“It’s over, the mine’s closing – we’ve got to move.” These were the words I heard on January 21st 2009 at 7:49am when my husband called me from work. Three months later, nearly 2000 people who worked at the nickel mine were out of a job, including my husband. We were half way through building our home there …
This is the time when I truly realised how important it was to deal with emotions and to decide which feelings and emotions will serve us best to get us where we want to be.
I also realised how crucial it was to have a coach or mentor to hold me accountable to my goals, particularly at a challenging time like that; Someone who could focus my attention on the opportunities that this unique situation was presenting to me.
Are certain emotions bad? Are there some that we shouldn’t feel? What about the positive thinking fans – are they saying we should be happy all the time?
All emotions have a purpose. In my opinion all emotions are good and healthy!
No-one can tell you which emotions are the ones that are best for you at any point. You are the only one who can control your emotions by selecting which thoughts to plant in your conscious mind.
I use the word “control” lightly – I believe in controlling emotions through selective thoughts that create the feelings. If there is strong emotion due to a great event, it’s important to acknowledge it rather than try and push it down. What happens when you put a lid tightly onto a pot boiling on a stove? It tends to stay on there till the pressure is too strong, at which point it will burst right off. Feel the feelings and verbalise them if you can – channel them in a productive way.
If you are standing on a ledge on the 11th floor, then fear is probably a good emotion to have – it may make you cling to the building and shrink back inside or ask for help. With no fear at all in this instance, you might not live very long! (or is that the reason you were up on the 11th floor ledge anyway?)
Sometimes anger and/or frustration are what you need to get you out of your comfort zone and into action. Complacency keeps us where we are and doesn’t move us anywhere.
The key with emotions and feelings is to recognise that you have the ability to select which emotions you choose to feel for most of the time. Obviously if something happens – a disaster, losing a loved one, the instant reaction is to feel sad, scared or various degrees of upset.
Thoughts cause feelings. You can choose the thoughts that occupy your conscious mind on a daily basis (you can’t always prevent outside intervention from delivering an event that elicits a powerful emotion).
Think of a blackboard – was there a time in your school life that you had blackboards in your classroom? (You may not want to admit that you’re part of that age and era!) Do you remember when someone scraped their nails down the board and sent shivers down your spine? You can probably feel those shivers right now, even though you are no where near a blackboard! All I have done is planted a thought in your mind, and you instantly feel the feeling. This is how powerful your mind is!
You have the power to choose whether to have the TV on or off. You can listen to any radio station or YouTube channel you choose. If one of your loved ones is watching something that gives you a feeling you’d rather not have right now, then you can walk away – you don’t have to sit and watch it!
Where do you really want to end up? What do you choose to do or to be for the rest of your life? If you want to be more successful in business, and are facing some economic challenges, then you might want to screen the information coming into your mind.
Bad news sells media more successfully than good news does, that’s simply a fact of life.
If you are listening to doom and gloom stories on the news, and dwell on these, you might feel down and despondent. Will this be the catalyst you need to get into action to find the role that is right for you? In some cases it might, but in most cases, this causes procrastination and a sense of feeling “what’s the point?”
Which emotions or feelings are going to serve you going forward? Positive uplifting feelings (gratitude, happiness, laughter, optimism) are more productive than the feelings that create a lower vibration, such as sadness, fear, anger.
Following that memorable call, I experienced first-hand the effects of selectively choosing my emotions. We could dwell in the thoughts of how unfair the situation was (we loved living in this beautiful little coastal village – and had only settled there 18 months before) or we could focus on what outcome we wished to experience. I chose to focus on the outcome, even though there were days where I would rather have yelled and screamed and got more frustrated!
As a new business owner, I recognised that one of the solutions was to increase business coming to me. The funny thing was that on days where I was focused on this aim, I was amazed at how many successful phonecalls I made, how I was invited to speak to businesses and groups far and wide. On days where I chose to go into town and chat to everyone, hearing all the stories of challenges various families were facing, even though I still felt optimistic – those were the days where I made little progress in my business.
You see, when our vibration is low, we don’t feel like taking the action to do the things that get us results. Put a thought into your mind, it creates the feeling, the feeling affects the action we take – and it’s the actions that get results.
When everything is hunky-dory, you can absorb a lot more than you can when you’re facing a challenge. Bad news is like water off a duck’s back when everything is going as you wish it to. But when you are faced with a challenge that you want to overcome or turn into a benefit, then you need to selectively only entertain thoughts that serve you to get where you want to go.
I would like to challenge you to think of which feelings and emotions are serving you right now? Are you feeling like a victim? That the company you worked for gave you a really raw deal? Perhaps they did – but your feeling like a victim and allowing it to eat into your soul is not doing anything to them – it’s only destroying you.
Do you feel like no-one appreciates what you do? Perhaps you’re not appreciating what you do! Bitterness twists your soul – and sours all the relationships you have.
If you would like to feel greater happiness, better business success and a more rewarding life, then you will probably decide to focus on the things around you that are going right. What are you grateful for? What thoughts do you need to think to get you there?
When your mind is occupied by positive thoughts, you are much better equipped to deal with the challenges life throws out. If you’re dwelling on the injustices, another challenge is going to feel like you’re drowning at sea and being hit by yet another wave.
Put everything into perspective:
What is the problem not?
Less than a month after the news of job losses and mine closures were announced, everything was put into perspective for us.
Bush fires in Victoria, Australia, claimed thousands of lives and homes – and went on for days. My heart went out to the families that lost loved ones, lost their homes and pets in the fire. The little issues we were facing were so tiny in comparison.
Look at whatever challenge you might be facing right now and identify what the problem really is, and what it’s not. Is it a matter of life and death? Is it a matter of health? Is it about money? Is it about relationships? Is it about business?
What positive memories or events could come out of this that could make a wonderful difference in your life? Sometimes it takes losing someone near and dear to us to shock us into valuing those left behind.
Have a wonderful day,
“When we change the way you look at things, the things around you begin to change” Wayne Dyer.
Jill Hutchison, +61419194323
For resilience, culture or diversity group workshops.