I talk a lot about the power and impact of our emotional state on our physiology, our choices, our behaviours, our habits and the results we achieve in our life. When we are able to get and remain in a state of joy, gratitude, love, empowerment and/or determination, amazing things tend to happen. When our primary emotional position is anxiety, fear, anger, resentment and/or guilt, then we are going to limited in what we get out of life. But rather than label emotions as good or bad, which I have made the mistake of making, we should use them as an indicator for our lives.
I have incorrectly labelled emotions as good or bad, positive or negative, healthy or unhealthy and right or wrong. It’s crazy when you think of it, because I know the many times in my life when I have been anxious, angry or fearful, if someone had told me to get over it and that those emotions are bad, wrong or negative, I would have hit them with a golf club! It’s about the only use my golf clubs would get! When I am angry, I don’t want reason. When, I am fearful, I don’t want logic. When I am anxious, I don’t want opinions. Do you know what I mean? This blog is all about helping you feel okay about not feeling okay.
At the end of 2019, I had the worst experience I have every had as a public speaker. I endured 45 minutes of negativity, interruptions and questioning from one person throughout my entire talk. This person poisoned the atmosphere, the other people and the whole experience. After the session, I felt a multitude of emotions, and none of them are what you would consider positive or healthy in any way. I felt attacked, angry, confused and I was evening doubting my ability as a speaker, even though I had done it successfully for more than 20 years.
After a short period of tantrum-throwing and thumb-sucking, I decided to assess my feelings to see where they were coming from and what they meant in terms of my beliefs about myself and perspectives about that session. I mean, I think in that situation, anger would be a normal response for many people, so I validated it and then worked through the anger to actually realise this person may have had a point on one or two areas. I made a decision, at that moment, to make some positive changes to my presentation. As soon as I did that, the anger was gone, and gratitude took its place.
I thought about the doubts I started to have about my ability as a speaker and I realised that it was a totally unfounded belief, as I have years of track record and positive responses about my speaking. Again, it was an almost an instantaneous change from confusion and doubt to clarity and empowerment to keep making the difference I am making in this world. I realised I wouldn’t have a positive impact on everyone, and that’s okay. This thought immediately brought a feeling of peacefulness in my body.
My point is this, our emotional state is simply an indicator of what is going on in our mind. When you are feeling happy, grateful, loving, excited, empowered, determined, empathetic or joyful, it’s an indicator your thinking is heading you and your life in the right direction. Whenever you feel anger, anxiety, fear, resentment, guilt or doubt, it’s simply an indication that you need to stop, reflect on why you are experiencing those emotions, and try to change your perspective to course correct. In my recent podcast with Dr Lillian Nejad, she discusses how we need ‘so-called’ negative emotions, as they’re an indication that things need to change. These feelings need to be validated before steps can be taken to make the necessary changes, and in the podcast, Dr Nejad discusses some great strategies to do just that.
You and I are human, and we will experience the whole gamut of the emotional spectrum, maybe even all in one day! You are okay. There is nothing wrong with you. Just learn to use your feelings as an indicator to your thoughts and then make the necessary changes you need to make to live a life of joyful longevity.