Your Call to Action
Emotions are what define our lives to ourselves. Everything that we want to do and achieve is to get more of some emotions and less of others. Even success, wealth or abundance are emotions!
Emotions exist for a reason: they are signals for us to take action.
There’re various ways of dealing with them, but only one will move us forward (and it’s not commonly used):
- Avoiding: it’s going to make us play safe and therefore not fully enjoy life. Eg: not getting in a relationship to avoid feeling hurt.
- Enduring: it’s going to take a lot of energy with us and eventually we could get to a point where we can’t endure it more and emotionally explode.
- Denying or disassociating: it just closes us up to life, we become flat and prevents us from moving forward.
- Competing: using it as a flag to show others how _______ we feel. In this case we can either get attached to that emotion and the identity it gives us or create more of it so we can keep competing. Eg: “You think you’re lonely? You haven’t seen my day to day, it’s way worse than you can imagine!”
- Learning from them and utilising them*: understand what’s trying to tell us, learn from it and apply it. This is the only way we can move forward and get less of that emotion in the future.
*Sometimes it can happen in the opposite order: using it first and then learning from it. Eg: using anger or frustration to train harder, using sadness to write, using guilt to make a beautiful act, using jealousy to get better at something… But there’s a difference between doing an action to get rid of the emotion (or distract ourselves) and using it. From using it we always learn something.
Where do emotions come from?
They com from the rules we have and the meaning we give to events. What we feel is not based on what we experience, but rather on our interpretation of it.
And that choice is always ours.
What do emotions mean?
For the purpose of simplicity and ease of use, Tony groups all the negative emotions in 10 types.
Also, instead of negative emotions, we’ll call them action signals. Because that’s all they are; signals for us to take action to reevaluate our perception or our procedure. They’re telling us that we need to make a change in order to get what we really want.
Here are the 10 types of action signals, with their description and the message they convey:
Uncomfortable – Mildly intense but still annoying feelings: boredom, impatience, uneasy, distressed, embarrassed, etc
Message: Change your state, clarify what you want and immediately take action.
Fear – Concern, apprehension, worry, anxiety, scared, stressed, terrified, etc
Message: You need to prepare yourself to deal with something or to avoid the negative circumstances of something that’s coming up.
Hurt – Most of the feelings come from a sense of loss
Message: There’s an expectation you had that’s not been met and you’ve a sense of loss.
Anger – Irritated, livid, resentful, furious, enraged, etc
Message: One of your standards has been violated. Either by someone or by yourself. Make them more clear or change them. Standards are personal and not everyone has the same ones.
Frustration – Feelings of being held back or hindered in our pursue of something
Message: You need to change your approach to achieving your goal.
Disappointment – Any feeling like sadness or being defeated as a result of something that we expected that didn’t work out well
Message: You need to realise that the expectation you had is not probably going to happen. Change your expectation or your approach.
Guilt – Emotions of regret
Message: You violated one of your own standards and you must do something immediately to ensure you’re not going to do it again in the future.
Inadequacy – Feeling less than or unworthy
Message: You need to do something to get better in that category right away. Or you need to change your judgement and appreciate your value.
Overloaded – Feeling overwhelmed, hopeless, depressed, etc. Anything that makes us feel like there’s more than we could possibly deal with
Message: You need to reevaluate what’s most important to you in this situation. Decide what’s important (a necessity) vs what’s a desire:
1. Write down what things are most important for you to accomplish
2. Put them in order of priority
3. Take the first one and do something about it
Loneliness – Feeling alone, apart of, separate from, etc
Message: You need a certain connection with people.
1. Identify what kind of connection you need
2. Decide in what way you want to be with that people
3. Take an action immediately in that direction
The 6 steps to master our emotions
This are the 6 simple steps to get rid of any negative emotion (action signal) by using it and learning from it:
STEP 1: Identify the signal or feeling
Realise in which of the categories above it belongs.
STEP 2: Appreciate the message. Respect that emotion
What’s the message really about?
What do we need to change: our perception (the meaning or evaluation we’re giving to the situation) or our procedure (our behaviour or the way we communicate)?
STEP 3: Get curious. Ask yourself these four questions:
- How do I really want to feel?
- What would I have to believe in order to feel that way?
- What am I willing to do to handle this right now so I can feel this way?
- What’s great about this or what can I learn from this?
STEP 4: Get confident
Reassuring ourselves that we can handle the emotion by remembering times when we’ve done it in the past.
STEP 5: Get certain
Stop everything and imagine 3 or 4 ways that you can handle this emotion. Imagine yourself feeling the emotion and communicating differently, changing your perception or acting differently.
Rehearse it until you get certain.
STEP 6: Get excited and take action
Do something right away that reinforces that you can handle this emotion.
Use the confidence you’ve gotten and maybe the strategy that you’ve rehearsed and take action.
The way we get better at this is by doing it. We don’t need to practice, we do it full out, we learn from our experience and we’ll get better.
💡 TIP: Kill the monster while it’s a baby. It’s much easier to deal with this emotions when they’re little than when become huge.
The 10 emotions to cultivate daily
The best way to get what we want is to focus on it. Emotions are like our personal garden, it’s not enough to remove the weeds, we need to plant and cultivate what we want to harvest. If we cultivate enough good emotions there will be no room for the negative ones.
This 10 emotions, if we cultivate them on a daily basis, will put us in a state where the behaviour to do what we want will come automatically.
These are the 10 emotions of power:
- Love and Warmth
- Appreciation and Gratitude
- Excitement and Passion
We can create beliefs that are very useful when dealing with emotions. For example:
- “People always do the best they can with the resources they have”
- “There’s always a way if we’re committed”
- “The best is always yet to come”
- “This too shall pass”
- “I can’t be alone, there’re 7.5 billion people in this planet”
Nothing in life has any meaning except the meaning we gave it. If we don’t like the way we feel, choose to create a new meaning.