The Most Powerful Thing You Can Do
Emotions are tricky. And if we are not careful, we can allow emotions to cloud our judgement in ways we don't understand.
According to Harvard Business Review,
Emotions can cloud our judgment and influence our decisions when triggered by the situation at hand, as in Daniel’s case. But research shows it is also possible for emotions triggered by one event to spill over and affect another, unrelated situation.
It works something like this:
Someone said something to you that hurt your feelings. At the time, you were angry and hurt but didn't deal with it. You decided to "move on." Fast forward a few days, weeks, months, or years later, and a "trigger event" happens that reminds you of that pain, hurt, or disappointment. Instead of responding appropriately and rationally in the moment, your brain calls up the original hurt. Outside of your awareness, an emotional response kicks it that supercharges the present situation.
In other words, we become irrational.
And the deeper the hurt, the more irrational and emotional we become. Sometimes we "pile up" hurts over time on the same issue and play out our emotional response with different people.
In Psychology Today, they say this about "intense" emotions:
And the more intense the emotions, the more your judgment may be clouded. We make the best decisions when we can achieve a careful balance between emotions and logic.
How can you tell when you have left the rational zone? Well, this is where it gets really tricky.
Most of us believe that we are being rational even when we are not.
Michael Levine put it this way:
It is said that emotions drive 80% of the choices Americans make, while practicality and objectivity only represent about 20% of decision-making. Oh, and forget about making a decision when you are hungry, angry, lonely or tried. The acronym "HALT" is exactly the point here: DON"T DO IT! If you make a decision while feeling Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired (or God-forbid some combination of more than one of the above) emotion wins 100% of the time and will likely push you in the wrong direction. "It is in the moments of decision that your destiny is shaped," according to Tony Robbins, self-help and motivational speaker. So if that's the case, then we better make some good ones!
Now that's deep. How you choose to make your decisions will shape your DESTINY.
If you don't believe, pick someone that you admire for their ability to live a life full of love, peace, and joy. Watch them or strike up a conversation with them. You will often find that they are making decisions that go against what "most people" would do. In other words, they do not allow their emotions to drive their decisions.
And neither should you.
I am NOT saying that you do not have a right to feel angry, upset, or disappointed.
I am saying that you should not allow how you FEEL determine what you DO.
Instead, your decision needs to be based on what you want to see happen - your vision.
This takes time and discipline on your part. You must stop in the middle of your emotion and ask yourself "What do I want to see happen?"
And then pretend as if what you want to see is manifested right now. Then, make your decision.
If you have lived your life in the emotional space deciding based on "how I feel" at any given moment, then what I am saying is probably not agreeing with you.
I would say this is probably why you are stuck in a pattern of relational conflict. I'm just saying.
If you want love, peace, and joy you will have to make some hard decisions. And you will probably need support to stay the course.
Don't allow your emotions to keep you tangled up in conflict. Decide today to trade what you feel for what you want.
And I will be right here cheering for you.