Get the Edge Day 5: Power of Emotions
Hi Everyone! Long time, long time. Yes I know. I’ve been a little under the weather for a few days. Good news is, I’m feeling better. More good news is that tonight is my last final. WOOT WOOT!! This means that all the fabulous ideas that my Celestial Team have been whispering to me (don’t worry I’ve been writing them down I know my memory is bad) will come forth. I can’t wait! Let’s jump right in, shall we?
What does it mean when we get angry, frustrated, overwhelmed, when we feel hurt or fearful, guilty and lonely and so many other ‘negative’ emotions? I know I’ve stopped and question myself and ask why am I feeling this way because I don’t fancy going through my entire day feeling this way. So if I feel a certain way and I just can’t figure it out over a couple of hours I’ll text my fellow captains Nikole and Nattydread and say hey, I’m feeling _____ and I don’t know why. The best buds that they are, they’ll help me get to the root of my feeling. They’re my off the couch therapists. Once I/we figure it out I take action. Tony wants us to do something similar but more in depth.
Let’s change our vocabulary a little bit. Instead of referring to negative emotions as negative how about we follow Tony and call them ‘Action Signals.’ Ya! I like that. Tony says that every emotion is a call for action. Often times the emotions that are the most painful is a sign that’s telling us that we ought to make some changes in our lives. If we listen to these signals we can then change the quality of our experiences and our lives immediately. So where do emotions come from? “Whether we give ourselves positive, negative, or neutral feelings is determined by the rules we have and the meanings or interpretations we attach to the events in our lives.” Let me give you an example he used on the tape: a man opens the door for a woman. She then yells at him and calls him a chauvinistic pig! In this example the woman looks at this act as demeaning or that the man is trying to dominate her. That’s the meaning that she has associated with that act. Whereas the man did it to be respectful because that’s the meaning he has associated with the act. So, what we feel isn’t based on our experience but on our interpretation of our experience. RE-PRESENT: you make a re-presentation of what happened in your head. I’ll give you a personal example. I was a very pessimistic person. Very! God bless my besties for dealing with me all these years. Anyway, first year of therapy, maybe it was the second or third session. The doc says to me: you’re walking towards your friends. You see them in a circle talking and laughing and one of them looks up and sees you coming and continues laughing. What do you think? I remember watching him as if he’d lost it! Duh, it’s obvious that they were talking about me. Why he asks. Simple, one friend laughed when he/she saw me. Well couldn’t it be that they were talking and laughing about something or someone else or maybe they looked up and knowing your sense of humor they know you would find it funny too. Hmmmmm. I gave this act a meaning that it’s automatically about me. That’s just not the case at all times. See what I mean folks?
Tony had me do an exercise, I wasn’t going to write it in but why should I have all the fun? Take a moment and do this exercise.
Exercise: Hope vs Certainty (taken directly from the journal workbook)
1. Think about something you’d like to have happen in the future and hope it will happen. Close your eyes and notice how it feels to hope. Do you see two different possibilities-having it work out and not work out?
2. Open your eyes, shake your body out a little, and get rid of that hoping feeling. Now close your eyes and think about this same thing you’d like to have happen, but this time expect it to happen. Notice how it feels and how this is different than hoping.
3. Open your eyes. What was the difference? You just controlled your emotions!
We ought to make sure that our emotions power us instead of disempowering us. Tony says that there aren’t any bad emotions. Every emotion serves us as long as we interpret it in a way that has a powerful meaning to our lives. Something that would move us forward instead of backwards. He chunked our negative emotions into ten categories and gave what the message is for each. I made sure and wrote it out for you (also found in the workbook).
TEN ACTION SIGNALS
If you feel... The message is…
1. Uncomfortable Change your state, clarify what you want, and take action in
2. Fearful Get prepared, get ready to do something.
3. Hurt An expectation is not being met and you have a feeling of loss. Change your behavior or your way of communicating your needs.
4. Angry An important rule has been violated. Let the person know your standard may not be the same as theirs but you need their help.
5. Frustrated You need to change your approach to achieve your goal
6. Disappointed Your expectation may not be appropriate for the situation at hand.
7. Guilty or Regretful You violated one of your own standards. You must ensure you won’t violate it again.
8. Inadequate You need to improve what you’re doing or change your criteria; your rules may be too hard to meet.
9. Overloaded, Overwhelmed, You need to prioritize. List the things you want to accomplish Hopeless, or Depressed. In order of priority, then take action with the first item on your list.
10. Lonely You need connection with people.
Now remember that he chunked all these emotions. You may feel rejected and that’s not on the list but dig a little deeper and maybe you’ll find that it falls under ‘uncomfortable’ or somewhere else.
Tony notes that most people handle their emotions by avoiding them, enduring them, or by using them to compete with other people (well if you think you have it bad then hear this…). There’s a fourth way and it can be done in six steps.
Six Steps to Mastering Your Emotions
You know something Tony, you and these bloody steps! *sigh* But your methods are working so the steps are:
1. Identify the emotion and appreciate the message: its saying you have to change something.
2. Clarify: What is this emotion trying to tell me, what message is it offering? Do I need to change my perception (the meaning) or my procedures (my communication or my behavior)?
3. Get curious and ask questions: How do I really want to feel? As soon as you identify what you want to feel, you’re moving in the direction you want to go. What would I have to believe in order to feel that way now? What am I willing to do to make it the way I want? What’s great about this or what can I learn from this?
4. Get confident: Recall a specific time when you felt this emotion before and somehow got over it. Remembering a time when you were able to deal with the emotion will reassure you that you can deal with it now.
5. Get certain: Imagine coming up with different ways of handling this emotion. If one doesn’t work, try another. Rehearse until you feel confident.
6. Get excited and take action! Do something right away that shows you can handle this emotion. Express your emotion in a way that reinforces what you’ve rehearsed in your mind and changes the way you feel.
Phew! I’m going to write this down on an index card and use it until I can run through this automatically in my head.
Next up are the ten emotions of power.
(taken directly from book)
The best way to get yourself to do something is to put yourself in an emotional state where that behavior becomes automatic. For example, the easiest way to have close relationships and do the things that make you feel close to other people, is to cultivate the emotion of being loving and warm. Here are 10 quick emotions to plant in your life on a daily basis. If you cultivate these emotions and focus on feeling them every day, you will plant the seeds or greatness in your life.
1. Love and Warmth
2. Appreciation and Gratitude
4. Excitement and Passion
Those are definitely index card worthy.
Let’s start using the Six Steps and the Ten Action Signals we’ve learned in this session.
Step 1: For the next two days, notice any negative or disempowering feelings that come up and apply the six step process. Record your progress below.
Negative emotion: Overloaded at work.
How I handled it: Instead of creating a big ruckus in my head…I created a small one. LOL! I realized I needed to prioritize. How I really wanted to feel was less anxious and not overwhelmed so I took action and made a list and prioritized my needs.
Negative emotion: Angry
How I handled it: Ok, so I did send an angry text (no bueno) but in the text I clearly stated that my standard on time was violated and I felt a hell of a lot better instead of brushing the feeling under the rug. The Lord knows that that feeling would’ve just intensified and holding it all in wasn’t an option.
Negative emotion: Regretful
How I handled it: I noted that I violated one of my own standards. I knew that I much rather feel more in control of myself. I recalled a time that I felt this way and what I did. What I did then was learn from the mistake that caused me to violate my own standards, forgave myself and move on/try again. That’s the action I took. I forgave myself and kept it moving. I also took some steps to ensure I won’t violate them again.
Step 2: Make a list of all the things you can do to make yourself feel good at a moment’s notice.
1. Text a friend to tell me a joke
2. Google a joke
3. Listen to soca
4. Look at a picture of a Shar pei
5. Look at nature pictures
Step 3: For each of the 10 Action Signals you learned in this session, develop a new belief that will help you avoid feeling these emotions.
I’m still working on this but feel free to create your own list. An example used is if you are feeling overwhelmed or disappointment then your new belief can be “this too shall pass” or “the best is yet to come.”
I hope that you’ve learned a thing or two. I have a final in less than six hours and I think I need a nap so let me run.
Let’s be like Naruto (LOVE this anime) who turns every negative emotion into something positive!