Meanings & Emotions – And How to Stop Feeling Crappy

If you’re like most people, you’d probably agree that there are good feelings, and there are bad feelings.

If I gave you a list of feelings, you’d probably have a pretty easy time categorizing them as good or bad. For example:

FeelingGood or bad?
Anger
Fear
Pain
Shame
Guilt
Joy
Passion
Love

In reality, there’s no such thing as a “good” or “bad” feeling. Feelings just ARE. You experience them, and they cause you to take action.

The kind of action you take determines whether the feeling was a good one or a bad one for you…

For example, if you’re angry, do you slam your fist into the wall? Might not be such a good thing for the wall, your wallet, or your fist (ouch).

But if anger causes you to run out in the street after your toddler, all the while yelling…and that stops a driver from hitting said toddler…it’s a pretty good thing.

And you can tell stories about other emotions in the same way.

So, emotions are sorta useful. But also, they sometimes make us feel like crap.

A friend walks into a room and doesn’t so much as look at you. You might feel anger, or hurt, or fear…why are they ignoring you?

A colleague brings in a cake for their birthday…and there are no slices left for you. You might feel left out. Unloved. Hurt. Pain. You don’t matter to them. They don’t care about you.

So…let’s take a step back and figure out what actually happens to create emotions. They FEEL instant. In a way, they are instant. But there’s a missing step.

It’s not EVENT –> EMOTION.

Events can’t make you feel anything.

Here’s an example Lefkoe uses a lot and I think it explains perfectly why events can’t make you feel anything. Check out these three scenarios:

It’s raining.

  1. You’re sitting in bed, reading a book. You plan on reading all day. How does the rain make you feel?
  2. It’s your wedding day and you have an outdoor wedding planned. How does the rain make you feel?
  3. You’re a farmer, and there’s been a drought. How does the rain make you feel?

In the first example, the rain likely doesn’t make you feel anything. It doesn’t affect your plans for the day.

In the second, the rain probably makes you feel upset in some way. It’s interfering with your wedding, what just might be the biggest day of your life!

And in the final illustration, the rain probably makes you feel a great deal of joy. Your plants will survive!

In truth, the rain doesn’t make you feel anything. It’s what you tell yourself about the rain that makes you feel something.

“It’s irrelevant,” “It’s going to ruin my wedding” or “Thank the heavens, my soybean plants will survive!”

So again, it isn’t EVENT –> EMOTION.

It’s EVENT –> YOUR INTERPRETATION –> EMOTION.

The same is true about everything in your life.

Your friend walks into the room and ignores you. You might think, “he’s angry with me,” and that might cause you to feel fear. Or shame. Or guilt. Or you might think, “he’s such an asshole!” which would cause you to feel anger. And when you feel that anger, you might turn towards your friend and yell, “Stop being such an ass!”

But what if you thought, “Boy, he’s so caught up in his thoughts he doesn’t even see me!” You probably wouldn’t feel any “negative” emotions. You’d just laugh it off.

There are a lot of directions I can take from here…but here’s where I wanted to take you when I started this.

I’m currently re-taking the Lefkoe Freedom Course. It’s a course that teaches you, through practice, to calm your mind and stop taking things personally all the time.

In essence, it helps you learn to pay attention to the moment you make meaning. So when your friend walks into the room and ignores you…before you start yelling at him to “stop ignoring me, you ass!” you take a quick, automatic step back and consider that maybe there’s another reason he isn’t talking to you. Maybe he doesn’t see you. Or he’s trying to remember something. Or maybe he really IS angry with you, but you can’t tell from his actions.

And when you don’t automatically jump to a conclusion…you don’t create meaning, and there is also no emotion as a result. No emotion means no “automatic” reaction either. You get to consider the situation and choose your next step.

That’s POWERFUL.

5 years ago when I took the LFC, it completely changed my life. It improved my relationship with my wife. I stopped reacting to everything. It also greatly reduced the fear and anxiety that I carried with me everywhere.

Today, I’m retaking it because I want to force myself to “practice” more, and the course is a great incentive to do that.

I’d love for you to join me. See what your life can be like when you stop reacting. When things stop being “personal.” It’s more amazing than you might imagine.

RESOURCES:

The Slippery Slope of Good Health

I couldn’t tell you what’s on TV these days…but when I was a teen we had the whole “This is your brain on drugs” movement. They used eggs, my favorite food in the whole wide world to depict “your brain on drugs.” Makes me drool just thinking about it.

It was also the time society constantly warned us about trying some seemingly mild “starter” drug like weed or alcohol…because it would surely lead to a slippery slope that would have us shooting up heroin or snorting coke before long.

Of course, my mother, being the good parent that she was, had her own discussion with me and my brother about drinking and drugs and slippery slopes.

She pulled us aside. I was 8, I think, and he was 10. We stood next to the gaudy mauve couch in our living room – which I now realize must have been second-hand because there’s no way my mother would ever own anything pink otherwise.

She warned us about drinking. We said, “We don’t drink!” Which was probably a good thing since we were 8 & 10. “But…” she added, “soon, your friends will start to drink. And then you’ll want to drink with them…”

And somehow, she kept going until we were homeless alcoholics.

I never picked up the habit of drinking, although I did try it on for size after I turned 21. I was done trying way before 22…and haven’t drunk alcohol since.

No slippery slope for me – not with alcohol or drugs, anyway.

But the truth is that slippery slopes get a bad rep. Because there’s a good kind of slippery slope – a great one even.

And it has to do with your HEALTH.

Your mental and physical health…but for the sake of simplicity, let’s stick with your physical health for now.

Something happens when you start to treat your body right.

When I started taking Juice Plus, I was giving my body the building blocks it needed to heal itself. I started feeling more energetic.

And because I had more energy, I exercised more.

And because I was exercising more, I built muscle and increased my stamina. And that led me to feel better about my body…

Which meant I treated it better.

Which meant I was eating more fruits and vegetables, and less junk.

Getting all those fruits & vegetables in my body every morning also contributed to me having fewer cravings because my body was getting what it needed to do what it wanted to do – which was to be healthy and feel good.

So I lost weight. My skin cleared up because it was pushing less crap out of my body. My brain was better able to focus. Trips to the bathroom were more “productive” due to all the fiber I was now getting…

My bloodwork also improved dramatically. Blood sugars down. Bad Cholesterol down. Good cholesterol up.

Slippery Slope.

What would happen if you started a seemingly small health habit? What medical issue would clear up for you?

Juice Plus has had numerous studies done that you can read about. You can find those studies here by clicking on the “Clinical Research” tab. But the best study of all is the study on yourself. The study that tells you, “THIS is what one small healthy (daily) habit can do for me and my body.”

You can start by ordering Juice Plus capsules or chewables here. If you have kids 4-18, they get theirs FREE with your order.

Take them daily and start to notice the positive changes in your body and mind. I can guarantee that if you start to slip down that slippery slope…it’ll be well worth it.

What if I could make you feel good about yourself?

My wife’s been preparing for a big interview over the last few weeks. As part of the process, I’ve helped her in a variety of ways – reviewing her resume, giving her ideas for the presentation she’s prepared…

But most importantly, helping her understand what’s AMAZING about her.

My wife is one of the most empathetic people I know, and it’s quite obvious that she does what she does for the good of others. That this rather basic fact drives her and everything she does.

Just like anyone, she’s had plenty of “I’m not good enough” moments. We’ve had the “impostor syndrome” conversation, as well as other conversations where I’ve helped her understand how much she has to offer.

I tend to see things in a very positive light. I see the good in people, and most importantly, I see the possibilities in them.

But helping Donna see her strength – her driving force (empathy) led me on another path. One where I flailed around internally and thought, “so what the fuck is MY driving force? What is MY why?”

And I couldn’t help but think that if only I could figure this elusive thing out…I would have all the success I ever wanted.

Then I got to thinking about how I make people feel. A few weeks ago, a former employee of mine reached out to me out of the blue and told me she owes me her success. She sent me a recording of her making a proposal – one she won – for a new employment opportunity.

And as I listened, my first thought was, “I know nothing about this stuff she’s discussing. I don’t think I taught her ANY of this.”

And then I realized that it wasn’t the technical knowledge she was talking about. She was talking about how I made her feel. I made her feel capable (because obviously she was). And that feeling carried her through what she needed to do to reach her goals.

So in all my internal flailing about, I had an inkling of a thought – what if…

What if I could make people feel capable? Make them feel good about themselves? Give them the motivational/internal energy to do something amazing?

I thought about doing it in video format. Creating a “vlog” on YouTube. But the truth is, as much as I don’t mind doing videos (and I’ve done plenty in my time), I just don’t fucking feel like doing all the editing involved.

Then I considered offering “feel-good” calls with me. 15 minutes and you’re guaranteed to feel just a bit better about yourself…or your money back.

But I hate being on the phone. And anyway, I like writing way too much to put it aside in favor of any other media…

So there you have it. I’ve been waiting WEEKS to figure out what to use my blog for. I knew I wanted to write, but I didn’t know WHAT to write.

What to share. What to give. How to give of myself.

But now I know.

So here’s your first gift. It’s something that came to me several years ago while in the audience of a large marketing event, and it goes something like this:


At one point in your life, for some longer than others, there was a time when someone loved you unconditionally. It might have been the moment you came out to the world (the moment you were born). In the worst situations, it could have been a split-second of clarity your mother had as she was carrying you in-utero…

And for that one moment, whether it lasted a second or a lifetime…

Someone loved you unconditionally.

And that love is still out there.

No matter what happened after. No matter what mistakes were made (by you or by your caretakers).

It was there, and still is.

YOU are loved unconditionally.

And now, you have the opportunity to grab on to that unconditional love, and do with it what you wish.


So…how does being loved unconditionally make you feel today? Leave your comment below…

P.S. – THIS is the program that taught me to love myself, and others, unconditionally. Start by eliminating a belief for free.

Starting Over (If You Had to Start from Scratch)

In my 10 years online, a question I’ve often asked – first of others, and later of myself is:

“If you had to start all over again…how would you do it?”

It’s a question that assumes a few things.

First, that you are starting with nothing. From “scratch.” With a blank slate.

And second, that the person you’re asking actually has an answer that could do anything beneficial for you.

The truth is that neither of these assumptions has any veracity.

Let’s start with the first assumption – that you’re starting with nothing. Unless you were born yesterday, you have life experience.

It might not be exactly related to what you want to be doing, but it is experience that will color anything and everything you do from now on. It’s your belief system through which you see everything like no one else does.

Which means that you are uniquely qualified to be YOU, doing what you’re doing the way you’re doing it.

No one else has that capability.

And that brings us to the next false assumption – that the person you’re asking actually has a useful answer for you.

Sure, they might have advice, know who to contact, or maybe have a few helpful suggestions…but the fact is that the way YOU do something will never equal how someone else does it (even if you copy them step by step).

So…

How does a person “start from scratch” successfully – meaning, start from where they are, and actually reach their goal?

May as well turn to my personal experience in marketing for the answer.

Specifically? A/B split testing.

In marketing, A/B split testing means doing two things with the same purpose, and tracking results to see which works. If ‘A’ works, for instance, you test it against a new version, ‘C’, and keep going until you improve your results.

I once wrote about this idea of being consistent. Stick with me here, because it’s totally related to A/B split testing your life into success.

Consistency is how I reach all my goals (well, the ones I achieve, anyway).

And consistency is simple. Do one thing every day that brings you towards your goal.

And the reason it works is NOT that you pick the right thing to do every day (although that’s useful). The reason it works is that you’re creating an experience that moves you in some direction and gives you feedback.

So here’s the background story:

After I had my son 6 years ago (well, six years ago as I write this, anyway – no telling when you’re reading it), I really wanted to lose weight. Not because I wanted to weigh less, but because I wanted 6-pack abs.

But no matter what I did, the weight didn’t come off.

Until I decided to be really consistent.

I weighed myself every single morning and tracked it (wrote it down). I started tracking everything I ate. I worked out and tracked what I did as well.

And…

After months of this, nothing really changed for me weight-wise (or 6-pack wise).

Then, something DID happen. I went to see an allergist, and in order to get the testing I needed, I had to get off my allergy meds for a few days.

I suffered through sneezes and extreme itchiness for 3 days…and then had to go another 4 days without the medicine because I needed more testing and there was a weekend in-between.

And because I was tracking…I suddenly realized that, despite not having changed anything about my food intake, water intake or workout schedule, weight was coming off every morning.

BINGO! I thought at the time. I’d unknowingly split-tested taking allergy meds vs. not taking them…and how it affected my weight. As it turned out, the allergy meds were keeping me from losing weight (Zyrtec, in case you’re wondering. I’ve since switched to Claritin).

I told my wife about my theory and she thought I was crazy. Then, the following week, a doctor she was seeing told her she gives Zyrtec to patients who need to gain weight. Case closed.

All that to say…I might have been doing the right things (things a relatively in-the-know person would do if they wanted to lose weight), but they weren’t working. Not until I fixed the one major, underlying issue. I was doing something else that was keeping me from reaching my goals.

Sabotage by Zyrtec.

(In case you’re wondering, still no 6-pack abs, but I have dropped around 30 lbs since).

And inside that story are several lessons.

Lesson 1: being consistent and tracking your consistent actions might seem pointless at first, but when something small shifts and things change, you’re able to catch them and use them to your advantage.

Had I not been tracking, I’d probably still be taking Zyrtec every day and still wondering why the heck I wasn’t losing any weight.

Lesson 2: because of your different life experiences, no one else can give you the exact success formula you need to reach your goals.

Let’s imagine I was working with a nutritionist…and that nutritionist told me everything she did to lose weight, along with every single thing that worked for 10 other clients. And let’s imagine I did all those things, exactly as I heard them.

But because I kept doing one small thing differently (taking a tiny little allergy pill), I’d have never succeeded.

Those little things you do that sabotage your success aren’t necessarily a pill. They could be the way you say something on a sales call. The way you react. Or something small you don’t do that’s so second-nature to your teacher or coach (or well-meaning friend) that they don’t know to tell you.

Lesson 3: there’s no such thing as “starting from scratch.” If you want to achieve a goal, pick an activity you can do – and track every single day, and start doing it (and tracking it) every single day.

Which by the way is why I wrote this blog post. I’ve decided to (finally) start towards a goal of mine I’ve put on hold for a year.

But more on that next time.

For now, I’ll leave you with this:

This is the program that taught me how to reach my goals.

And this is the program that taught me how to get out of my own fucking way. 

Love,
Liane 🙂