Life is hardly exclusively a series of negative or positive experiences - most of us experience joy, love and other positive emotions and events; and see the opposites too: feeling afraid, burdened, challenged or disappointed. The question is whether you allow those feelings to define your emotional life.
When you consider your emotional climate over a period of time – does the good outweigh the bad? Are the challenges looming ahead as obstacles or are they considered to be growth opportunities? And considering emotional responses, do the positive responses overshadow the unwanted ones or vice versa?
If you discover that there are more triggers setting off reactions such as anxiety, fear, anger and depression, consider whether this pattern of limiting emotions serves you in any way in your life. Does it support your life purpose, the identity you aspire to cultivate, the relationships with significant others, your career, your family or your social life?
The answer I hear from clients is always an emphatic “No” – they want to eliminate those emotions. They want to be rid of it and preferably immediately!
And if you never experience any adversity at all, is that a sign of a fulfilling life or being stuck in a rut? The more discomfort your current situation evokes, the greater the chance of finding a different and better choice as it will propel your forward in your quest to discover a new destiny. It allows you to transform loss and adversity into progress and personal control.
Emotional Choices and Self-Talk
It is possible to make different choices – even having an emotion can be turned into a choice. And the accompanying self-talk is also a choice.
Words have feelings. Words form patterns. Whether you have an internal mental talk or voice the words, the effect remains.
One way we keep negative feelings raging in consciousness is self-talk. The inner voice is often the biggest stumbling block in stepping out of the pattern that one is stuck in. By taking control of your inner voice and self talk, learning to access resourceful inner feelings and dealing with your personal history you can place yourself on the path to a new experience of self and life.
Profound personal change is generated by learning to change the internal voice.
Personal power is shaped by changing your dialogue about the past and so conquering past history.
Perseverance is rewarded with new patterns of talking, doing, feeling, learning and growing.
New Patterns form through Repetition
Breaking emotional habits is not instantaneous. Neither is changing the internal voice. Through personal commitment, developing a more pliable approach and practicing new patterns of talking, feeling and behaving, more resourceful patterns are formed. Growth is incremental; every triumph results in even more emotional freedom, more flexibility and more choice.
Habitually we give negative experiences more power by giving them more airtime – in our conversations with others and ourselves. One way to transform internal experience is to brighten up the positive experiences in your mind, talk about them more and to enjoy the feelings they evoke fully; while giving the negative ones less airtime, less visibility and thus less significance by making them smaller and less intense.
Let your voice become one of victory by taking control of your words, expressions and sayings. This is a saying worth adopting:
You see things and you say, why? But I dream things that never were and I say, why not? (George Bernard Shaw)