Well maybe ignore isn’t the right word, perhaps question is better. Why ? Because emotions are habits – even worse emotion and the reactions they generate are unconscious habits that create your experiences.
Not sure – well one or two episodes of the Housewives of Beverly Hills (or New York) may convince you. Having had one (or more) conversations with woman around me that revolved around the phrase “how I am feeling, how you are feeling” I have come to the following conclusions:
1) When a conversation starts with ‘how I feel’, and I am not the ‘I’ in the conversation, I can stop trying to present my side of the story because the person I am speaking to isn’t interested in anything other than having their feelings validated.
Likewise, if I start a conversation with ‘I feel’, I am not really interested in the other person’s view point and am in fact using my emotional well being to manipulate the other person into agreeing with me.
2) Facts aren’t – how I experience and remember an event is completely different to the people around me, which is mind boggling when they get it all wrong
3) When I focus on my feelings I stop focusing on what I want (in business terms I start focusing on the players and not the ball). This is the fastest way I know to move out of creation into pure drama and frustration
4) Emotions are driven by thoughts and can be very self centred – demanding attention and validation with very little truth to support them. If I take the time to unpack the thoughts that are feeding them I am invariably surprised at the results (and normally quite embarrassed)
5) I use emotions to change the behaviour of the people around me, even scarier, so do the people around me – a statement that has taken quite a bit of courage to put out there. But if I can’t own it, I can’t change it. Do you have the courage to look honestly at yourself and see how you use emotions to manage the people around you ?
All of which has led me to treat my emotions with suspicion, especially at work where my focus needs to be on creating and not getting side tracked. It is an odd place to be in, because the world has taught me that emotions are important and necessary and well, what we focus on. As a woman it is even worse, the way the world has communicated with me has never been through “What are you thinking?”, instead it has always been through “How are you feeling?”, which hardly helps matters.
I am not talking about repressing emotions – that is a recipe for disaster. No, emotions need to flow and be felt but then you need to let them go. They are markers, handy hints if you will, that tell you how you are processing the situation you are in. At all time they need to be in balance with your thoughts and choices.
When they are out of balance you will find that life is full of drama and turmoil, tears and frustration and if they are out of balance at work, you will find your career stalling, bosses (as well as pretty much everyone else) avoiding you and the conversations you end up in revolving around you as the victim, rather than you as the director.
Emotions can trap you and hold you hostage, making you believe you are powerless and that nothing will change until someone comes in and changes how you are feeling, until the people around you stop doing whatever it is that is making you feel the way you do. Emotions will tell you that they are caused by other people and you will believe that…and so spend months if not years of your life trying to change the people around you when actually what you needed to do was stop and change the way you are thinking about your emotions.
Emotions are a necessary part of who we are as human beings. We would not know joy without knowing sadness, peace without knowing anger. Knowing your emotions and knowing how you create them is the key to claiming yourself, mastering your life and becoming your own dream maker.
Life with Dare! Dare to own your emotions, dare to choose them and so create the life you want to love!