I just got a new dining table and chairs delivered this morning and, boy, I am relieved! Even though I knew the space that we have in our eat-in kitchen, I still had a concern that somehow it wouldn’t fit or it would look too big. But it looks beautiful and fits perfectly! However, I remember several occasions when I purchased pieces of furniture on a whim because of a sale or chance meeting at a local yard sale and totally regretted it. They were either too big, too small, too dark, or just plain didn’t work where I thought they would. So, you can understand when I say I was “relieved” this morning.
This event really reminds me of how you feel when trying something new or meeting new people…a little nervous, a little scared and happy-excited all at the same time. These emotions are SO normal and even built in to help us make safe and clear decisions. So, feelings are meant to create a thought process that leads to a decision…
Just like me, standing at the furniture store, trying to decide whether to purchase the table, each one of you goes through these types of brain/heart transactions daily. Nothing new, right? Well, not a new process but maybe consider a new perspective on what is really happening at those moments. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all see our futures from the stand point of being able to prevent disaster, trauma, pain, and mistakes? Though most don’t have open visions to forewarn of such things, we all do possess a knowing of sorts. The key is balancing emotions and listening into (or feeling into) your body’s message system.
The Emotion Check
Emotions are our friend…most of the time. Sometimes, however, they can take over our whole decision-making center and cause us to retreat when we should go forward or to go when we should wait. That’s why it’s imperative to know yourself on a deep level in order to clarify what type of emotions drive your decisions. If you are fearful of something because of a past trauma, that may not be a tell-tale signal to avoid that thing. Instead, it could be a red flag that you have some inner healing to work through.
You see, fear is always a form of protection, in the sense it keeps you from either proceeding onward to action or from being still. For example, if a huge bear suddenly appeared at your park picnic, you and your family would feel fear and likely attempt to get as far away from it as possible. That kind of fear is a valuable part of our innate instinct for survival and protects us from immediate danger. Let’s look at another kind of fear: You are shy and avoid contact with people you don’t know because you are afraid that they won’t like you or react kindly to you. In this case, you think fear is protecting you from something but, in reality, you are already experiencing those un-serving emotions by imagining something bad happening. To your mind, you’ve already gone through the humiliation of rejection. Can you see the difference?
Making the Emotions to Decision Connection
As you saw in both circumstances of fear, each instance was a real experience, but one was a physical threat and one was imaginary. The fight or flight response is a very real instinct that we need for our survival on occasion. I have to say though, we humans have triggered an unnatural use of this chemical process. Ultimately we all wan’t success, happiness and, of course, to survive. With a little soul searching and inner work, we can bring back our confidence in ourselves and stop abusing the fight or flight instinct. The best way I know how to dispel nagging images of horrible things happening is to think it through by asking yourself questions. It sounds something like this:
You want to start a business, but you’re afraid you will fail. So, you ask yourself the following questions:
“What would happen if I failed?”
Then answer it based on your worst fear.
“I will be broke.”
OK, now ask yourself, “Then what?”
“I would get another job.”
“I would not be broke anymore.” “Then what?”
“I would still want to have my own business.”
“I could rethink my business and keep working until I could try again with a new idea.”
“I might succeed that time.”
Wow, see how even if the worst happened, it can turn out just fine, even better than fine? Now, just as you go through all the fear-based scenarios, go through the faith-based ones. Start by asking what’s the best thing that could happen if you started your own business and so forth…The key here is connecting to the emotions that allow you to see the real possibilities not just the one-sided immediate one you put up as a false protection. Think this concept through with common fears that come up in your life and see how different you feel about any decisions that arise.
Experiment with deciding to do something different than you have in the past. This is the biggest step you will take to creating new positive energy and successful outcomes. The emotional distress I felt over the table was real, though small, but because I worked through my fear of making a mistake by asking questions, I was able to make a successful decision and reap the benefit of enjoying a new look in my kitchen. I’m betting you can try this out for yourself today! Let me know how it works out for you.
I personally invite you to share your beautiful ideas in our comments, contact page, or by submitting your unique story or article.
If you liked this article, you’ll love these:
You Don’t Have to Find Out Your’e Dying to Start Living, over at a Happy Black Woman.
Making Life’s Decisions, in the Power 300