Perspectives and Emotions

Changing perspectives is a great way to open doors to new understanding.  After all, our perspective is what creates our reality.

“Pretend” was the biggest perspective-changer in my life.  A great coach and friend, Michele McCarthy, told me, “Pretend that everything that happens to you happens because you want it to happen and you always get what you want.”  Good and bad.  Conscious and unconscious.  Now, if I always get what I want, and I don’t like what I get, I know I have to change what I want.  

Pretend can also get me past the “It’ll never work” stage.  If I can pretend that it will work, I can quiet the critic and begin to take action.  If I have a bias toward action, and am willing to contain my impatience for the thing to be finished, before I know it, it’s done!

Another perspective that has helped me is that “Emotions are transitory and each has a purpose.”  Mad means there’s a problem (take action to fix it); Sad means something is lost (comfort yourself until it passes); Glad means things are going well (take action to use the energy you have now); Afraid means something is unknown (take action to get information, or comfort yourself until you can get information).  

In a business environment we are often told to “leave your emotions at the door”.  But we have all seen the result of that obligatory suppression – hidden agendas, resentments, turf wars, high turnover, and poor performance.  By making emotions explicit and understanding how they work, and what to do with them, we can use what they give us to get results and make better and healthier connections with people and build more trust in our lives.  This is especially true between bosses and employees.  By naming and explaining what emotions are and how to use them, they lose their mystical and unruly aura.  If we understand that emotions are inevitable outcomes of people interacting with their surroundings, and we can communicate with awareness and responsibility to people who matter to us, we can use the energy they create to get what we want.  An example is using anger to change a situation that is unsustainable, or using sadness to communicate a lack of trust or disappointment.  If no action can be taken, we can at least realize that the emotion will pass, and give ourselves comfort, or use the energy constructively.

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