acknowledge your emotions to move on

I recently published an article called ‘Don’t feel like it, do it anyway’.  If you are interested, you can read the article here.

In this article I talk about how setting standards helps me do the things that I sometimes don’t feel like doing.  The example I use in the article is getting up at 5am each morning to go to the gym.

After publishing the article I had someone ask me ‘but what if I just can’t get out of bed’.  I thought about a response for a little while, because there are so many responses.  I don’t want to be flippant and dismiss what might be going on for that individual.  If it is an illness-mental or physical-I recommend seeing someone.  Look after yourself, and go and see someone that can help you.

If you are putting off an action or doing something because it is hard, scary, you are tired, you feel flat, don’t let that be the reason to stop.  What’s happening here is you are allowing an emotion to prevent you from doing what you need to do to get the results you want to do.  What you need to do is acknowledge your emotions to help you move on.

Acknowledge your emotions, don’t ignore them

The way to handle this is to acknowledge the emotion you are experiencing so you can move on.  Ignoring the emotion you are experiencing won’t work. Emotions are your natural reaction to the world around you.  It is programmed in your DNA for you to experience emotions such as fear, apprehension and loneliness as well joy and love.  It was through experiencing these emotions that the human species was able to survived.  We feared sabre tooth tigers because we knew they meant our death.  We felt lonely and didn’t like it because to be excluded or separated from our tribe could mean death.

Now, the consequences of your emotions are less life-threatening.  What you fear – whether it’s making that sales call, giving that presentation or going to the gym for the first time – most likely won’t kill you.  However, that doesn’t make the emotion any less real.

Everyone has days when they feel they can’t do it or don’t want to do it (whatever it is).  Rather than ignore how you feel, acknowledge your emotions.  Notice how you are feeling and what response that is causing in your body.  Then, ask yourself these questions:

1.What will happen if I do XYZ?

example: What will happen if I make that sales call?

The question helps you reconnect with your goal and increase motivation

2.What will happen if I don’t do XYZ?

example: What will happen if I don’t make that sales call?

This questions will remind you why you want to take the action, it will reconnect you with the pain of staying the same.

3.What won’t happen if I do XYZ?

example: What won’t happen if I do that sales call?

This question will help you realise what you’re fearing actually isn’t that bad.

4.What won’t happen if I don’t do XYZ?

example: what won’t happen if I don’t do that sales call?

This question will help you highlight what you will miss out on if you don’t take the action.

If these questions aren’t enough to get you going just do something small.  It’s OK every now and then to just say today isn’t my day.  Rather than letting it be a complete write off just do something. Don’t beat yourself up.  Just do one tiny, small thing that moves you toward your outcome.  Often, that might be enough to get you over your slump. Once you’ve done that small things, recognise it.  Recognise the fact that despite how you were feeling you did something that moved you towards the outcome you are after.  Action (doing something small) creates motivation and recognising your success creates motivation.  Tomorrow is a new day and you can build on that something small again tomorrow.

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