Clarity is power in all aspects of our lives and emotions is no different. Often our minds play games on us deceiving us to believe that we feel a certain way whereas the reality is something different.
One valuable habit that I developed over years was how to understand and become clear on how I really feel.
When we become clear on our emotions, we have the power to change our actions and behaviors to get the results that we really want in life.
So here are three questions that help you understand how you feel and what you could do to change it:
Whenever you’re experiencing an unhealthy feeling, ask yourself:
1. How do I feel?
This question gives you an opportunity to slow down the roller coaster of emotions that drags you into a down spiral. This also gives you a chance to acknowledge how you feel which is also important in giving your feelings an outlet to avoid suppressing them.
On the first attempt your answer might be something like, I feel angry, or I feel frustrated.
This is how things look like on the surface. Now it’s time to get to go a bit deeper to figure out what your true feelings are.
2. How do I really feel?
Our minds need some time to absorb situations and to let things settle in before the mental and emotional fog dissolves and you could see things clearly. This is why you need to ask yourself a question that allows you to better understand your emotions.
So asking yourself how do I really feel encourages you to connect to your heart and this is where the truth really lies. Whereas on the surface you could be feeling angry, deep down you could be feeling stuck and unable to make an important decision at work or back home.
If we don’t give our emotions a healthy outlet and we keep running away from it, it will shape into a new emotion that causes us pain.
3. What can I do now to change this?
I mentioned before that our emotions are signals from our hearts and minds that we need to change something. This is why understanding our emotions is the first step towards changing our actions.
So let’s say the you found out that anger is nothing but a new outlet to your frustration of not making the decision you know you have to make.
In this case, you need to dig the real reason why you don’t make this decision. Fear of the consequences of your decision could be what’s keeping you stuck. In this case you could be thinking of strategies and tactics that reduce the risks of your decision.
Clarity is the power of understanding and simplifying to take action and move forward. Do something different today to get a new result.
Hope this helps and feel free to ask any questions
Blaming is putting up the responsibility of the difficult things that happen to us on others. Our modern world promotes a culture of blame. Talk shows, movies, newspapers, and reality TV shows are full of stories of blaming politicians, decision makers, and public administrations for society problems. This feeds the culture of “there’s nothing we could do about it”.
But is this culture of blame helpful?
In psychology ‘self serving bias’ is taking credit to ourselves when things go our way in life, but blaming circumstances when things go against us.
For example, imagine starting a business, If you succeed, then you will likely make it an internal reason - I’m smart, I’m actually a natural entrepreneur. But if you just fail the same test, suddenly there is an external reason - the market was in turmoil, it wasn’t my area of specialty.
Blaming circumstances is one thing and blaming people is a whole different thing. This could have a severely damaging impact on our relationships, families, and careers.
What’s the emotional cost of blaming others?
1. Blaming places the control in others’ hands rather than yours
A lot of us have grown up to form stories about the way we were raised, the kind of parents we had, the circumstances we were brought up in, and a lot of these stories deserve respect and compassion.
It could be true that these people or circumstances impacted your personality, and decisions at some time in the past. But continuing to live out of that story only keeps you stuck with the same kind of emotional challenges that creates more pain in your life.
In the past you might have not had the power to be who you want to be, have what you want to have, and do what you want to do. But blaming others now for what once was gives these people a lot of control over who you are, what you do, and the kind of life you have.
2. Blaming makes you a victim
When you establish a negative identity to others and put them in the driver’s seat of your life, you immediately give yourself a victim identity. The minute you give others power over your life, you take it away from yourself.
When you live out of a conviction that you are a powerless person, how do you expect to be able to change anything in your life?
Playing the victim role strengthens your fear and self doubt. You continue to see yourself as the powerless person you once was. Fear becomes the zone where you hide, where you make decisions, where you act. So blaming breeds fear of being, fear of decisions making, and fear of taking action.
3. Blaming is emotional poison to your soul
Blaming usually comes with other emotions of anger and resentment. Living with a belief that others did you wrong carries with it a feeling of anger not only towards those individuals, but possibly towards people in general.
Being constantly angry at others makes you sacred and unable to be open and vulnerable in your relationships. Fear of opening up and showing genuine love pushes you to run away from people and shutting them off. The result is shallow and unfulfilling relationships that are emotionally unsatisfying.
Blame and love are never found in the same heart. The time you decide to open up for loving and caring about people is the time you’re ready to let go of the blame game.
Giving up blame and taking full responsibility of your life is the first step towards having a life of joy and fulfillment.
What to do to get free of the blame game?
1. Make a decision today
Start by making a decision to take back responsibility of your life. A committed decision means you will do whatever it takes to not fall again in the blaming trap.
2. Work on your self esteem
The more you develop your self esteem, the more yo’ll be able to manage being responsible for yourself and your life. The more you’re able to be open and connected to your humans, the more you’re able to be accepting of others errors.
3. It could help if you could stop telling the story
We all might feel the need to get things off our chest to a friend every now and then. Repeated blame tends to grow and form a life of its own. Each time we tell a story about how someone is the reason for what went wrong, we a dd a little bit more to their responsibility, and we take some away from ours. eventually without even noticing others become the reason our whole life isn’t the way its supposed to be.
Telling the blaming story over and over again creates a mental and emotional fog that keeps our minds and hearts blind. When we give up blaming, we give up our stories, and we’re able to see and feel things for the first time.
Often times when we try to make a conscious decision to break free from our emotional trap, we come up with a story of why we can’t or why it’s too hard to change. We back away to story mode to find a reason why we are the way we are and why there seems to be no way out.
However, the day we hit rock bottom we realize that we are just using the story to justify not taking action and not doing what we know needs to be done. The reality is that we are scared, we are scared to make a decision and we are scared to get out of our comfort zone.
We could use stories of blaming others or circumstances. We could blame our parents for not providing enough, or for bringing us a certain way. We could blame a friend for letting us down. We could blame our partners for not loving us enough and for not being what we expect them to be.
We feel that if only we’ve had more money, more love, more attention, more time, more opportunity, more things, only then our dream life would become true. we think that these things would have eliminated our suffering and pain. We think our lives would have been easier, better, and happier. we continue to ask a million “what if” questions and we renew the agony of having to live with what seems to be the contrary of this.
The realization that could shift our lives - if we choose to - is becoming aware of how our emotions are shaping every step of our lives. Fear takes control fo our emotional systems and hacks the code of our minds to blind out mental and emotional wise vision.
The truth is that these stories are nothing but a distraction from our real problems. our minds try to keep us safe by holding us back from going to unvisited territories. Our minds don’t want us to make serious decisions to resolve the real issues that are causing us the real fear. So instead of facing our fear our minds use these stories as as a camouflage to hide it.
Truth is that our parents, friends, partners, the way we were brought up, or any other life circumstance are never the problem. If we were not challenged with this parent, friend, partner, we wouldn’t have been pushed to learn more, to do more, to achieve more, or to be more.
Think about it, if you didn’t have to work since young age, you would have not developed the sense of independence your have in your life. If you were not independent, you wouldn’t have had the strength to be or do anything you want, and you wouldn’t have achieved many of the things you have in your life. The majority of what you are today is because you were faced with a certain adversity in your life and you decided to take matters in your hand and do something about it.
Likewise your energy to work more, love more, give more, and be more is trapped by your fear of divorcing your story. It’s trapped by fear of making a decision, going outside, meeting new people, working hard for your dreams, and daring to live the life you want. You will be free the day you decide to face your fear and design a new story that empowers you to be the best you could.
We’re all scared and we all have stories about our difficult circumstances, and they are valid and worthy of respect. But at the end it all comes down to what Andy Dufresne said in his brilliant scene in The Shawshank Redemption “Get busy living or get busy dying”. That’s all it is.
Everything in life starts to change the minute you decide to take action and not a minute before that. I realized that when I decided to be honest about my depression and anxiety. Before having the mental and the emotional clarity I have now, I didn’t expect to notice that the majority of the problems I had with my friends were often my fault.
When I started to be honest with myself and open to others, I realized that because of my anxiety I was ignoring others’ problems, which had a negative influence on our relationship.
Now I see that when I was focusing on my anxiety I wasn’t being the very good friend that they needed. Even at the times that my friends didn’t need me, I still wasn’t a good friend because I didn’t share the things that were happening to me - the sadness, the blue thoughts, the panic attacks.
I wonder if they understand and forgive me when I tell them I’m sorry.
There are so many things I want to ask your forgiveness for.
Forgive me for not picking up your calls or answering your invitations for hanging out because I was anxious to meet people and too scared to be judged or left out.
Forgive me for not being there with you when you were having all those important moments. Forgive me for lying to you that I had more important things and ended up staying in bed.
Forgive me for changing the plans the last minute, even when we had planned everything for days or weeks. Forgive me for not telling you that I felt depressed at that moment.
I can still remember when I came up with any excuse just to avoid engaging in any social situation. The times when I was too scared to let anyone notice my anxiety, irritation, and anger at the smallest things. I was too scared to speak up about what I was dealing with.
I was afraid they won’t like or accept me for that. But little did I know that I was driving everyone away whenever I held everything back and acted like someone else.
Forgive me for putting on masks, acting, and pretending that everything is alright just to avoid talking about it. There were times when I was dead scared that you noticed something and that you might start avoiding me.
Fear made me a good actress who has the skill to cover up and stick to the role not to be discovered. I was embarrassed to even open up to the closest people in my life like my mom and my sisters.
I kept a distance so they wouldn’t figure out what was going on and feel sorry for me or even be overwhelmed and unable to help.
I now realize that I was a rubbish friend because I didn’t listen carefully or engage in the conversation. I was distracted because I was busy thinking about what a rubbish person I was and being obsessed over little things that were surrounding me.
I felt frustrated and annoyed whenever we had to play a game or go out for an activity. My insecurity made me feel that way.
I was ashamed that the simplest things suddenly felt impossible and difficult to handle. I was scared that I will not be as good as the rest, no matter how little those things were. And often I decided it’s better to avoid it all, so I stayed home.
My brain was also telling me that I was the only person facing these challenges and that no matter how much I try nobody will understand me. So I decided not to tell anyone about it.
My brain told me I couldn’t trust or rely on you and that telling you what was going on would be a big mistake.
Anxiety was my only friend in the world and soon depression joined the scene to form the triad where I lived most of the time. Soon, depression and anxiety took over me and they ran the show. I had no idea that I am the one who has the control over them and over my life.
If only I had realized that sooner I could have taken the control over them earlier.
Opening up showed me that I’m not the only one in the world with depression and anxiety. They are not my friends and they should be nobody’s. Depression and anxiety are only challenges that we face to make us stronger.
Suffering from depression and anxiety taught me to not be afraid of rejection. Because at the end, true friends don’t hurt you, and they always try to help you. True friends have given me love, and support to overcome my doubts and become who I am today.
It also taught me that pushing people away won’t solve my problems, but it will make them worse. Trusting people, facing my fears, and opening up is the real solution.
Now I know that the best of me is the real and honest me.
I’ve lost many friends and relations because of my doubts and insecurity. But I’m happy I managed to keep the ones that mean the most to me.
Now that I’m done with asking for forgiveness, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything. Your love and support has been a bless and a source of strength during the process of my transformation.
I want you to know that I will always be here to listen and support you whenever you need it. You know that you will always have a person who loves you and cares for you.
I’m also glad that the negative perceptions and mindset is behind me and I’m now open for new friendships and exciting life experiences.
There is no place for judgment and negativity in my world anymore. I don’t allow the illnesses of the surrounding environment to shape me.
When you try to do everything, you’ll end up doing nothing
Our true strength lie in our ability to choose habits that make our lives become easier by working hard, or to keep doing easy stuff that makes life get harder.
The power of successful people is in their ability to commit themselves to a set of habits that builds their success every step of the way. Slowly but steadily they get to the top of the mountain.
There are tens of habits that can help you create a successful life according to your own definition of success. But here are five powerful habits that will boost your confidence, empower you to get what you want, and live a fulfilling journey that gets better every step of the way.
1. Dance with life, don’t fight against it
When life isn’t working our way, we tend to fight against it. Instead of fighting, take a moment and ask yourself, what are you trying to accomplish, what’s not working, and why. This is the most valuable time to learn this information and put it to work for you.
You can use hard times to disrupt the old patterns of thinking. When we embrace the challenges that life puts us through, we are given a priceless opportunity to disrupt the rustiness out of our minds and hearts. Dancing with life is fighting against rustiness.
2. Believe in yourself, don’t doubt it
One of the most common ways that makes our journey even harder is to doubt ourselves and our ability to handle the challenge. We often do that in various ways, one of which is having limiting beliefs. These are subtle, but powerful words that we repeat to ourselves unconsciously such as:
All these LIES are nothing but your brain trying to hold you back from doing whatever you want. The best way to overcome these is to replace them with the TRUTHS.
3. Take responsibility, don’t make an excuse
Making excuses is using our energy and creativity to think of reasons why we can’t make something happen. This puts us in a weak position, while giving others control over the trajectory of our lives. When you believe that you have no control, you won’t do anything that empowers you to take a decision and make a change.
How can you put yourself back on control? By believing that you have the strength to take responsibility and change whatever you don’t like about your life, no matter what your circumstances are.
By realizing that you are bigger than anything that could happen to you, you discharge others from shaping your life.
4. Solve problems, don’t hide behind them
It’s good to have problems that stretch our abilities, but it’s fear that keeps us holding to them for a delusional protection. Sometimes the best way to solve a problem is to recognize that we are hiding behind it out of fear to face the truth.
Problems are not permanent, they are there to teach us something and then go away. So get yourself in the habit of learning the lesson the first time so that you don’t have to repeat the same lesson over and over again, otherwise you’ll stay stuck in the same grade for the rest of your life.
5. Start small, don’t stay there
Most of the people who achieved so much success in life started somewhere with one small step and built upon it. This is the same reason why a lot of people end up not achieving much.
Big achievements come from small steps taken consistently but steadily. Think of what you want to achieve and take one step everyday. Commit yourself to taking that step no matter what happens in your life. Sooner than later you’ll look back and be amazed at how far you’ve gone.
One thing is for sure, if you keep doing nothing but wondering what you should be doing, years will pass by and you got nothing done.
How you treat your worst loses is how you celebrate your greatest wins
There isn’t worse in life than a feeling of being stuck in a deep sense of pain without knowing how to break out of it. Most will do anything to either numb their pain or run away from it.
But why do we want to rush through and get rid of the pain at any cost? Why are we wiling to do so much to avoid it? Why do we hold ourselves back from being human enough to open ourselves to the one thing that can change our whole life?
Life is full of so many different emotions and pain is one of them. Yet, we are less likely to accept pain than we are to accept any other emotion. If only we believe that pain can bring about so many beautiful things and people into our lives, we might not fear it as much.
Pain could open doors for different possibilities, opportunities, and a new fresh experience of life. But it is our responsibility to make the decision to accept pain, believe that we are far more capable than it is, and use it to create something amazing.
While it can be difficult to fight against pain or to dismiss it as something that is not worth feeling, it could be an easy game to win if you learn how to dance with your pain. Let it run through you and give yourself permission to feel it, it is dying to come out.
When you keep suppressing it, you keep holding on to the beast of your fear of facing it. The longer you hold it inside you, the deeper it gets, and the harder it becomes to let it out.
By allowing your pain to come out, you’re giving yourself the right to be human enough to feel. That lefts up the heavy weight of pretending to be too strong to be vulnerable and open.
Accepting pain and realizing that it is a temporary emotion that will pass like other emotions do could lower the impact of it and allows you to be in charge. By realizing that pain isn’t going to be there forever, you acknowledge your ability to use your emotions instead of having them use you.
Believe you’re more capable
One of the misleading beliefs that often keeps people stuck in their deep dark halls of pain is that they can’t control it. This is where the whole game lies, the belief that our emotions are bigger than our being and existence.
Once you shift this belief to “I am bigger than anything that could ever happen in my life”, you announce to yourself, your emotions, and the rest of the world that you are more than capable to handle whatever goes on in your life.
By shifting your focus from your pain to your strength, you emphasize your power and your ability to transform through your pain.
One of the traits of strong people is that they are able to use whatever happens to them to top up their game. By confirming your sense of strength, you open yourself to new meanings and ways of how to utilize your pain to make your life even better than it once was.
One way to do that is to have a bigger vision of life that extends your existence and message to others. Believing that by utilizing your pain, learning from it, and growing through it, your future won’t even be compared to your present state of pain.
Your pain will only be useless if it goes away without you making the best out of it. Remember, if the mistake is a well learned lesson, then it’s a bless in disguise. But, you’ve got to do the work.