes me to behave this way:
Once you have named the emotion and the behavior, we want to determine the positive intention behind both. This is a precept of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (think author and life coach, Tony Robbins). Every emotion or behavior we have has a purpose. And no matter how horribly this emotion may make us feel or behave, its purpose is either now or was at some time in the past actually positive. Another way to look at this is that any behavior or thought is doing something for us. It is fueling us in some way. It is fulfilling a psychological need, and we may not even realize it. This may seem strange, but it is oh so exciting! Let’s dig right in.
- When I am feeling the emotion I listed above and I am behaving as I listed above, I am needing/desiring/wanting:
Now that you know the positive intention behind the emotion, it is time to have a discussion with the other parts of your psyche. Yes, I want you to talk to yourself. And I want you to write about the discussion.
Here is an example of what I am asking you to do:
Psyche Part 1: When I feel inadequate I become easily offended when my boss questions my actions. I want to feel like I am good enough. Therefore, I recognize that the positive intention behind feeling inadequate and getting offended is actually the desire to feel like I am good enough.
Psyche Part 2: What is preventing you from feeling good enough?
Psyche Part 1: Because most of the time when I try something new, I fail. And when my boss questions me, it is a reminder of that. Therefore, I am not good enough.
Psyche Part 2: So, you feel inadequate when you are trying something new?
Psyche Part 1: Yes.
Psyche Part 2: Do you fail every single time?
Psyche Part 1: No. But most of the time.
Psyche Part 2: What happened during the occasions that you succeeded?
Psyche Part 1: Once, I got a promotion.
Psyche Part 2: And how did that change your life?
Psyche Part 1: I had to move to a new location, my wife didn’t want to go and hated it. We ended up divorced.
Do you see what happened here? Can you see that the feeling of inadequacy actually had more to do with the fear of SUCCESS than the need to be good enough? We do this all the time to ourselves. What is the stubborn emotion that keeps you in bondage really trying to do for you? It may be something that you haven’t even considered.
We self-sabotage many times based on something that is locked away in our subconscious and may have happened many years ago. So, the answer isn’t always simple, but it is always there.
If you would like some assistance uncovering the key to your specific emotion, check out www.rhondahuff.com, Videos, “Chapter E.” If you have figured it out already by following the example, that’s great! Watch the video anyway because you can talk yourself through these steps in the future.
Take some time to write out your own conversation with yourself. There may be more than two parts of yourself that you must engage. Also, this work is usually within your subconscious awareness. Trying to discuss these things with your conscious mind will get you nowhere. So, during this conversation, get into a quiet and relaxed state (I show you how to do this on the video). The subconscious mind is a million times more powerful than the conscious mind and responsible for 94 to 99 percent of all decisions we make. TRUE and LASTING change must happen in the subconscious!