“I feel badly, so something needs to change.” Feeling undesirable emotion like insecurity, fear, or anger leads to this common misunderstanding that creates havoc.

In an effort to feel better, blame surfaces. There is a problem “out there” that needs changed. It is the fault of my spouse, my kids, that system, my boss, the weather, myself…

Now there are problems to be solved and issues to be fixed.

The misunderstanding that “something out there is going to fix what’s in here” leads to behavior that reinforces the illusion that the world operates from external to internal. That if X,Y, or Z happens, then security, happiness, or confidence are attainable.

It is convincing to believe this…even seems logical. It is compelling that people, circumstances, and things are the culprit for feelings, but this belief is outside-in. You and I are wired to work inside-out, meaning feelings come from thinking, not from people, circumstances, or things.

Thought piles up, sometimes too fast to recognize, and then bam – emotional residue.

When emotion is uncomfortable, most of us have been taught to resist it. Of course – we don’t enjoy how it feels! So answers are sought to fix it: think positive, do yoga, get more sleep, get a new job, meditate for 20 minutes. While all of these are helpful suggestions (and I’ve suggested them myself in an effort to “fix” undesirable emotion), if they were the cause of all desirable emotion, they’d produce it every time.

But they don’t.

What I do know is what I’ve witnessed: the harder someone pushes and strives to experience desirable emotion like confidence, happiness, contentment, or peace, the further out of grasp it gets.

Here’s good news:

Insecurity (uncomfortable emotion) isn’t wrong and doesn’t have to be changed, and confidence (desirable emotion) comes and goes.

Thought ebbs and flows, so emotion does the same. Clutter (insecurity), clarity (confidence), clutter (insecurity), clarity (confidence).

So what to do?

Normally I list a bunch of things to do, but I’ve just recently learned the lesson above and have only one suggestion: do nothing.

Understand that you are not broken and cannot be fixed. You are already perfect. Go with the flow as emotion pulses and plateaus (insecurity) and wait for clarity (confidence) – it’ll come as the mind unclutters.

When it does, send me a note.

Rachel is a certified coach & former fixer-of-“what’s-broken”. Learn more here.

Team Websitewww.inspiredleadershipwithin.com

Email: inspiredleadership@essdack.org

Facebook Communitywww.facebook.com/leadershipbeginswithin

Twitter: @TamaraKonrade @MikeSanders19 @RachelThalmann @tjfellers

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