As humans we are all have default emotions- the ones that we can go to when we are not feeling our best. Some people feel discouraged, some feel apathy and others feel like they just aren’t enough.
I have learned in the past year that my default emotion is not enough.
After spending many hours thinking, writing and self coaching I realize that when I feel low it is usually me feeling like I am not enough: not smart enough, not funny enough, not organized enough, not tech savvy enough and the list goes on.
The problem about this default is that it keeps me I the same place and I do not move forward. I don’t try so I remain stagnant and do not progress. Does this sound familiar to any of you?
What do we do when we go to our ‘not enough’ place?
The first step is to accept that feel that way. When we try to push away the feeling we are only making it worse because we aren’t addressing it. Grinning and bearing it is not genuine. It is only a band-aid and is just putting off the inevitable. The enviable is to face the problem and resolve it.
The second step is to give yourself a whole lot of love. When is the last time you told yourself that you are proud of yourself? When is the last time you did something for yourself just cause you thought it would be fun? Do you ever spend money on you? Do you allow yourself time to do what you want to do? I have found that even the little acts of self compassion such as doing my hair, putting on make-up every morning has been a really nice start to my day.
The third step is to get curious about where this default came from in the first place. I do a lot of self coaching every day. I apply the model that I learned from The Life Coach School Podcast. I use this model with my own life coaching clients. I has transformed my life. I will show you one of the ways that I used curiosity to figure out my default of ‘not enough’.
Circumstance: make slide show with new branding
Thought: I have spent 2 hours trying to do this and it looks terrible because I don’t know what I am doing
Action: plow through. Fail, keep trying, look up a youtube video to try to understand, try and fail, finish it but don’t use it because it is so bad
Result: don’t have a slide show
So after this experience I decide that I am not good enough because I can’t make a slide show with my special branding that I paid a lot of money for. This not enough attitude can then affect my attitude at home with the kids.
So why do I make one failed attempt at a task I have never done mean that I am not enough? I am sure that as you are reading this it is very simple to see where I went wrong. When I look a little closer I can see that when I was a kid and I failed at my first attempt I often got feedback that I wasn’t enough, comments such as “do it over again”, “what were you thinking”, “try again with a more effort this time”, or even a C grade were all my interpretations that I myself wasn’t enough. This was the way that I took the feedback. Remember Day 10 on Perfectionists?
Did you know that many of us are problem solving the same way that we did when we were little kids? Unless we have spent time training our brains and developing our thought processing skills we will default to those skills.
It is interesting for me to imagine that I have taken my mom’s criticism due to my lack of bathroom cleaning skills when I was first learning to my present day self failing at making a slide show for the first time.
Can you see how default behaviours are there? We just haven’t cleaned them up yet. We haven’t given ourselves the time and skills to practice new problem solving skills.
One day I was listening to Amy Latta’s podcast and she took the readers through an exercising our most difficult emotion. I chose the ‘not enough’ emotion. She walked the listeners through a visualization of us imaging a time when you felt that emotion. Picture yourself in the moment where you felt this way. Take a few breaths. Allow yourself to be there.
Now go through your body and start feeling the emotions. What does your head feel like? What about your neck and shoulders? What about your stomach? Sit with the emotion. Allow it to settle in you. Take a few more breaths. Keep yourself in the moment. Take a few more breaths and let that emotion go.
When I did this exercise it bought tears to my eyes. I felt the feelings and then I was totally fine. We are adults now who can process emotions. We can understand that part of being human is experiencing all of the feelings. We understand that in order to live fully we need to be able to feel all of the range of feelings fully.
What is coming up for you? What would you say is your default emotion? This is the work that I do, I provide the tools to ‘fix’ the default button. When we can locate this setting and then get to work on resolving it we all gain a great deal of freedom. Can you imagine what you would do with your extra time and energy now that you have got this figured out?
I am not saying that this default will be completely erased, your new awareness brings it to your consciousness, with your higher brain in charge. Remember that when emotions are high intelligence is low.
I would love to hear your feedback. I never said this was going to be easy peasy. I did say that this work is totally worth it. It actually isn’t too bad- I promise.