If this is your first note from me, welcome! We’re in the middle of a series on how our thoughts create our results.* To view previous notes in this series, scroll down.
I have been learning that:
RESULTS are the effect of
ACTIONS motivated by
FEELINGS generated by
Circumstances are neutral. Thoughts can be chosen. Feelings can be changed.
Feelings are created by thoughts. We’re talking about emotions here, not sensations, putting aside the idea that thoughts may also cause physical sensations.
This is not about denying feelings! Feelings are messengers. When you feel something, allow it. Welcome it with kindness, as one of my coaches likes to say, and on neutral ground.
What is the feeling exactly? Define it as well as you can. Need help? Here is a well-defined list of over 300 emotions to get you started.
A feeling is always a response. Not a response to a circumstance, but a response to our thoughts about a circumstance. Other people can’t make you feel anything, but your thoughts about them can.
What is your feeling telling you about your thoughts?
Is it something you want to feel, or not?
If not, you can change it by changing your thoughts. If someone is “making” you upset, you can choose to give them the benefit of the doubt. You can choose to think differently about their motives, actions, or tone. You can choose to think differently about how much whatever they do actually matters to you.
Sometimes you will want to feel something that’s not positive. There is a time to laugh and a time to mourn, and you’ll probably want to experience the emotions that align with your values.
That said, often we have feelings we’d rather not experience. Anxiety is a big one for me - I can’t think of a circumstance in which I want to feel anxious. But, choose a different, believable thought and you’ll get a different feeling.
So proactively ask yourself, how do you want to feel? About your work, your partner, your kids, yourself...your life?
What thoughts create those feelings? Consciously choose those thoughts this week.
*This concept is not new, but I must credit Brooke Castillo at The Life Coach School for the CTFAR acronym which she refers to as the Self-Coaching Model (used with permission), and for introducing it in a way that finally made sense to me.