10 Oct I’m at a solid 85+%. Where are you?
What’s your JOY factor? Do you believe joy is even possible? Today’s blog requires each of us to take that look in the mirror and tell ourselves the truth. That’s never easy. However, it can always lead to new insights and growth if you are willing to do the work.
For ease, we are going to group emotions into eight different levels. All emotions have value – more on that in a moment. Right now, I want you to look at your typical average day and for each of the eight areas, put down a percentage of how much time you spend in that group of emotions. Ideally, they will add up to 100%. If not, it’s ok. Just get close.
____% Joy – Passion – Empowerment – Love – Freedom – Appreciation – Peace
____% Enthusiasm – Eagerness – Happiness – Belief – Positive Expectation
____% Trust – Optimism – Hopefulness – Contentment
____% Boredom – Pessimism – Frustration – Irritation – Impatience
____% Disappointment – Doubt – Worry – Blame – Discouragement – Sadness
____% Anger – Rage – Revenge – Hatred -Bitter
____% Jealous -Insecurity – Guilt – Unworthiness
____% Fear – Grief – Depression -Despair – Powerlessness
I did this process a few months ago while attending a retreat. It was eye-opening for me in that it affirmed that the personal development work I’ve been doing on myself for many years has paid off. The first three tiers of Joy, Enthusiasm and Trust were a solid 85-90%. I was clear that I was experiencing a lot more joy in my life, and I was a little blown away by exactly how much. The other 10-15% lands in Frustration, Disappointment and Anger with a small percentage going to Fear, which still shows up from time to time.
So what can we learn from this process? First, I believe it’s important to acknowledge that ALL emotions have value. The emotion that we are feeling is giving us information. It’s what we do with that information that’s important.
Second, I believe that we should fully feel our emotions. Many of us are emotional stuffers. We will do anything not to feel the emotion. If that’s you, then you know the emotion will come back with a vengeance. If we allow ourselves to feel it all the way through, then we can consciously choose what to do next.
Here is where it gets powerful for each of us. Jill Bolte Taylor’s book, My Stroke of Insight, A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey, tells her story as a neuroanatomist who had a stroke at age 37 followed by an eight-year recovery. In this powerful book, and her viral TED Talk, she talks about the emotion 90 second rule.
She writes, “Once triggered, the chemical released by my brain surges through my body and I have a physiological experience. Within 90 seconds from the initial trigger, the chemical component of my anger has completely dissipated from my blood and my automatic response is over. If, however, I remain angry after those 90 seconds have passed, then it is because I have chosen to let that circuit continue to run.” Taylor submits that all pure emotions last for 90 seconds or less. Anything longer than that is the result of our own story and the choice to hold on to that emotion. With every retelling of that story, we cause our emotions to escalate, and we remain caught in the cycle, finding it harder and harder to get out of it.
With that awareness, we can recognize what is happening and allow the emotion to naturally pass through us without resistance. Once we’ve done that, we can look at the story that we might have attached to the emotion and decide if that story is benefitting us. Does it feel good? If not, we can recognize it for what it is, a story, and in that moment, choose to write a new one.
For example, you left the full kitchen garbage can out by the door so your teenage son would take it to the dumpster. You round the corner into the kitchen, rushing to get to work, and there’s the trash. You instantly feel anger at your son as the thoughts of “there is no way he didn’t see that” and “now I have to do it and I’m going to be late” pound your brain. At this point, you can grab the trash and replay the story all day in your head, getting more and more angry, so that by the time you see your son that evening, it’s not a pretty interaction – OR – you can let the entirety of that feeling go through you, recognize that staying in the low vibration of anger doesn’t feel good, acknowledge that you hadn’t actually told your son to take out the garbage, and use it as a great opportunity to get input from the family on who will own what chores. You go on with your day, excited to have a family dinner that night, knowing everyone will benefit by taking more responsibility for maintaining the household.
“Pay attention to what you are thinking, and then decide if those are thoughts that are creating the kind of life you want created,” she says. “And if it’s not, then change your thoughts. It’s really that easy.” ~ Jill Bolte Taylor
Another way to say this is one of our favorite High5 Leadership ideas – if the story you are telling yourself isn’t benefitting you, then it’s time to write a new story. Of course, it’s always best to make that new story a bestseller!
To find out the secret of creating your JOY-filled, bestseller life, join us tonight for High5 LIVE! This interactive discussion webinar is open to you and all of your friends. REGISTER HERE!