Listen to the full podcast episode to learn about the science-backed practice that has not only changed my life but also the lives of countless people over the last two decades. This is something you can’t ignore if you want to achieve that great goal you identified for this year and write your new future.
What if you could change the unwanted patterns of behavior and nagging feelings that you may feel you are stuck with?
Let’s face it. On a daily basis we can experience a LOT of big emotions. Life is full of them. Yet we’ve grown up in a culture which tends to encourage rising above, compartmentalizing and dismissing uncomfortable feelings altogether.
A few years back I was struggling with anxiety and I used the two practices that I am going to share with you today to overcome my anxiety and kick some bad habits that I wasn’t aware were a result of my not allowing myself to feel certain emotions. Habits that were having a negative effect on my health and on my most important relationships.
The problem is when we don’t tend to our feelings, they start to run us. We may make choices to avoid the feelings in ways that usually become addictions and also that cause us more stress, wreck our relationships, inhibit our peace of mind as well as limit any chance of high performance.
What I learned is this:
If you run from your feelings, your feelings will run you.
I can say that now, but I wasn’t aware of it at the time.
What frees us and allows us to improve our well-being, most important relationships and performance is actually being able to feel our feelings instead of denying them.
Before I share the practice to help you release the intense, often reactive and big feelings that may be unknowingly wreaking havoc without you knowing it, let’s first address some common myths and misconceptions about emotions.
You can’t use logic to figure your way out.
The reality is that we can’t outrun our emotions. We can’t figure our way out of them. They demand to be acknowledged and felt.
This can be very tough for fast-driven leaders who are used to getting things done in a linear, logical, strategic manner. Feeling feelings isn’t logical. It likely won’t feel efficient.
Logic, rational thought and understanding can only go so far to return you to the peace that, as a leader, I imagine you want right now.
What’s really important to know is that feelings drive the show. And that logical thinking can’t do much about it.
What we resist persists.
You know better than to fight against a wave’s current. Its strength will knock you down.
The same is true of our emotions. We can fight them but eventually, the fight of ignoring or pretending they don’t exist will have its way with us.
Denying that we are feeling something, only makes the feeling amplify and is exhausting. It’s liberating to acknowledge what we are truly feeling so that they don’t unwittingly run us.
In other words, if you don’t take the time to be honest about the feelings that are leading to unwanted patterns of behavior—the emotions will continue to run you.
Feelings can move through you once you acknowledge them.
The funny thing about feelings is that once we recognize them for what they are and feel them—their mission is complete. And just like riding a wave, it comes toward you, moves through you, and keeps on going.
We often fear feeling the feelings because we worry that we’ll be overcome by them. But when we acknowledge them we no longer are in a fight and they release.
Now here’s the practice. There are two ways to approach it to help you move through the emotions that are keeping you stuck
Notice. The next time you’re having an uncomfortable feeling — pause. Notice the feeling. You may be most aware of it when you’re about to engage in a pattern of behavior that attempts to numb out the feeling (e.g., grabbing a drink, overeating, or stepping out to do more work). Stop and feel the feeling for 90 seconds. Simply breathe and be with the feeling. It takes two forces to fight.
Journal. Grab your journal and write whatever it is you’re feeling. Take two to five minutes and write—don’t edit. Allow the feelings to come up and onto the paper.
In this episode, I share:
- Why our resistance to feeling our feelings runs us
- How to calm your nervous system and let go of the coping mechanisms that are no longer working for you
- An actionable daily practice to prevent you from reacting to work and life’s stressors
- How to uproot behavior patterns (including addictions) that no longer serve us
Resources and related episodes:
- Tune in to the previous episode, The Four Ways to Win Your Battle with Resistance
- Listen to episode 99: How to Boost your Patience, Energy, and Progress So You Do the Best Work of Your Career
- Check out the book Life is in the Transitions by Bruce Feiler
- If you’d like to be notified of when new podcast episodes are released you can do so here Playing Full Out
- Learn more about the Playing Full Out Revolution
- Connect with Rita on LinkedIn
Subscribe on Apple Podcasts for more tips, tools, and inspiration to lead the optimal vision of your life, love, and leadership. Remember, a half version of you is not enough. The world needs the fullest version of you at play.
About Rita Hyland
With over 20 years of experience as an executive and leadership coach, Rita helps leaders — emerging and established — excel in corporate and entrepreneurial environments.
Rita believes if leaders were more clear about how transformation really works and more intentional about creating what they want, their impact, success, and influence in the world would be unstoppable.
Through her coaching programs, private coaching, and masterminds, Rita shows leaders how to win consistently and create the impact and legacy they desire.
Central to Rita’s work is the understanding that you will never outperform your current programming, no matter how strong your willpower.
When you learn to use Rita’s proprietary Neuroleadership Growth Code, a technology that uses the best of neuroscience and transformational psychology to hit the brain’s buttons for change, YOU become both the solution and the strategy.
Her mission is to end talented, hard-working, and self-aware leaders spending another day stuck in self-doubt or confusion and not contributing their brilliant work and talent the world so desperately needs.