Chances are you´ve heard it all before…take control of your thoughts and you can transform your world. You, after all, are the master of your mindset.
Few things in this life are truer than that.
And, yet, if that´s the case, why do so many people – friends, family and clients alike – believe they have so little control over what they think, feel and do?
Let´s take a closer look…
First, it´s important to understand that the ONLY REASON you do anything in your life is to change the way you feel.
This is true for you, for me, for every one of us.
If you want to make more money, lose weight, or buy that new dress – you do it because of how you think it´s going to make you feel.
Perhaps you believe you´ll feel more confident if you can just lose those 10 extra pounds. Or you believe finding that special someone will make you feel loved. You might even believe that by making more money you will finally feel happy.
Far too often, we put off feeling all those positive emotions because we believe there is something outside of ourselves that we need to have in order to experience them.
The real truth is you are capable of feeling those emotions RIGHT NOW!
Mastering your mindset (and thus your emotions) is far from complicated. In fact, thanks to experts like Anthony Robbins and other prominent psychologists, it´s actually quite simple.
Here are the 3 keys that determine what you feel from moment to moment. Master these and you will be the master of your mindset, your emotions and, ultimately, your life!
Every emotion you experience is felt in your body, first and foremost. If you want to feel confident, happy or positive, start by moving your body in a way that reflects that emotion.
For more confidence: stand tall, square your shoulders, hold your head with your chin slightly up and put a confident look on your face.
For greater happiness: again, stand tall. Put a huge smile on your face and walk with a bounce in your step.
This also works in reverse, of course…
If you´re hell-bent on feeling depressed, all you have to do is slump down in your chair, look at the ground, breathe shallowly and frown.
Try switching from different physical manifestations of different emotions and really notice how they make you feel.
The way you use your body biochemically truly has the power to change the way you feel.
Focus plays a huge role in determining how you feel. To feel happy, focus on the things in your life that make you happiest. Ask yourself:
This is an exercise you can do with any emotion you´d like to feel more of. Just replace „happy“ with confident, grateful, positive, excited – you name it!
Once again, this principle works in reverse…
Feeling sad, depressed or negative comes down to what you focus on in life. Ignoring the good and focusing on what´s terrible in the moment will leave you feeling anything but positive and optimistic.
If you asked yourself, What really sucks in my life right now?, I’m pretty sure you´d find a thing or two, and the way you feel would take a nosedive. Dwelling on the bad times is a recipe for disaster…
Remember ~ What´s wrong is always available, so shift your focus to what´s right in your life instead.
The words you use when talking to yourself and others also have the power to impact the way you feel. Saying things like, This is too hard or I feel exhausted can lead you too feeling discouraged and tired.
Here´s where you want become aware of what that little voice in the back of your mind is saying as well. Most of us have a very vocal inner critic and, if we´re not careful, we can fall into the trap of believing all the negative BS (belief systems) it keeps repeating.
Every word we use – consciously or subconsiously – has an emotional state associated with it. Some are empowering and some, quite the opposite!
Being aware of the words, statements, phrases, and metaphors you use is critical when it comes to mastering your mindset and controling your emotions.
Ultimately, you have the power to feel any emotion simply by DECIDING to feel it.
No one makes you feel happy or sad, loved or lonely. Your feelings are based on how you interpret a situation and the meaning you give it.
Do you know what the 3 most common ways for dealing with negative emotions are? If not, I want to share them with you here.
Think back to a time you were feeling negative and see if these are true for you…
This is basically when you make a point of avoiding any situation that might possibly result in your feeling a negative emotion. You avoid taking risks, doing things where you can´t be sure of the outcome or dealing with people you don´t know because you´re trying to avoid feeling rejection, failure or disapproval.
Other ways you might avoid negative emotions include using drugs, alcohol or food to prevent feeling bad. Watching TV a lot, playing computer games or spending all your time on social media are other ways we try to escape having to feel negative emotions.
This is when you do your best to distance yourself from a negative emotion by rationalizing that things just „aren´t that bad“.
The problem here is that ignoring the message doesn´t make it disappear. Generally, bad feeling intensifies to the point where it forces you to pay attention.
This is when the negative emotion becomes a part of your identity and the way you distinquish yourself from others. Quite often, this is something you are continually telling others, i.e Think you’ve got it bad? Wait until you hear my story…
Since none of us can escape negative emotions altogether, the next best thing is to figure out what they might be trying to tell you
…and learn from them.
The first step here is to understand that all emotions serve you on some level. So, one way to think of your negative emotions is as a call to action.
In his book, Awaken The Giant Within, Tony Robbins calls them action signals. And, since I like that, I´m going to use that expression here as well because seeing your negative emotions as „action signals“ allows them to take on a whole new identity. Suddenly they become your mentor, your ally, your coach. They are there to guide you.
The emotions you are feeling right now are a gift, a guideline, a support system, or as Tony Robbins says, a call to action.
Understand that „action signals“ are there to let you know what is no longer working.
Essentially, negative emotions come from the way you:
1) do things, i.e. communication, behavior or procedures, or
2) perceive a situation
And your perceptions are controlled by your focus and the meaning you give to things. You can easily change your perception by changing your physiology or asking a better question to help you shift your focus – and thus change the way you feel.
Believe it or not, you have complete control over the way you feel from moment to moment. You don´t need a special reason to feel happy - simply DECIDE to feel that way, right now. Decide to feel happy because you are alive and because you want to!
As we discussed above, negative emotions or – action signals, as Tony Robbins calls them – are there for a reason. Identify that reason, discover what it´s trying to tell you and you can turn that negative emotion to your advantage.
Also known as boredom, impatience, unease, distress or mild embarrassment, discomfort doesn´t have to be a bad thing.
Discomfort is actually your subconscious mind´s way of telling you that you can do and be more by either changing your actions or your perception of the situation.
Also known as low-level concern, intense worry, anxiety, fright or terror, fear´s message has to do with preparation.
Whatever the upcoming situation is, you need to be prepared for it. And the good news is fear gives you the energy boost you need to do the preparation work that´s called for.
Hurt often appears as a loss of intimacy or trust. It can also appear when expectations we have about someone or something are not being met. The message hurt is trying to convey is that you have a big heart. And that you care about your life and the people in it.
Also known as irritation, resentment and rage, anger indicates that someone – maybe even you! – has violated an important rule or standard you live by. The good news is anger also gives you the passion and fire you need to make things right.
Frustration is actually a very valuable emotion. It´s telling you your brain believes you could be doing better than you are. And while the solution you´re after may be just around the corner, what you are doing at the moment is not working. It´s time to be more flexible in your approach. It´s time to try doing things differently.
Also known as sadness, defeat or the feeling of being let down, disappointment is sending you the message to re-evaluate your expectations.
When the things we expect to be or go a certain way, don´t…
It may be time to change our expectations to better fit the situation. The way to do this is to set a new goal and take action towards achieving it. This is not a bad thing and it doesn´t mean you are giving up. What it does show is your dedication to moving forward – despite the obstacles and challenges that may get in your way.
Also known as regret or remorse, guilt is trying to tell you you´ve done something to violate one of your highest standards. And now you need to take steps to ensure you do not do it again. Think of guilt like an internal compass that helps make sure you do what you believe is right.
Also known as a feeling of unworthiness, particularly in instances when we feel we can´t do what we believe we should be able to do.
In truth though, all that a feeling of inadequacy is trying to tell you is that the skills you have are not up to the task at hand. You need more information, a better strategy, the right tools, and/or more confidence. Feeling inadequate from time to time is good because this is the driving force that moves us to learn, grow and contribute to others.
Also known as grief, depression and helplessness, the feeling of overwhelm is trying to tell you it´s time to re-evaluate what´s most important to you in a specific situation.
Perhaps you are trying to do too many things at once or maybe you feel like you need to change overnight.
Grief and helplessness are often rooted in a feeling that life has no empowering meaning. Or you may be feeling your life is being impacted by people, events or forces outside your control.
Also known as feeling alone, apart or separate, loneliness is trying to tell you it´s time to connect (or re-connect) with others.
The emotions you feel have a lot to do with the quality of life you live. And every emotion has something to offer – a message, if you will.
If you want to feel more of the positive emotions in your life like happiness, excitement, confidence and exhilaration, then you need to be listening to the messages your negative emotions are sending you.
I won´t lie to you, it does take practice. But you DO have the power to control your mindset and the emotions you feel. I´ve shown you how to do it here.