Feelings Defining Who We Are

May was Mental Health Awareness month. I know it’s June, and that I’m a little late to the game, but it got me thinking about a few things. Let’s face it, given the times that we’re in, we’re all feeling more sad, anxious, stressed, and confused than we were in January. So, let’s talk about it!


I wonder if in some cases, when we talk about mental health, for instance, anxiety, we work to think about things a little differently. This approach has absolutely helped me, so I hope it helps you too. Let me give you an example.


Let’s stick with anxiety. Instead of saying to ourselves (and others), “I’m so anxious,” try saying, “I am feeling anxious.” Do you see the difference?


This may seem like just a slight change in the phrasing, and it is. But it can make an extraordinary impact. Why? Because instead of allowing that feeling to define who we are (“I am”), we are instead acknowledging that feeling in the present moment. It isn’t who we are, but just how we are feeling.


A lot of these concepts come from a few books. One is The Code of the Extraordinary Mind by Vishen Lakhiani. He talks about all the rules we’ve set for ourselves based on things we’ve been told in our lives that we chose to believe. He calls them Brules, which stands for bullshit rules.


These are some rules we might have chosen to believe, like:

  • “You aren’t good at math.”

  • “Your ears are too big.”

  • “You’re not a good singer.”

  • And on and on


We choose at these moments to believe what we are being told, but it turns out, it’s just a bullshit rule we decide to create for ourselves. Maybe it’s time to change those rules.


In the book The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, he calls it breaking old agreements and questions if we’re free to be who we really are.


Do you see those examples tie into not allowing a feeling or thought to define who you are?


We can certainly talk about how we’re feeling in the moment and acknowledge Brules and old agreements, but we do not have to allow them to define who we are.


So, make that choice to shift the way you think about things! This will help ensure you don't lose track of the awesome person you are!


You know where to find me if you’d like to talk.


Life is still good!

Jeff


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