Feel Your Feelings
Ep. 232
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One of the most crucial skills you can learn, and one that most of us never do, is how to feel your feelings. Think about all of the time and energy you spend trying to outrun negative feelings. You procrastinate, self-sabotage, feel terrible about yourself- rinse and repeat. And the worst part is that it doesn’t work. You still feel negative feelings all of the time. So what if we just learned how to feel our feelings and not be so scared of them? Then you could open yourself up to actually going after your dreams. That’s what we dive into in this week’s episode.
Show Transcript
Hey, welcome to Lessons From a Quitter where we believe that it is never too late to start over. No matter how much time or energy you spent getting to where you are, if ultimately you are unfulfilled, then it is time to get out. Join me each week for both inspiration and actionable tips so that we can get you on the road to your dreams.

Hello my friends. Welcome to another episode. I'm so excited you are here. I just recorded an entire episode on feelings and my um the application that I recorded on on my Mac crashed and none of it got saved. So I have a lot of feelings right now, which is fantastic cuz I'm recording a podcast all about feelings. Umm no, I hope you all are well. That did happen so here is my second go. It's actually gonna be so much better the second time cuz I worked through. I do a lot of winging it, if you can't tell, on this podcast, I have a rough outline and then I um just talk about what I wanna talk about. So now that I've already had one go through, it's gonna be fantastic and I wanted to, as we go into this holiday season, talk about feeling our feelings and because, not because of this like touchy-feely stuff, because this is one of the most underrated skills that will help you achieve anything you wanna achieve in your life. And I think so many of us, all of us, why do I say so many? Every one of us is deathly afraid of our feelings because we are never taught how to feel feelings. None of us had any emo- emotional education. Most of our families don't have any emotional reg- regulation. We're re- really taught that feelings are scary and that you should suppress them or hide them and always act happy. And that's the message we get and that's what we run with. And so much destructive behavior comes from that. So much of our self-sabotage comes from simply being afraid to feel a feeling. When you think about all of the things that you do to avoid your feelings, you start realizing how much it's impacted all of your life. Whether you're drinking too much, eating too much, scrolling Instagram too much, watching too much Netflix, um exercising too much, working too much, right? All of it are is a way of trying to numb out an emotion that you don't wanna feel. And if you’ve followed me for a while, you know that I do a lot of mindset work and what I do is work on your thoughts, right? And I think a lot of us who are left brain type people, very logical, analytical, the reason this work speaks to us is because we're so not used to feeling our feelings that it starts making sense. You can almost think your way out of it. You start thinking about your thoughts and it may, it's becomes like a puzzle. I know that's what drew me to this work was I started being able to logically understand what was happening in my body and think about what I wanted to do. And if you have followed me, you know that I teach the model and I use that as a coaching tool when I'm coaching my people. And the model is basically just showing you how your thoughts create your feelings and your feelings create your actions, right? And then your actions create the results that you have in your life. And for a lot of us, we're great at thinking our thoughts. We have tons of thoughts. We're great at looking at them, analyzing them, wanting to change them. That part we get down and we're fantastic at doing. We got a lot of actions we can run around constantly and that's what we do all day and night. And we are often running from a feeling that we don't wanna feel. And most of us are terrible about that middle part, right? We can think and we can act. We can't feel. And yet what I realize as I've been getting deeper into the work in the Quitter Club and coaching more and more people is how detrimental it is that we don't know how to feel our feelings because we are scared of them. Because we have no idea how to what to do with them. And I really try to teach people when they come to me, I think they come with the hope that I'm just gonna teach them how to change their all of their thoughts. And when you're in pain, obviously you wanna get out of pain. So you are thinking whatever is happening that's causing me this mu- much emotion, I wanna get rid of it. And if there is a negative thought that is causing suffering, then let me figure out how to change that thought. And a lot of people come to wanna change a lot of their thoughts and we do change a ton of thoughts. But that's not the point of thought work. It's not to constantly change your thoughts to feel happy because you don't want to feel happy all the time. There's a lot of terrible things that happen in our lives and in our in the world and we want to feel negative emotions, we wanna be able to feel them.
That's the entire spectrum of being a human is having both positive and negative. There's just never a place where you're not gonna have negative emotions. And so it really is in our benefit to learn how to feel those feelings because most of us don't even know what they actually feel like. You think you do but if I ask you, you have a general idea, like I don't like anxiety let's say or I don't like worry or I don't like to feel overwhelmed. And if I ask you like what does overwhelm feel like in your body? Most of you can't tell me. Like you can give a little bit. Oh, it feels a little heavy, it feels weird, I feel constricted. Maybe that's like the extent of it. And so what I really want us to talk about today is how do we feel our feelings and why you should feel your feelings. Okay? First, how you feel them is truly just understanding that your emotions are vibrations in your body. They're signals from your brain that creates a vibration in your body. That's it. That's all they are. And when you start feeling your feelings, you start realizing they're not all that scary. It's not as bad as what your thoughts about them were. When I uh was getting my master coach certification and one of the assignments I had to do because I also am a chronic avoider of feelings, one of my assignments was to feel my feeling. It's like every day I set an alarm and when that alarm went off I had to take 10 minutes to feel my feelings, whatever I was feeling. So I didn't know what was gonna come up, you know, at 2PM that day. And I would just take a break, close my eyes and describe in detail what the feeling felt like. And some days it would be boredom or frustration or overwhelm. And some days it was just like contentment. I didn't even know what contentment felt like or peace or calm. Some days it was worry and it was this was the most illuminating exercise I have ever done because I started noticing patterns. I started noticing where in my body I start feeling emotions that are around worry and anxiety and nervousness. And that was different than feelings like overwhelm and frustration. And that was different than feelings like boredom and, you know, embarrassment let's say. I would just describe it. I would sit and think like okay, I have nervousness right now. I feel a pit in my stomach. It feels round and hard and I have a little bit of tightness on my chest and maybe there's some fluttering on my arms. Okay? And I would breathe and I would notice it. Is it moving? Does it go away? Is it steady? Does is there is it hot? Is it cold? And with each one, it had a different texture, it had a different vibration in my body. And inevitably with each one, as I breathed through it and just described it, it started going away. And I was like that's not that bad. I could do that. That was what nervousness felt like. That's what I've been running away from for so long is a little bit of like fluttering in my arms and a pit in my stomach for a little bit. But here's the thing is we don't actually feel our feelings. The reason we're so scared of them is because we resist them all day long. And that is exhausting. So Brooke Castillo, who ha- talks about this concept, she has a really great analogy that helps I think drive home the point when you think about a beach ball and let's say you try to hold that beach ball underwater. It is exhausting. After awhile, that ball is gonna keep it's gonna pop up. You can keep trying, your arms are gonna start getting tired, your muscles are gonna get fatigued but that ball's gonna come up. And then think about how easy it is to just let the ball float on the pool like water. There's no effort into it. Your emotions are like that. For so many of us, we keep suppressing thinking that if I just suppress it, if I just push it down, it's gonna go away. And it's not. And it's exhausting to keep it down. It's exhausting to keep pushing it away. So for a lot of us, we'll wake up and feel nervous but we don't wanna feel that feeling of nervous so we just run away from it. We just keep running away from it and lo and behold, it keeps popping up. Or we spent the whole day running away from it and so we're exhausted and we tell ourselves like I've been anxious all day. But have you really felt the anxiety? Have you really stopped and just breathe and just been like okay, what does anxiety feel like in my body? How is this moving through me? What does this feel like? Now, I do wanna make a caveat real quick cuz I sometimes get comments. I'm obviously talking about like day-to-day emotions that don't impede your life and are not related to a mental illness. So it's not to say that that there are there you may have a certain chemical imbalances or certain mental health issues that you absolutely need to treat in a different way. And I, that is not I'm not the person to come for that and you absolutely should get help with that. I'm talking about for the most of us, where the our day-to-day emotions are not do not rise to the level where they are completely derailing our lives but they are causing enough suffering that they cause a problem. Okay? And here's the thing: when we're resisting our emotions all day, every day, we also are adding a ton of negative emotion to it. Because what we are saying, it's not just that I have this nervousness or I have this anxiety or whatever, the guilt, whatever the feeling is, the underlying feeling, I also then create a lot of feelings cause I'm telling myself there's a problem with me having this. This shouldn't be here. And so I have those thoughts, why is this happening to me? This isn't fair. I shouldn't feel like this. Where is this coming from? I should just get over it. Why do I keep thinking about this? What's wrong with me? Why won't it go away? This feels terrible. I can't work like this. And then each one of those thoughts creates another emotion, right? Each one of those thoughts creates shame and guilt and anger and frustration about this underlying emotion. And that's exhausting. Having the underlying emotion, it's just like okay, here's this vibration in my body. I guess today we're doing boredom. Today we're doing frustration. How does frustration feel in my body? Do you even know? Because here is the thing: everything you want in your life requires you to be able to feel an emotion. So many of us, I just did the class on how to dream bigger. And I was asking them what is what are the emotions that you're the most afraid to feel? Which is why you don't go after your dreams. Like why are you not going after your dreams? What is that biggest fear? And it comes down to an emotion. It comes down to I'm afraid to feel shame or embarrassment or guilt or loneliness or rejection or judgment. And so, so many of us are living lives that are unfulfilled, that we don't wanna live in, that we don't want. We want something different but we're not going after these things because we're afraid of feeling an emotion. That's it, right? When so many people come to me and wanna change their thoughts because they're afraid of feeling judged, they're afraid of what people are gonna think. I just like ask them what does it feel like to feel judged? What does that feel like in your body? Can you do that? Because if you can, and we can change your thoughts to not care as much about what other people think but it's not gonna go away, it's human nature. And when I started realizing this about what my own dreams, when I was having so such a hard time posting on Instagram cause I was so afraid of what people were gonna think of me and what they were gonna say and how embarrassed I was gonna be, I started thinking okay, what do I have to feel in order to keep doing this, in order to go after my dream. I have to be willing to feel embarrassed. I have to be willing to feel shame. I have to be willing to feel judged or rejected. Can I do that? What does that feel like in my body? The more I built that muscle, the more I started feeling unstoppable. Like there's nothing that's gonna come between me and my dreams because I'm willing to feel a ton of emotions that most people don't wanna feel. And what's crazy about this is that we're always feeling negative emotion anyway. Like so many people are so scared of these negative emotions and yet, they're just mired with negative emotions exactly where they are. It's like I don't wanna go after my dreams because then I might feel shame and embarrassment and rejection. So I'm just gonna stay here and feel feelings of boredom and frustration and unfulfillment and even probably shame and embarrassment, right? We just create that shame in another way. Like why haven't you, why didn't you go after your dreams? You're you don't have what it takes. You should have done more. You let your life pass. You've changed careers too many times, whatever it is. We create that anyway. And that's the thing we're deathly afraid of? That's why we're not going after these dreams? When you truly start understanding this, that everything I want is on the other side of me being willing like willingly feel negative feelings, it becomes so much easier. And I say this because I think so many people come to me, like I said, and they so desperately they have an emotion. Let's say I don't want people to judge me. I don't want my family to judge me. And they want so badly to work on that thought to like get over it to be okay. And we can. But sometimes that takes a really long time and sometimes it's not gonna go away completely. And so a lot of times the question just becomes like are you willing to just feel that feeling and do it anyway? Are you willing to be uncomfortable? I always laugh when people come to get coaching about going after their dreams because they like want some answer that makes it so that, I don't know, they don't feel negative emotion as they're doing it. Like it's gonna feel great. And I'm always like I can't do that for you. I wish I could. I would be super rich if I could show you a way of going after big bold dreams and never feeling a negative emotion. That's not gonna happen. So what if we just felt the emotion? I want you to think about so many things that you maybe don't stick to or don't do, even if we don't go after your big dreams, let's just say day to day like we're coming up on the new year and people are gonna all be, you know, creating goals and wanting to hit goals. And we all know the tropes and it's this kind of tired story of you do it for two weeks and then you stop. Because so many of us think that you need a feeling in order to do something. You need to feel motivated, you need to want to but the truth is you just need to be willing to feel your negative emotions. Like if you say I wanna work out, you're not going to want to work out. Like let's not be surprised by that. If you, that's your goal, you might be motivated for two weeks and then on that third week your brain's gonna be like I don't wanna do this. This feels terrible. And you have to be willing to be like yeah, it does. It sure does. Let's feel that discomfort and do it anyway. That's how I follow through. When I create my calendar for the week and I sit down and do the work, it's not because I'm thinking like all week, I'm gonna feel so great doing it and if I don't then I can't get anything, I can't sit down and do it. No, I don't wanna do half the stuff I have to do but I'm like okay, well I guess I'm just feeling frustration now. We're gonna do these taxes anyway. I guess I have to feel bor- boredom and do this research anyway. What does boredom feel like in my body? Why am I so scared of it? When you can start feeling your feelings, you don't need to change the circumstances around you as much. You don't need people to change as much. You don't need any of this to happen. You just are like okay, well this is what's gonna happen. I'm gonna feel this. We're gonna see what it feels like. I'm gonna describe it to myself. I want you to think about that as you go into the holiday season, you are likely gonna do a lot of things that are gonna create a lot of feelings and there's always negative feelings that come along with the holidays. And we add so much unnecessary drama to it. Like you have to go to your parents' house and you don't wanna go. And so you start thinking thoughts like I shouldn't have to go. I'm old enough to say no. Why can't I stand up to them? This is gonna be terrible. They're gonna make comments about my job and they're gonna judge me whatever. So then you create all this suffering beforehand, all this anxiety, all this worry, all this anger, frustration. I want you to just ask yourself like what do I have to be willing to feel to sit through a three-hour dinner at my parents' house? Maybe I have to be willing to feel anger or rejected or lonely or whatever the feeling is. Can I do that? Can I just decide like okay, Saturday at two to five we're gonna feel frustration atour everything my parents say. I'm just gonna feel in my body. I don't even have to respond then, I already know like alright, we're just gonna feel this frustration. What does this feel like? You become like a superhero, I promise you. Once you can do this, you're like oh, I don't have to change this. I don't have to get rid of this feeling. I don't have to act on it. Just because I'm angry doesn't mean I have to say anything. I can just feel the anger. So that's what anger feels like. That didn't feel great and now it's done. Now I can move on and I don't have to create all that suffering beforehand. I don't have to create all of the suffering after. I don't have to try to avoid it. I don't have to do anything. I just have to feel the feeling. I was coaching someone when we did the how to do less um class in the Quitter Club. And she was struggling with the assignment because she was saying if I decide not to do these things, I feel terrible. Like I think all of these things are important. And I responded like oh, you thought it was supposed to feel good? Oh, no no no, it feels terrible. Because what felt good to you was telling yourself once I'm productive, I'm a good person, I'm a good mother, or whatnot. So now when you're doing the opposite or you're taking things off, you're gonna have thoughts of I should have been doing that. It's gonna feel uncomfortable. What's the problem? We still decide I'm still not gonna do this things because I'm gonna train my brain to understand that I don't have to do everything for everybody and it's not gonna feel good. And that's okay. It's just a feeling. I'm just gonna let it float on the water. I'm not gonna keep start trying to push it down. I'm gonna see what it feels like. I don't have to act on it, I just have to feel it. When you can master this skill, the whole world opens up to you truly. Because so many of us are hiding or living in perpetual fear of an emotion. We're perpetual fear of like being judged or feeling embarrassed or feeling ashamed or feeling rejected, whatever it is. We close off our hearts. We don't try to create connections. We don't put ourselves out there. We don't speak up. We don't tell people how we feel. We don't go after our dreams. We don't do all of this stuff because we're afraid to feel something. And when you start showing yourself like it's really not that serious, it's not that bad. It's just a vibration. I can do that. Can I feel this discomfort and do it anyway? Then, then I'm open to doing whatever. Alright? You wanna try public speaking? You might mess up, you're gonna feel embarrassed. Can you handle embarrassment? Let's do it. Alright? You're gonna put yourself out there on social media and people might judge you. What does rejection feel like to you? Can you create safety within yourself there? Can you look at it and be like I don't have to reject me? What does this feel like when other people reject me? Okay, I can still have my own back. Yeah, I can do that. I want you guys to just know this because I want you to know that like the point of doing thought work is not to always feel good. The point is to feel, the point is to understand what is happening in my body. Why does this feel like this? What am I telling myself? What am I doing from this? What do I want to do? And some of the times that's gonna be I'm gonna just feel this feeling, describe it to myself in detail and move on. Move on to the next thing. So take this holiday season as the perfect training ground to try to feel some feelings and know that you'll be okay. You don't need to numb it. You don't need to like grab the phone or drink some more or overeat or do anything. You can just get curious like huh, I wonder what worry feels like in my body. How long does it last? How long does it stick around? Can I still do my work when I'm worried? Can I allow it to be there? Befriend it and it loses so much of its power. Feeling your feelings is the secret to so many of your dreams, my friends. I promise you. So go out there, feel some feelings. Be a human. I promise it's not as bad as they told you it was. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season and I will see you next week for another episode.

Thank you so much for listening. If you liked this episode, share it with someone else. I promise you know somebody who also hates their job and wants to quit, so why not share the love? And if you want to come follow along for more, come join me on Instagram at LessonsFromAQuitter and make sure you say hi. I'll see you next week for another episode.