Oh, the wonderful experiences you can have when you learn to choose your feelings rather than excuse your behavior!
Do you ever wonder how some people seem to be able to keep it all together under stress or don’t have drama in their life? I used to wonder that myself before I got introduced to NLP. NLP teaches you purpose-driven thinking and feeling; you may also know this as mindfulness.
Whatever you call it, it is essential to understand the quality of your life is based on the quality of the decisions you make daily. The quality of your decisions are based on the quality of your thoughts and feelings you are experiencing at the time of decision. It is important to ask yourself when you find yourself acting in a way that is unbecoming or not useful, “what do I want out to experience in this situation?”
Becoming consciously aware and catching yourself when you are not responding to a situation in a useful way will afford you time and opportunity to choose a higher quality response.
Let me share with you one of the techniques I use with my clients to explain what determines the quality of your experience. Everything you do in life is based on a strategy. You have a thought that creates a feeling, which then makes you behave in a certain way and all of which is steeped in your belief system. A strategy looks like this in an equation format:
WHAT MAKES UP A STRATEGY?
THOUGHTS + FEELINGS + BEHAVIORS + BELIEFS = OUR EXPERIENCE (OUTCOME)
People who don’t get caught up in the drama of life and seem to go with the flow usually work the equation backward, starting from the outcome.
They have consciously trained their thinking to focus on the outcome they want to experience and align their thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and beliefs to that outcome.
Let me share a story of a client of mine. She was married and was also a stay-at-home mom that owned a home-based business.
She loved her kids and husband very much and, by all accounts, had a fantastic life.
She came to me because she would get anxious at dinnertime. When her husband would get home from work, she was already feeling anxious, and she found herself picking a fight or looking for what wasn’t right with him. There was a part of her that knew it was ridiculous, but she didn’t know how to stop doing it. She said to me, “it’s crazy because I absolutely love my husband; he is a really good guy.” But at dinnertime, I just can’t seem to find anything right or good about him.”
Here is the good news; she had conscious awareness of her behavior and knew she wanted to change it. I used various techniques with her to find out and heal what was causing these feelings. After doing the work, dinnertime became an enjoyable time for her and her family. I should mention the cause of this feeling at dinnertime had nothing to do with her husband. Does this sound familiar?
One of the techniques I used was to create a new strategy for dinnertime. This is how we created a new strategy; we worked the equation backward. I had her focus on the outcome she wanted..
It was like magic; doing this exercise allowed her to develop the skill of mastering her feelings rather than excusing her behavior. Choosing to make a different decision on how she felt at dinnertime allowed her to experience this time differently. Now her brain had another strategy to use at dinner time, and this one is far better than the other.
Sometimes making changes can be just that simple. Learning the strategy of focusing on you want and choosing your thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and beliefs to support that outcome will allow you to invite more enjoyment into your life.
CREATING YOUR OWN STRATEGY
The next time you are in a situation that is going south, command yourself to “stop” and ask yourself the following questions:
Notice, just how easy it can be to change a situation when you learn to choose your feelings rather than excuse your behavior.