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Positive Mental Attitude ~ The Myth Exposed
4th Factor of Achievement
In this section we will visit the concepts of Emotional Strength, the importance of looking within to get in touch with how our emotions and feelings play a major role on our path to achievement.
Emotional Dynamics is the technology of the unconscious, or "Heart", an often ignored, misunderstood or unbearable link to our inner most values, i.e. our Intuition.
When Did We Establish That Feelings Are Bad?
Our Intuition (which I will often refer to as the Heart) plays a paramount role towards personal achievement because it is the gauge in our life about what is right or wrong and always knows the truth about any situation.
In the jungle of childhood most of us experienced some form of berating or rejection for the display of emotions, particularly the unhappy ones. It was at this point that we gained the misconception that our feelings "were bad" and a sign of emotional weakness.
As adults this misconception manifested as a belief that emotional strength was the ability to powerfully "suppress" feelings, resulting in an intolerance of emotions and feelings within ourselves and others.
Ignoring the Heart's vital messages through feelings and emotions i.e. gut instinct, is like navigating through a mine field wearing a blindfold.
The Emotional Memory
Colin, a mentor once said: "I wish I could have access to my memory. I learned at a very young age to not remember important information as a way of dealing with fear and potential humiliation".
The truth however, is that despite our inability to recall past issues in our "mind" memory, the subconscious and unconscious "emotional memory" never forgets. Every experience is recorded in intricate detail somewhere in the databanks of our mind, whether we are aware of it or not.
Experiences are recorded in three ways, as a mind memory, an emotional memory and a cellular memory.
Placed under hypnosis a person is capable of recalling in detail events they would have considered had not been committed to memory, e.g. every car number plate they may have glimpsed during a day's drive; the words they may have read in a newspaper, or every subliminal health or death warning they may have read on a cigarette packet!
They would also be able to recount their exact feelings and emotions of the moment.
Being Aware of Our Emotional Experiences
It is important to remember that we live in a technological age that transmits information to us through a variety of mediums, at a pace so rapid, we are often not consciously aware of many of the messages filtering through to our subconscious.
Little wonder that those who gain their personal realities from negative, sensationalist or dramatic means see their world in the same light.
Emotional Strength is the awareness of "unconscious feedback", the parts of us that are recalled involuntarily from our unconscious memory to cause our sometimes inexplicable emotional reactions to life.
Emotional Dynamics reminds us that the subconscious mind cannot tell the difference between real or fantasized thoughts and experiences, therefore promoting the importance of taking charge of what we allow into our mind.
How Thoughts Affect Our Feelings
Let us stop for a short period to experience Intuition and how "thought" affects our feelings and emotions.
Quick Intuitive Exercises:
1. Close your eyes and think of two circumstances in your life.
One (1) which you despise (e.g. an annoying person or global issue) then another that you elatedly adore (e.g. a person or pet).
Pay attention to your body reactions as you do so.
What did you feel? What emotions came up? Did you have any distinct body reactions?
This simple exercise demonstrates (to most people) the metaphysical reactions of the body as a result of happy and uncomfortable thoughts.
It also demonstrates the mind-health connection, i.e. how our thoughts equate to our stress levels, which in turn induces the chemicals and hormones released into our body to affect our health and well-being.
(If you were unable to do this exercise now, do not worry. Practice on the loving stuff first until you can.)
2. Clasp your fist tightly for a few minutes to see what happens.
The hand will start going white due to lack of blood flow, it will lose feeling and if left this way permanently, would wither and die. Negative Emotions and Feelings have the same effect on our body, which is why negative emotions left unchecked result in bodily illness.
Cellular Memory is where we may have long forgotten or suppressed an incident in our mind, but unconscious feedback produces emotions and feelings to certain situations.
"My Father had an unfortunate sense of humor. He loved to tease and torment us when we were too young to understand. As a result, I still can't stand sarcastic people."
Whether we are aware of them or not, these unconscious processes play key roles in our decision making.
Emotional Burn Out
Emotional Burn-Out is common in business where executives spend years exposed to the underestimated pressures of modern corporate life.
Emotional Burn-Out can occur when high levels of elation are constantly experienced. The Success Bug produces highly potent natural highs, that are as addictive as any recreational drug.
Many entertainers, sports people and executives live their life from one Adrenalin rush to the next ... what goes up, (and up and up) must eventually come down. They find themselves suddenly experiencing inexplicable mood swings.
People who have been subjected to long periods of suppressed emotional stress can find themselves in the confusing state of emotional spill, where they are increasingly or uncontrollably reactive to circumstances in their life.
Reactions and responses are released in embarrassing and seemingly uncontrollable bouts of emotion, such as anger, jealousy, hate, distrust etc.
In the more worse state emotions can simply disappear leaving the bearer devoid of all feelings at all, with no access to joy, peace of mind or anger. The tell-tale signs only show up in aches, pains, illness and irrational behaviors.
Taking Charge of Negative Emotions
Taking charge of feelings and emotions is accomplished by observing our thoughts and altering those thoughts at any instant in time.
Here is the way most unaware people handle a negative emotion.
1. Get an uncomfortable feeling
2. Analyse the feeling
3. Blame something, someone else or themselves
4. React with a negative emotion or response.
5. Feel worse
6. Increase the blame.
Negative Emotions can only occur when there is 'blame' or 'fear' present and this is the way we make everything and everybody else responsible for our feelings.
When we find ourselves "stuck" in blame or fear, we find ourselves on the never-ending merry go round of emotional turmoil. This is called the "Victim Cycle".
Here is a better way to handle a negative emotion in realtime.
1. Get an uncomfortable feeling
2. Observe "What am I feeling?"
3. Ask "Who ... or what am I blaming or fearing?"
4. Take responsibility with a re-programming thought
5. Emotional reaction dissipates.
Taking Response-Ability for Emotional Reactions
A popular 'affirmation' used around the world is: "I am responsible for ..." and we fill in the rest. e.g.
The conscious mind can only hold one thought at any given moment and that command to the subconscious is instantaneous.
Emotions and Feelings Are the Result, Not the Reason.
Emotions and feelings are the result, not the cause of our discomfort.
Feelings and emotions are energies (like pain) moving through the cellular structure of our body wanting to be released from our system.
This is an even more powerful way to deal with your feelings and emotions.
Simply allow your feelings to exist, observe them, feel them ... and I mean REALLY FEEL them. Close your eyes and "feel" the sensation in your body and turn it into an object. What shape is it? Where is it in your body? Can you associate the feeling to a color?
Focus completely on your feelings and emotions with acceptance and they will remarkably dissipate. Failing to allow your feelings to be felt at the time of surfacing will only lead to a future re-emergence in a form of unconscious feedback.
Positive Thoughts Can Overpower the Negative.
Observation and the release of Fear and Blame are the first keys to releasing unwanted feelings, emotions and reactive responses. Writing down your thoughts and feelings in detail, is a form of thought transference and excellent for tackling particularly challenging circumstances.
Robert A. Scheinfeld another fabulous mentor of "Busting Loose from the Money Game" fame suggested fearful feelings generated by our flight a flight response to situations are our power being summoned, and can be turned into and used as a power pack.
Emotional Strength Exercise
Question 1: Write down all the people and situations that cause reactive or suppressed feelings and emotions in your life today.
Question 2: Establish the unconscious feedback that is operating and when and where you first learned to respond this way.
Question 3: Write down the situations you will now become response-able for and your responsibility affirmations.
Let us now move to the Fifth Factor of Achievement DETACHMENT
Acknowledgement to mentors for some concepts mentioned: Colin Sisson Bryan Tracy Robert Scheinfeld