As someone who has battled with crippling self-doubt and anxiety all through high school (and into my first few years of college), I can say with certainty that I used to be very reactive to what was going on in my environment.
My sense of security and well-being were constantly tethered to what was going on outside of me.
I knew this mode of living all too well.
As a consequence of this, my unstable mood reflected my constantly shifting external environment. Learning to master my emotional states was a huge lesson and turning point for me in my own life. Without this skill, I seriously doubt I would have broken out of my old self-limiting habits, and started taking on the goals and challenges that truly inspire and excite me.
Have you ever felt a specific way about a person, place, or situation and had it influence your mood for longer than you would have liked it to? Has someone ever pushed your buttons and gotten you all riled up, causing you to carry around a sour mood for the rest of the day? I can remember a time where I'd succumb to this annoyance more often than not in my daily interactions.
Most people will agree that they've experienced such things more than a few times in their lives. One minute things are going great, and the next it's the polar opposite. It's like someone flipped a switch, and your once-blissful mood becomes an avalanche of aggravation and frustration.
What's really going on here? How and why do our emotional states fluctuate so rapidly over the course of any given day? And most importantly: how can we regain control and maximize our willpower while minimizing the annoyances of situations that, well, drive us crazy?
The Nature of Thinking and Feeling
There is an answer to all of these questions, and it begins with understanding the real function of our thinking and feeling:
Our thoughts and emotions are nothing more than motivators or de-motivators for physical action.
Everything we do – no matter how subtle or seemingly insignificant – is motivated in somecombination, on some level, by our thinking and feeling. You can attempt to deny this fact all you want, but notice that in doing so you're forming an opinion (a thought or feeling – or more accurately a belief) about it.
Most people will miss this fact, and unintelligently allow their mental and emotional centers to boss them around in life. Fear, worry, doubt, anxiety, over-thinking – these are all the result of a failure to master our internal world. When you become passive to the external world, your ability to take committed action becomes compromised, and greatly affects the results of any goals that you try and set for yourself.
However, if you were able to begin intelligently mastering these centers – particularly your emotional center – you empower yourself with the ability to begin re-guiding your behaviors in a direction of your deliberate choosing. This is exactly how people set and achieve goals that would otherwise exist as fantasy for themselves and others.
Simply put: your initial subconscious (mental and emotional) response to what's going on for the most part will merely act to distract you from doing what's required to succeed at any given task in life.
This isn't to suggest mental and emotional abandonment in favor of taking blind action repeatedly; on the contrary. The key is to consciously and intelligently use your mental and emotional centers to empower yourself into taking action. Think of it as the difference between over-thinking the dangers of traffic, panicking, and running across the street without looking – versus calmly looking both ways before crossing said street.
You're not expecting perfection – merely progress. A self-actualized, emotionally conscious individual will understand that no matter what happens in their external environment, they can simply continue refining their course of action as they go. It then only becomes a matter of time before they achieve any goal they set.
They remove the variable of inconsistent action (constant second-guessing), and instead create conditions where time is the only thing between themselves and their goal.
The flow of time is the only thing you can never have direct control over.
Everything else is completely within your sphere of influence to some degree.
This is the definition of emotional intelligence. Consciously and deliberately choosing your emotional state regardless of what's going on outside of you. In doing so, you enable yourself to simply keep taking action and making progress towards your goals – no matter what.
Circumstances Don't Matter
Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom." – Viktor E. Frankl
The real issue isn't that external conditions have control over how you feel. It's the personal belief that they do.
Realizing that you have the inner ability to control how you feel at any given moment – regardless of the external circumstances – is the first true step towards emotional mastery.
Everything in this life is neutral.
How you interpret and perceive these events is actually entirely up to you.
The less conscious you are of this fact, the more you'll allow external conditions to boss you around.
The more conscious you are of this fact, the more you'll remind yourself that it's foolish to choose disempowering thoughts and emotions by default. When I finally figured this out for myself, I felt a massive surge of self-empowerment and liberation flow through every fiber of my being.
The turning point came after settling for unfulfilling work through a string of various day jobs. I never lasted very long at these jobs, because on a higher level I knew I was settling out of unconscious fear. As long as I kept suppressing this fact, the more unfulfilled and mentally and emotionally knotted I would feel on the inside. After many a rough experience (and panic attack), I soon learned that it was foolish and unwise to constantly be "throwing the dice" when it came to my mood.
I recognized that I have the complete power to choose my mental and emotional climate independent of my external environment. This was something that I'd read about in Alan Watts' classic "The Wisdom of Insecurity: A Message for An Age of Anxiety", and in even greater detail in Joseph Murphy's "The Power of Your Subconscious Mind". I began putting this into direct practice and use in my personal life with amazing results.
This was extremely liberating for a couple of reasons. First, it meant that I could essentially withstand any necessary bullshit work that I had to temporarily tolerate while seeking out more congruent work for myself. Second, it meant that I could also up and leave anything/any work that wasn't deeply fulfilling, because a temporary lack of steady income couldn't shake my internal state of happiness, confidence, and determination.
Think about it for a moment: if money is all that it takes to influence your behavior, then you're essentially agreeing to place your reality at the complete mercy of numbers.
If you constantly wait until you have enough money or time to do something, you're playing the wrong game.
Circumstances will never line up perfectly for you, and that's the entire point of this article.
I know it sounds foolish and irresponsible to prioritize action over things like securing money, but that's exactly what creates the circumstances which will eventually free you from unfulfilling work all together. The scary part is, this is also precisely why most people never do anything much out of "the ordinary" with their lives beyond working and consuming. The illusory fears of failure and loss are strong enough to make even the wittiest person deduce that staying where they are is the "safest bet".
It's like the difference between having holes in your boat and constantly scooping out bucket after bucket of water to keep yourself afloat, or deciding to row to shore because you know you'll get there before the boat sinks. The former creates the illusion of hard work, while keeping you in place and creating zero progress. The later incorporates the illusion of risk, because you can alwaysswim to shore should the boat indeed "sink".
Events and circumstances have absolutely no meaning whatsoever other than the ones we assign to them.
Two different people can interpret the exact same set of circumstances in two completely different ways.
The act of assigning meaning to said circumstances – whether done consciously or subconsciously (unconsciously) – is what causes you to feel a certain way about them.
Just being able to understand this raises your consciousness to a certain degree. You possess the innate ability right now to direct your thoughts and create any emotion you want. Thinking that you need to see certain evidence in your external reality before you can feel happy or excited is a limiting belief in itself. It operates on the assumption that you can't control your inner world independent of what's going on in the external world – and we now know that this isn't true.
Whenever something occurs that would otherwise make you feel down, sad, anxious, or depressed – just remember that you have the ability to consciously reassign meanings of empowerment. Instead of thinking of these same events as "failures", you can view them as beginnings.
Emotional Empowerment and Mastery
You could get fired from your job and see it as a personal victory or opportunity to start your own business.
You could go bankrupt and learn one more lesson that moves you closer to achieving an abundance of wealth and success.
You can be dumped or abandoned by your significant other or spouse, and see the growth experience within that and bounce back twice as strong.
You could also enjoy serious material wealth and success, and abuse yourself with drugs and excess. This process goes both ways, and many have taken and lived these examples to their most extreme ends.
The media in general does a fantastic job of conditioning the population to respond in their preferred way in regards to particular events and circumstances.
Think of how powerful advertising is in regards to programming the subconscious mind to respond to certain triggers, and then follow up with certain actions. Lots of people choosing to assign the same emotional responses to similar circumstances creates a false consensual reality. You are completely free to break out of this false reality and establish your own at any moment of your conscious choosing.
After reading and digesting this information, hopefully that moment is coming sooner than later for you.
Avoid the trap of letting events and circumstances subconsciously control your interpretation of them, and instead strive for conscious choice of your own interpretation of these same events and circumstances.
I know the techniques of emotional mastery have worked wonders in moving me forward with my own goals in life, and they continue to do so each and every day. When you finally make it to the point of detaching things like your sense of self-worth, value, and ability to take action from external circumstance, then you're truly self-empowered and free to begin self-actualizing your goals and dreams.
Copyright 2014 Jason Demakis. All Rights Reserved.
For more incredibly insightful and empowering content, check out my website jasondemakis.com! There you will find my current book, as well as news and updates on my upcoming book release! Be sure to subscribe to my mailing list for extra empowering content not found on my site or blog!
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jason_Demakis