Most people think they don’t have anything to do with how they are feeling. I certainly didn’t. But I have learned through many difficult situations in relationships, career and finances, and even getting shot that I do have something to do with my emotions. After all, they are mine!
I learned that how I feel is mainly up to me, unless I have some chemical or neurological damage. Other than that, how I think causes how I feel.
It’s like a waterfall. My positive thoughts cause positive emotions. My negative thoughts cause negative emotions. How I feel influences how I behave, and how I behave produces results, either effective or ineffective. Who starts this whole waterfall of cause and effect? Just me and my thoughts. So I decided to choose to think more often in ways that cause me to feel good rather than bad, so I can find more behaviors that produce effective results.
I also learned I could feel good about myself, even when I made mistakes. I don’t usually intend to make a mistake. I just do the best I know, and “Oops”, I make a mistake. After the mistake I learn something I didn’t know before; I learn how to do things differently next time so I don’t make that mistake again.
Life could just be moving from mistake to mistake to mistake, each time getting closer and closer to greater success, all the while, feeling good about learning something valuable. That’s a very good thing. Even if the mistake is bad, I can feel good about myself for learning from it.
Many people seem to need a reason to be happy because it seems so normal to be serious. They blame their circumstances, the weather, the traffic and the economy for how they are feeling. They can’t be happy because they have too many excuses for feeling bad.
I learned that I don’t need a reason to feel good. It’s enough that feeling good makes me more effective at learning and at turning my worst circumstances into my greatest opportunities. Or maybe that’s my reason to choose to feel good in the face of overwhelming reasons to feel bad.
So, when you don’t like how you are feeling, think of a bright red stop sign with big white letters and say, “STOP”. Ask yourself if those feelings are helping you be more effective in getting the results you want. If so, great, feel good about yourself. If not, ask yourself what you can learn, and then move on to being more effective and feeling good about yourself.
Oh, and I learned that this is all easier said than done, but I choose to feel good about that!