The secret to emotional mastery
Updated: May 5, 2020
“If you ignore these action signals, that signal does not go away, it intensifies. I have to change my expectations, or my perceptions, or how I feel about the situation, or how I communicate it. This is truly the pathway to taking your power back instead of sitting in pain. .”
We will look at 10 core emotions we all experience and begin to understand their message which you can apply to your situation. Within these 10 emotions are what we can call signal messages, to either change the way you are perceiving the situation or proceeding or what you are doing).
When you change how you perceive or proceed this is your gateway to get what you really want. These emotions are not negative, they are nothing more than signals for you to change how you are reacting or responding and get a different result. These emotions are here to serve you. Great news right!
The very first step that you want to take is to identify what the feeling is, or what the signal is. Let's put this into perspective by using an example. Let's say you have an argument with your partner because you leaned in to give them a kiss while they were reading, and they were distracted, tired and didn't respond well to you and the emotion that you are feeling is uncomfortable.
When we feel uncomfortable - from that uncomfortable state you will not look at this as an opportunity to grow, you will not see it from a place of appreciation, you will not be able to get resourceful and understand what things really mean. You are going to think wow my partner was not really loving to me right now, does that mean they are not really into me, or they are not interested - you can really start hallucinating about why they did what they did - from that state you will not be able to take the right action, its filtered by feelings of being uncomfortable, or rejection.
From that state we react, are not responding. So when you feel uncomfortable for example there are some clear steps you will want to take.
Step 1. The number one signal is change your state!
Step 2. Clarify what you want (this is what the signal is trying to tell you, it's saying hey I want to get closer to my partner) so at this point get clear on what you want. People don't realise how essential this point is and is often totally overlooked.
Step 3. Immediately take action in that direction, communicate, do something that expresses it your desire and keep doing that till you no longer feel uncomfortable.
Don't surrender to the uncomfortable feeling and the doubts that then enter the mind. Like I feel rejected, I feel insecure, I feel awful, dwelling in these emotions and thoughts will grow that emotional state and that's not what you want. Let's say you feel uncomfortable to the point of rejection that you felt hurt.
What's the message of hurt? When you feel hurt, that signal is telling you that you have an expectation that's not been met and there is a sense of loss, so this is more intense than just being uncomfortable. So here is the chance for further reflection, what was the expectation and what did I feel like I lost? Get clear on what you want and then take immediate action.
The challenge here is whenever you clarify what you want, you must take immediate action - you need to change one of two things, perception or procedure. Let me explain what that means. If you were to shift your perception you'd ask yourself is this an appropriate response to this situation, this person and at this time?
Every time you have an emotion you want to appreciate that it's a signal, a signal for change. The perception might be this person does not love me or want to be with me, do I have some rules that need to be explained that are creating this kind of perception?
Usually our perceptions are off, if someone is distracted it does not mean they don't love or want to be with you, it means they are absorbed in what they are doing - so the perception needs to change or you will feel a lot of pain for no reason.
Now the second step may mean you need to change your procedure, this emotion could be a signal that maybe you are not communicating your needs properly to your partner that they understand what that need actually is. Instead of feeling uncomfortable, you could say “honey, I know how busy you are, I know how wrapped up in your work and providing for the family but what I need right now us three minutes of your time just for you and I, and just to feel loved by you right now and be held by you and feel connected with you.
If that person still gets upset, it's again another signal to try something else, maybe more loving, in a different way or mood, or different timing. It's a signal to be flexible and adjust your procedure till your needs are met. Another change in procedure can be paying attention to the signal your partner has given you that your approach does not make them want to give to you what you desire.
Your present behaviour might be turning them off. Let's look at an example. Let's say you feel rejected by them because when they came in the door from work they did not walk up, greet you, give you a hug and kiss immediately. So you felt rejected. Uncomfortable or even angry.
What does anger mean? You have a standard for your life, and it's not being met by the other person. So let's say your standard is that if someone loves you when you get home they come up greet you, hug and kiss you. One of your standards has been violated. How do you respond to that violation? How do you respond to your partner who has no idea what's going on? You're angry. You make a snappy remark. Or have a facial expression that shows you are hurt and angry so naturally they can reject your needs.
The anger is a signal that I either need to change my perception or procedure. I might not be treating this person in the most loving way in my expression of what my needs are, I need to change me. My approach.
So we are always getting the signal, getting the message, appreciating the message and then changing how we either communicate or behave. Perception or procedure. The message of pain is to look at things differently. Look at how you communicate your desires, look at how you are behaving or treating others so you get a new outcome or new direction or you will stay in pain.
If you ignore these action signals, that signal does not go away, it intensifies. I have to change my expectations, or my perceptions, or how I feel about, or how I communicate it. This is truly the pathway to taking your power back instead of sitting in pain.
So let's now look at 10 different emotions and what their signals might be and some solutions for each, as we go through them reflect on each emotion and if it resonates with you while you keep in mind the change in perception and change of procedure. (Scan to slide show so they get the visual)
These emotions do not have great intensity and are annoying.
Message: This emotion might be telling you that you are suffering from boredom, impatience, unease, distress, embarrassment.
a) Change your state (Physiology, Focus, Language) This can be as simple as moving your body, emotion follows motion so if you need a quick boost to change your emotional state - radically moving your body works. Walk, run, do yoga, stretch. Even standing up hands towards the sky can get the job done.
b) Clarify what you do want and why you want it.
c) Refine your actions. Try a different approach.
This emotion brings levels of concern, intense worry, anxiety, fright, and terror.
Message: This emotion might be telling you the anticipation that something is going to happen and you need to prepare for it.
a) Review what you’re feeling fearful about.
b) Conclude what actions you need to take so you can be better prepared and know you have the internal or external resources needed till you feel less fear.
This emotion dominates relationships and is usually generated by a sense of loss.
Message: This emotion might be telling you that you have an expectation and it has not been met. What is the expectation?
a) Realize that in reality you may not have lost anything.
b) Re-evaluate the situation. Is there really loss here?
c) Elegantly and appropriately communicate your feeling of loss to the person involved.
Change your expectations for appreciation.
This emotion includes being irritated, angry, resentful, furious, or enraged.
Message: This emotion might be telling you that an important rule or standard that you hold for your life has been violated.
a) Change your perception.
b) Change your procedures.
c) Change your behavior.
This emotion comes from feeling surrounded by roadblocks. We feel like we put in the effort, but do not receive rewards for it.
Message: This emotion might be telling you that your brain believes you could be doing better than you currently are.
a) Become more flexible.
b) Find a role model, someone who has found a way to get what you want.
c) Get fascinated by what you can learn that could help you handle this challenge.
This emotion is about feeling “let down” or that you will miss on something forever. It is about expecting more than you receive.
Message: This emotion might be telling you that an expectation you had is probably not going to happen.
a) Change your expectations for appreciation.
b) Change your life conditions.
c) Set a new goal or standard.
d) Realise the situation isn’t over yet and develop more patience.
e) Cultivate an attitude of positive expectancy about what will happen in the future.
This emotion is about regret and remorse.
Message: This emotion might be telling you that you have violated one of your highest standards and you must do something immediately to correct it.
a) Acknowledge that you have violated a critical standard you have for yourself.
b) Absolutely commit yourself to make sure this behavior will never happen again.
c) Utilise guilt to drive you to hold yourself to a higher standard in the future.
This emotion is about unworthiness and we feel we can't do something we should be able to do.
Message: This emotion might be telling you that you don’t presently have the level of skill necessary for the task you are trying to accomplish and you need more information, understanding, strategies, confidence, and resources.
a) Ask yourself, “Am I really inadequate, or do I need to change my perception?
b) Appreciate the encouragement to improve. Understand you don’t need to be perfect.
9. Overload Or Overwhelm
This emotion is about grief, depression and helplessness. There is no empowering meaning for something that has happened.
Message: This emotion might be telling you that you need to reevaluate what’s most important to you in this situation and you are dealing with too many things at once.
a) Start focusing on what you can control.
b) Decide what the most important thing to focus on is.
c) Write down all the important things and put them in a list of priority.
d) Tackle the first thing on your list, continue to take action until mastered.
This emotion is about feeling alone, apart, or separate from others.
Message: This emotion might be telling you that there is a need for connection with people.
a) Realise you can reach out and make a connection immediately and end the loneliness.
b) Identify what kind of connection you need.
c) Reach out and connect.
An essential point we now want to focus on is to appreciate the emotion for what it really is. Let's look at fear and learn to see fear in a new way that you can use it, instead of it using you.
Fear can overwhelm us - it's that powerful energy of not knowing what's going to happen next - it's something we have all experienced but again we want to really hone in on the purpose of the emotion, it is a messenger - to either change your perception, or change your procedure.
If it's about changing your procedure it's about being more prepared and working through the suggested steps we just mentioned. But what if you feel like you are as prepared as you can be, that you have tried as many different procedures as you can and you feel like you have reached your limit for what you can actually do.
Now we will introduce the principle of focus. This also has an element of faith. That you surrender to the fact that you really have tried everything you can - and now you need to shift your focus to being one of confidence by accepting whats going to happen knowing that you truly have done everything you can.
An important point to consider here is being honest with yourself about really having tried everything. For example if you are in a break up and looking to get back together - there is likely an unlimited number of shifts in perception and procedure that you didn't fully explore yet - and that's something that you coach could work on with you in either a one on one coaching session or one of our group sessions.
Let's talk about hurt and anger in a little more depth, this is also an essential part of our discussion topic today because they are the most difficult emotions we all experience. So what is hurt and anger really about.
Hurt is all about a signal of an expectation that's not been met, let me repeat that because I don't want you to miss this point - hurt is about expectations not being met which then turns into a feeling of loss ie you expected something from someone and they didn't deliver, think about that a little now, are you feeling hurt? If so, what was the expectation and what do you do that you have lost as a result? Loss of intimacy? Loss of trust? Loss of a relationship? Loss of a future relationship? What do we need to do immediately - we need to evaluate - is there really a loss in this situation - is it possible to change your perception of what happened or procedure to try another way of communicating that need differently.
Anger - so this is about feeling livid, rage, resentment, frustration - any of these emotions are signals - and the signals is that a rule of yours has been violated. Someone has done something in your life or maybe it was even you that that a rule was violated - how we deal with that rule being violated totally influences how much pain you will then experience. Its simple, if you are angry, and your standards have been violated - the signal is to then communicate that you have a standard and that it has been violated - most people are not communicating this, they are communicating the emotion of anger but not the actual standard that's been violated.
But this is the hook, what your rule or standard is - may not be theirs, instead of beating the other person up about what they did, you need to change the way you communicate that you actually do have a standard one they might not be aware you even have. Anger is usually an outgrowth of hurt, so when you feel angry it's something that really was very important or many hurts that have built up and you have not expressed them.
So how do you deal with it?
Change up your perception? Change up your procedure, communicate what your real needs are or change your behaviour and be up front about it - clarify with people what your rules are and see if they can meet them OR you may need to compromise them but these are clear action steps you can take instead of just letting the emotion grow - its seeing the signal and taking action.
Not everyone is going to live by your standards and your rules. This is something I suggest you reflect on deeply, for example is there something that you can see over years or multiple relationships that you have been habitually hurt or angry about?
Have you allowed certain rules to be violated OR have you possibly not communicated those rules or standards? Do you need to adjust your perception?
Let's take a look at frustration, this emotion are sending you a direct signal that you need to change your approach for whatever your goal is. If you are frustrated, you wont get what you are going after with your current approach. Same result by doing the same thing over and over again. Which we know is insane. It will never work. If you are frustrated it's a signal, change the approach or possibly be more flexible in your approach.