I have often pondered and asked myself several times what the effective way is to deal with negative emotions.
Why would anybody continue to relive a bad past? Why would anyone continue to feel anxious about the future? Why would anyone feel helpless, ashamed or not confident?
What makes some people do well in life in comparison to others? Why are two children born to the same parents, grew up under similar circumstances, given the same opportunities but eventually live totally different lives with one being successful and the other not? What’s the effective response to “how to take action?”
This post will help you understand why an effective way to deal with negative emotions is by taking action and also help you understand how to take action.
The Effective Way to Deal With Negative Emotions – Take Action!
Life happens in phases and you are a testament to this. Once upon a time you were born and there was a time you couldn’t walk, talk or take care of yourself. You’ve evolved as a person through those phases and will continue to evolve if you choose to.
The negative feelings mentioned previously are nothing but signals. I’ve come to think of them as “call to action” signals. As a human born to evolve, you’ve reached another phase in your life that’s prompting you to take some kind of action. If you don’t act, these negative emotions will only continue to grow and may transform into real monsters and affect other aspects of your life.
OK. You are probably thinking, okay Genius… If getting rid of negative emotions is as simple as taking action, how come people don’t take action?” There’s another explanation for that too. Let’s begin..
Why People Don’t Take Action
If you’ve ever experienced any persistent and strong negative feelings, they just didn’t happen overnight. You just didn’t wake up one day to feel depressed or not feel good about yourself or about the future.
What I have noticed from experience is that these feelings are cumulative effects of inaction in certain aspects of your life either past or present. When you worry or you are anxious or sad, or feel helpless, these emotions come from your thoughts. These negative thoughts will naturally go away once you take lots of targeted actions. Your feelings are usually connected to your thought patterns, which are connected to your action or inaction.
Let’s take a couple of examples. At work: Although work’s chosen as an example, this could apply to many areas of your life that you seem to have lost passion for or are not happy about. Let’s say lately, you feel like you don’t like your job anymore and that you’ve lost passion for what you do. While this feeling is a call for you to take some serious actions to rectify the situation, the loss of passion didn’t just happen overnight. If you search deep down and you are honest, you’ll note that you are probably not as involved in the job as others who exude the passion for the job. In fact, that you’ve not been very involved for a while – that you just do what you need to do to keep your head above water.
To be passionate and to love a job, company, industry or anything, you’ll need to fully immerse yourself in its surrounding. If you don’t fully immerse yourself, you’ll soon lose interest and want to try something else. The truth is that inaction will prevent you from getting ahead because you are not giving your best. Because you are not giving your best, your body, mind and soul will not be at ease. This could lead to unnecessary health scare and worry. It can really mess up your mind too. Full immersion involves being fully engaged – reading every day or every chance you get about that thing, having fun researching and doing the best you can to continue to grow, to become an expert in one or several areas and to continue to add tremendous value at work. When you are fully immersed, you’ll think favorably about your future in the company or industry and the different roles you could play.
The point is this: You stopped taking action because subconsciously you are not certain that the actions you take will yield the desired results (promotion, recognition, making the boss happy or like you, making your colleagues respect you, be seen as an authority in the field, seeing a bright future in the company or whatever the result is that you deeply care about). In other words, you lack certainty.
Before using another example, what if you are not passionate because you are not doing what you love or because your work environment does not help bring out the best in you? If that’s the case, before you switch to another job or career, ask yourself these questions. Have I been patient enough, or have i honestly spent enough time to confirm that the current job or industry isn’t the right fit? Are opportunities indeed not within the current company or industry or is my work environment really that bad? If the answers genuinely favor that you leave your current employment, then make sure you take serious actions to immerse yourself on the next job or opportunity.
Let’s use a simpler example: If I told you to meet me at a certain place at a certain time to get a $1 billion or to get something that’s dearest and most important to you, would you take action? Would you let anything stop you from taking action? Of course, you would take action and you’d do everything in your power to make the appointment. Why? Because you are certain that if you take action, you’ll get the the prize. People don’t take action because it is not certain that they’ll get the result they desire.
How to Get Certainty
If you have ever seen a child try to walk before she/he never gives up. In fact, I doubt any parent would ever want a child to stop trying to walk after few tries.
Keep an important phrase in your mind always – “For every action you take or don’t take in life, there is a result”.
There are fundamental laws governing this universe and I honestly don’t know how they all work. But I know that if you want something so deeply and you make the first step of taking a tangible action towards that thing, it’ll set the tone of the result you seek.
You don’t need to be right the first or the second or the third time you try. Not knowing the future or having proof that what you are trying to do will materialize is quite alright. You may need to model someone who has gone through a similar experience to get there faster. You may need to keep changing your strategies. Everything eventually unfolds by taking action. Believe and stay committed.
Certainty comes from the result you get by taking action. When you make the first step, the second, and the third step, you’ll start to feel differently. When you start to feel differently, you’ll start to see things differently. As the saying goes, when you change the way you look at things, what you are looking at changes. Feeling good is a form of re-enforcement that keeps your body, mind and soul aligned and gives you a reason to keep going. The more you do something, the better you get and the more likely it’ll stay with you forever unless you stop doing it. A good example is your name or anything that you seem to know or do so naturally without thinking. These are second nature to you because they are embedded in your subconscious. This brings me to the next point on how you sustain certainty.
How to Retain Certainty
Imagine a world we’ll be in today, if there wasn’t certainty in our way of life. Certainty is by far one thing that keeps humans different from animals. Can you imagine what life would be like today if we doubted that we could ever walk, talk, read, write, learn different things, be a parent, land that dream job, or end racism and discrimination? These are all mentioned to hopefully remind you to just give it a go and never stop giving it a go. Don’t overthink it. Just do it and believe that if you keep at it, there is bound to be favorable result.
You retain certainty when it is engrained in your mind and your subconscious. Every day, you need to take action without fear of embarrassment, failure or anything. The first time might be awkward, boring, weird, nerve-racking, or confusing; you might be reminded again of your past failure(s) or inadequacy but ignore such negative thoughts because as a man thinketh, so shall it be. The second time might be better or not and you might even fail. Ignore the self-doubt; let the negative result be another lesson on what not to do or a reason to try perhaps a different approach. Try the third time and the fourth and the fifth and keep taking action. When you take action every day for a period of time it becomes a habit that’s engrained in your subconscious; similar to how you were when you were a child, who would never stop trying to walk.
- Set yourself up to accomplish a thirty-day habit formation of taking action and following through. Let it be that thing you’ve been putting off.
- Fully immerse yourself and don’t be limited by not seeing the results just yet. Don’t let it scare you. Just go for it. Break it down into little steps or tasks and do one thing at a time. Just as you were when you were a child – you never expected the result of walking or talking; you just kept on trying. You learned first how to master the act of crawling before mastering how to stand, walk and how to run. It’s no different.
- Be in an environment that boosts your chances of successfully accomplishing the thirty-day habit formation of retaining certainty back in your life. For example: Stay away from negative people. If you must be around negative people because they are part of your life somehow, set new and clear boundaries – this is another bold step to confirming that you mean business.
- Remember: Certainty is already in you. It’s only dormant because of life’s conditioning. Any bad experience does not define you. Use it to step-up and be better.
What and How Much Actions Should I Take?
There are countless types and forms of actions that you can take today that can improve the quality of your life and it varies from one situation to another or from one person to another.
Be patient and be persistent. Your result in life will be in direct proportion to how much action you take but you must make sure your strategy makes sense.
Just as no amount of certainty will make the Sun rise in the west or set in the east, you must ensure your strategy is fit for purpose. Just as Thomas Edison did with the light bulb invention, keep changing your approach as needed. Sometimes you’ll have to change your approach until it feels right and you know it is working. Keep track of what works and what doesn’t.
What are some of the things Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Henry Ford, Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates or some of the personal development giants, Tony Robbins or Les Brown all have in common? They worked very hard and kept on changing their approaches and they engrained their subconscious with certainty of a better future. Trust me; you’ll know when that lump in your stomach and that awful feeling is gone and you start to feel the vibrancy and passion you once had.
Remember not to relapse once you’ve achieved the goal of having certainty in everything you do. You won’t relapse if you continue to work on yourself by continuing to take action that keeps you in the right state of mind. If you want sustainable results, you must continuously clear the mental blocks and negative self thoughts by taking action.
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Thanks for reading and I hope this post resonates with you and that it is of some value. Let me know your thoughts. Please share your feedback or comments below and share this post with others on your social media network.