We want to feel good. When we don’t, we learn more about ourselves. What bothers us demonstrates what inside needs soothing and re-framing.
When we observe ourselves, we know something about the habits of thought operating and where I could think differently
— about that irritation ( fear, hurt, resentment etc) from the past.
What a wonderful thing to exercise personal power more and more each day! As readers of this blog know, we can take charge of what we are thinking and feeling. We are learning how to steer toward feeling good and how more strongly to support ourselves What shows up can be an opportunity for course correction.
An incident in Alices’ life prompted me to articulate an approach ( Though I apply these recommendations to my own life very regularly.)
Alice’s supervisor disapproved of comments she had made in a business meeting with her supervisor and other direct reports. A colleague had complained about her, saying Alice thought she was better than everyone else, and the supervisor told Alice to speak more carefully at staff conferences. Our heroine felt misunderstood, disheartened, and not respected.
She asked me how to process this.
Read these steps carefully– experiment and see how they work for you.
- Whatever we feel is ok– it is ok for Alice to feel what she is feeling.
- We want to feel good more and more. But sometimes something bugs us—we have reacted, we have a habit of thought and that is producing this experience. Though we could point outside ourselves –when we feel off ,the solution is an inside job. When it shows up in our experience, it is one of our buttons, and it has been pushed. Alice wanted to please her boss and her colleagues.
- The feeling better lies in turning our attention to what we do want. Alice strongly prefers to be recognized for her purer motives– she wanted greater respect. Commonly at times like this when we feel upset by events, we review what happened thinking we can find solutions. Unfortunately that habit most often does not produce satisfaction or new ideas — as we think about what we do not want, likely we stir up more of unwanted emotional reactions to those events.
- When upset, best to distract yourself with something pleasant– some ride a horse– I listen to a recording or read a novel. Find a site with inspirational material.
- When you are calmer and starting to feel a bit better, then begin appreciating what you can. Maybe conjure for what you are grateful.
I love that I live where I look out into woods. I see deer daily. In winter, I gaze out on a mountain view. Right now there are layers of mountains, fog, clouds, and sun.
Alice had feelings triggered by this eventuality. We might feel hurt when we don’t please others because for most of our lives our sense of being worthy came from outside of ourselves. I know you and I are both worthy right now!
She has become aware of the opportunity to start a campaign to begin her own respecting of herself.
Readers recall that I advocate appreciating oneself.
I recommend taking time to appreciate morning and night. As you find them bubbling up, mark down what you appreciated in yourself today. As I appreciate myself, I notice I have more patience and compassion for others. If I receive some criticism, it does not sting as much as it used to.
Have you had the experience of feeling good and someone says something a bit nasty? I love the metaphor of the gunk just sliding off greased feathers — and the unwanted beading up, running off with no effect. As I am practicing affirming all my cool qualities :), I am hurt less often by others.
And, another pay off– the more I respect myself, the more I attract it from others. As I praise myself, I will receive more validation from others.
Good news: because we have been made aware of what is inside us ( something we don’t want in this case), we have a shot at clearing it up.
Questions? Stories of improving self esteem? I welcome your comments.