Transforming unwanted emotions

Woman wearing Sunglasses walks confidently in the opposite direction to the Arrows

A time of change can often bring us unwanted emotions such as anger, frustration, fear, and sadness.

Often we work hard to make these emotions go away. But with a different attitude, and the right tools, we can learn to transform these emotions into useful allies.

If we centre and ground we can make clear sense of our situation, then find more options to move forward. We can turn the best of them into an inspiring vision and so transform these negative emotions into something that helps us to get what we want:

  • Anger and frustration can be turned into Passion
    Anger shows us what we care about.
    When we realise this we can get clear on what it is, make clear sense of the situation, and find more options to move forward to get it. Then we can turn our anger into passion and determination to do what we can to make the meaning of our own lives.
  • Fear can become Courage
    Fear comes from imagining something that hasn’t happened yet: it is ‘False Evidence Appearing Real’.
    Courage isn’t an absence of fear: it is choosing to feel the fear and do it anyway.
    So if we plan for the risks and find what most inspires us then ‘Fear’ can transform into ‘Face Everything And Rise’.
  • Sadness can be turned into Joy and Aliveness:
    Sadness is a sign that we have lost something important to us.
    Joy, exhilaration, and flow will come when we work in line with our values. We lose track of time, we feel most fully alive.
    So if we get clear on our values and grieve our loss we can turn to face the future and start to rebuild what we most care about in new and better ways.

The frustrations and unwanted emotions we can experience in these times of churning are not ‘who we are’ — they are just temporary feelings, showing us what we want instead of what we have, and urging us to create it:

Rather than trying to make them go away (or, worse, ignoring them) we can use these temporary feelings as signposts giving us an important message: find what that is and use the energy to move to the next step.

With the right attitude and tools this becomes easier.

Have you or any of the people around you been feeling any unwanted emotions lately? What if you could transform these emotions into the focus and energy to get what you want instead?

Adapted from Inner Leadership: tools for building inspiration in times of change.

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