Choose Your Emotions...Nov 08, 2021
Very regularly, when I'm coaching people, they don't believe that you can choose emotions. They believe that our emotions are just something that happens to you. A reaction that you have no control over. But this is not true.
It’s a common belief that you can’t choose your emotions, and there’s an entire coaching process that we go through together, in order to understand and help them see that they do have much more control.
One of the main parts of that process is to take personal responsibility. Because if we keep pretending that our emotions don't belong to us, and that other people create those emotions - when you hear people say “she made me angry”, or ashamed, or he made me upset - what you're actually doing is giving your power away.
You're giving your emotional power away to the other person, and you're giving them the right to decide how you're going to feel.
And that makes no sense whatsoever. Because we want to be in a position where we're empowered, where we are deciding how we feel in any given moment, regardless of our external circumstance.
So our external circumstances are designed to trigger certain emotions, but it's ultimately our choice, and our decision. And it's our level of consciousness that allows an emotion to come out, or work through a method of processing that emotion in other ways.
Now, what I'm talking about here is really high level emotional mastery. I'm not talking about something that you can just develop overnight, or something that you just wake up one day and realize that you have. This is a process that you go through as you're evolving as a human, and you begin to understand that you have much more autonomy about your emotions than what you first thought.
And the reason that it's such a powerful, and empowering conversation is because when it comes to things like being happy, you know that in any moment, anywhere, anytime, with anybody, you can actually make a decision to be happy, and choose to feel happy.
And that's a very, very powerful state to be in. To know that: no matter where you are, no matter what circumstances you’re in.
The person that's always quoted in relation to these kinds of thinking is Viktor Frankl, author of a book called Man's Search for Meaning. Viktor was in a concentration camp, and he knew that the only thing he had left was his ability to choose how he felt. Everything else had been taken from him - food, water, safety, freedom, family. He had even been tortured, but they could not take away his ability to choose how we felt in a given situation. And he chose to feel hopeful. And in those circumstances in the middle of the Nazi concentration camp, he chose to believe that he would live to be free, and go on to experience life afterwards. And that's an incredibly powerful way of managing your ability to choose your emotions.
We have that ability along with Viktor Frankl, at any point in time in our day, or in our night, when we're around our loved ones. When we're feeling angry, when we're feeling anxious, when we're feeling upset, we have to remember that we had the power to choose. And if we remember that, then we can use the autonomy and the power that gives us, when we when we learn to manage our emotional state.
At that level, we truly become masters of our emotions. And when we do that, we're much more able to have the kind of life that we want being the relationships that we want. And get the sort of outcomes that we want in our life.
If you're interested in this topic, or other kinds of topics like this, I frequently run courses and workshops where we dive into all of these kinds of conversations. We talk about your visioning, what you want for your future, your plan your future, and how you can create that version of the future that you would like to experience.
Remember you can always contact me for a quick chat.