Mindset Part 3
Ep. 114
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    This is the last episode in our 3-part series that will help you start managing your mind. This week is all about emotions. While we all realize that we feel emotions every day, we’re never taught how to process them. We end up staying stuck because we’re so afraid to feel our negative emotions like shame, embarrassment, regret, or discomfort.
    In this episode, I hope to reframe how you can look at your emotions so that you can start living your dreams.

Show Transcript
Just that action like when you're not running around trying to change it, when you're not trying to scroll through Instagram so you don't have to think about it, when you're not doing a million other things, it becomes one of those powerful ways of processing it because you realize that it actually doesn't have that much power over you.

Hey there I'm Goli Kalkhoran and this is Lessons From a Quitter, where we believe that it's never too late to start over, no matter how much time or money you've spent getting to where you are. If ultimately you are not happy then it's time to get out. If you're feeling stuck and you feel like there's gotta be more, there's gotta be a way to feel fulfilled and excited about what you do then this is the podcast for you. Each week, I will sit down with an inspiring guest who quit their professional career in order to forge their own path and create a life that they love.

Hey there, welcome back friends. I hope you are well. And if you are new to the podcast, go back and listen to the last two episodes. This is a three-part series that I wanted to put out that gives you the basis of a lot of the coaching that I do and really the way that I manage my own life and my mind. And it sorta goes in order. So start with part one, listen to part two, and then come back to this episode. But if you have already done that, then you know that we've talked all about why mindset is the most important tool that you will ever have in any aspect of your life and how to start learning how to observe your mind so that you can start managing it. And so the last two episodes really go into depth into the model that I talked about and how you can start becoming aware of all of the subconscious thoughts that we have that tend to control not only our own life, but the way that we see a reality and see everything around us.

So today I wanted to talk about emotions because in the model, as I mentioned in the last episode, there are things that happen outside of our control. There are facts in the world and we have a thought about those facts. And then that thought leads to a feeling and that feeling is what drives our actions. And oftentimes even though it is the thought that leads to a feeling, we don't know what our thoughts are because they're subconscious. And so lots of times we just feel the feeling first, like we become conscious to the feeling before we become conscious to the thought. And so being able to observe your own feelings and emotions and understand what maybe that is signaling to you is really important in being able to uncover your thoughts and really work on your own mindset. And so I really want to talk about that aspect of this model of emotions and feelings and how do you be able to start becoming more aware of it and how to process emotions. So here's the problem. We're never taught how to process an emotion. We're not really even taught actually much of anything about our emotions. Like we know we have emotions. We are very aware that a wide range of emotions is I guess, normal. I don't know if we're even aware of that actually. We just know that we have them. And I think that part of the problem is we aren't taught what is normal and we aren't taught how to process it. So as I explained in the last episode, negative and positive emotions are a normal part of every normal functioning person's life. And the goal is not to have all positive emotions. And this is where a lot of us run into problems is that oftentimes we pick goals, we pick um things that we want to work towards. We change up our lives because we think that we will get to some place. We will accomplish something that will all of a sudden make us feel better all the time. We all have learned this lesson the hard way over and over again. And yet we don't ever seem to make it stick. We have to keep learning it. We keep thinking once I get that job or that promotion or build that business or once I get married or have a child or buy that house or whatever the thing is, then I'll feel happy all the time. I don't know like I guess we just sort of assume that we will feel happy all the time. And when you really think about it, you realize like of course that's not going to happen but it doesn't stop us from tricking ourselves. And that's why so many of us get to that promised land, get to that thing that we wanted. And when it doesn't change the thoughts that we had in our head, we're still bringing all the baggage that we had from all of our lives. So we still have a lot of the stories running in our head about how worthy we are, how lovable we are, whatever, all of that emotional baggage. We're surprised that we're not happy that this thing outside of us that we fixed, let's say we got the degree, or we got the job, all of a sudden didn't magically fix everything else. And then we add a layer of shame and guilt to it. And we think like what's wrong with me? Why can't I just be happy? Like I got the house with the picket fence and I got this husband or wife or whatever and I got the kids or I got the job or I got whatever it is that I was looking to get. And I'm still not happy. And this goes back to last week's episode where we talked about how things outside of you do not affect how you feel, your thoughts do. And so it's really understandable that oftentimes even when you change the outside circumstances, even when you change the job and you change the house and you changed the lifestyle, you're still thinking thoughts that are causing you pain. And we see this all the time in, you know, a million different scenarios. It's the reason why, you know, we all strive to make money or whatever but being rich clearly doesn't equal being happy as we've all seen over and over again. There's tons of rich people out there that are extremely miserable in their lives. The same thing with fame, right? We see this all the time with movie stars and actors and other famous people who have very severe mental illnesses or have a lot of other problems because the human brain just doesn't stop once you achieve fame and fortune. You still have the thoughts and the stresses and all these negative emotions. And because we're never taught how to process them, we continuously think okay, I have to change something else outside of me to be happier. I have to lose weight or I have to, you know, be on the PTA or whatever it is that we think. And we keep running ourselves ragged without realizing that we have the power of really managing our mind. And part of managing your mind comes in understanding that negative emotion is a part of life. And so there isn't a need to be happy all the time. That is not the goal. That should not be the goal because you will always fail at that. And so you're setting yourself up for failure and you're not really experiencing all of life. Like we talked about in the last episode, you don't want to be happy when someone you love dies, right? You don't want to be happy when horrible things are happening in the world to people. You want to be able to feel empathy and sadness and frustration and you know, whatever that feeling is, it's just a matter of understanding like what is the negative emotion I want to feel? Is it when it comes to things that are really important to me or is it just everyday stresses that make me, kind of knock me off of my center, that make me enraged over the littlest things, that make me sad because I think that my life should be perfect and it's not. Like what are the things that aren't serving me and what are the things that are? But because we haven't been taught that like it's supposed to be 50/50, you're supposed to have sadness. It's okay, nothing's gone wrong. There's nothing wrong with you if there's a day that you're sad or if there's a day that you're frustrated. But you can start learning how to manage like is this a reason I want to be frustrated? Is this something that I want to change and I don't want to change? But you have to be able to understand your emotions. So, like I said, we're never taught that we're supposed to have negative and positive ones and we're never taught how to process an emotion when we have it. And that's why so many of us are so afraid to feel certain negative emotions. We are so resistant to the idea of feeling something that we have created in our mind as I believe being more horrible than it actually is. We're so scared of feeling sad or embarrassed or fear or, you know, name the negative emotion, it doesn't matter, shame. We believe that it is so painful and because we're not taught how to process it, it feels as though we're going to be stuck in it forever. And so we're so resistant to even going into it. And when we are in it, we want to get out of it as fast as possible, which leads to so many destructive behaviors like numbing ourselves with, you know, whatever the thing is that you numb, whether it's social media or food or alcohol or overexercising or Netflix or whatever. We distract ourselves. We suppress it. We act like everything is fine because we don't want to feel that emotion. And what I want to talk about is how do we process that so we take some of that power back. We don't feel like such a victim to our own emotions and we don't feel so powerless.

So here's the thing: a feeling or an emotion is just a vibration in your body. That's it. It's just a physical sensation that you feel throughout your body. A negative emotion in and of itself can never harm you. Now you can take actions from a negative emotion that can harm you, and we often do, but the emotion itself won't harm you. And when you describe it like this, it really makes you question. You start to wonder like what am I so afraid of? I'm afraid to feel a vibration in my body. That's it. And so many of us have no idea what feeling actually is because we've never sat with it. We've constantly tried to like cover it up or distract or suppress or whatever. I know this when I came to thought work, I used to think that I wasn't really an anxious person because I had felt anxiety, you know, a very heightened state of anxiety when big things were happening. Like I had to give a presentation or a big test was coming up or whatever. So I knew what the feeling of anxiety was. And because I didn't feel that on a daily basis, I just assumed that I wasn't an anxious person. And I know a lot of people struggle with anxiety. And so I just kind of thought like that's not me that, you know, it's nice that I don't have that problem. It wasn't until I started learning to pay attention to my emotions that I realized that I have a low level of anxiety all the time because I just never even knew what that emotion felt like in my body, right. And so what I'm going to tell you and like how to start observing this vibration will help you to start getting to know yourself better and understand why you're having that feeling so that you can start looking at what thoughts keep reoccurring that caused those same feelings. You'll start seeing patterns. So it's all, again, a way of becoming aware of it. So what I want you to do the next time you're feeling a vibration in your body, you're having some kind of physical sensation, is to just read through it, to feel it. I want you to describe it to yourself in detail. Do you feel it in your chest? Do you feel it in your stomach? Do you feel it in your shoulders? Maybe it, you feel it running down your hands. Does it feel hot? Does it feel cold? Does it feel fast? Does it feel slow? Start, the more descriptive you can become, the better you will be at noticing it creep up in, you know, various degrees in different parts of your life. You'll start realizing that like you never even paid attention to how you feel it. So when you sit and just breathe and you can, you know, even put a hand on where you're feeling it, like if you're feeling it in your chest or your stomach, just lay a hand and breathe and tell yourself like oh, this is what anxiety feels like. This is what sadness feels like. Write it down and breathe through it. Just that action like when you're not running around trying to change it, when you're not trying to scroll through Instagram so you don't have to think about it, when you're not doing a million other things becomes one of the most powerful ways of processing it because you realize that it actually doesn't have that much power over you. You're fine. You can feel a vibration in your body and be fine. And the more you start doing that and the more you start realizing like I'm just cluing in to what my body is telling me. I'm just cluing into the signals that my brain has been giving me this whole time and I've been ignoring. I'm now just trying to tune in and see what does this feel like. What is this thing? And like, as most of us know, with any emotion, they're all fleeting. They will all pass and they will come back. They come in waves and there might be a period where you're going through something where you might feel emotion a lot during that time. Let's say anxiety. Let's say you have a test coming up. It might be that you feel waves of anxiety. And oftentimes that happens like when we start thinking about something else or we get distracted with something the anxiety kind of goes away. And then as soon as our consciousness goes back to oh gosh, that test is coming the anxiety comes back, right. It comes in waves. And then maybe it dies down as the test obviously is done or the same thing with grief, the same thing with shame. Let's say you do something you're not proud of. You make a mistake and you're filled with shame. And oftentimes that shame can come in waves and it comes and it feels overwhelming and then it goes away. And it might come back but the more you notice it, you'll start seeing what happens with this emotion. Like when I feel anxiety and I feel it in my chest and I feel it in my stomach and it feels really hot and it feels really fast and I can feel it now building up. And then I know what happens. Like I know how it starts dissipating and I can see when it leaves me.

And again, just realizing that actually makes it go so much faster. I now realize that when I would resist it is when I would get stuck in it, when I would try to ignore it and think about other things is when it was constantly in the background of my mind, because I had never actually dealt with it. I didn't actually process it. And so when you think about the fact that it is just a vibration in your body and you can feel that vibration and that vibration is not going to hurt you in any way, it gives you so much power to feel anything, to feel any negative emotion and know that you will be okay, that the worst thing that's going to happen is that you're going to feel a vibration in your body. And that brings me to this other extremely important point that really liberated me. And I think it's really important for so many people listening to this podcast. The thing that we are afraid of most, right? I want you to think about the thing that you're not going after the dream or whatever it is. The worst thing that's going to happen if it fails, if it doesn't go the way you want it, is that you're going to feel a vibration in your body. That's it. Most of the time we make it out in our heads like I'm going to end up homeless, you know, down by the river. That's likely not going to happen because there's a million things we can do before it gets to that stage. But what we're really afraid of is what if I try this and it fails and I have to face all of my family and friends? What if I put this out there and everybody laughs at me, right? It's that humiliation. It's that embarrassment. It's shame. It's what if I prove myself right and I'm not smart enough to start this business or whatever the thought might be. The ultimate thing that happens is that you feel embarrassed or ashamed or sad or disappointed, or, you know, anxious, whatever it is, stressed. All that is is a vibration in your body. So we aren't going after our dreams because we are afraid to feel a physical sensation that runs through our body. That's it. And honestly, when you really get that, it frees you up to doing anything because you realize that you can handle the worst that's going to happen. You'll be totally fine. And when that loses its control over you, it opens you up to an entire world. And so what I want you to do now is when you were trying to work through this model on your thoughts, I want you to get really present to processing your emotions.

Oftentimes you won't be able to find the thought, right off the bat, but you will know the emotion. So if something happens out in the world that you think makes you feel a certain way because it doesn't actually cause your feelings, but let's say something happens and you start feeling anger or sadness or frustration, whatnot. I want you to process that emotion and sit with it, describe it to yourself and then you can ask yourself what thoughts am I thinking that's leading to this? And you can start getting to the root of why that feeling keeps coming up but know that no matter what the feeling is, you can handle a vibration in your body.

I hope this was helpful. I will be back to talk more about how we can start applying once we know how to look at our thoughts and our feelings and our actions, how do we start applying that and addressing the parts of our lives that we want to change and how do we get out of our own way by managing our own mind? So let me know what you think of this episode and I will be back next week for another one.

Thank you so much for listening. I can't tell you how much it means to me. If you liked the podcast, please rate and review us on iTunes; it'll help other people find the show. If you want to connect or reach out, follow along on Instagram and Facebook at LessonsFromAQuitter and on Twitter at QuitterPodcast. I would love to hear from you guys and I'll see you on the next episode.