Feel the feel, don’t be the feel

Avoiding reactivity is one of the most constructive components of productivity. Thoughtful, grounded responsiveness doesn’t mean, however, that you repress or ignore emotions. On the contrary – feelings provide critical information which should not be overlooked. However, the key is to notice the feelings and be curious about the information they are providing.

If you feel angry because someone has acted unkindly, revise the script:

Instead of: “What a jerk! I can’t believe he did that.”
Just be curious: “Wow. When he did that, I felt really angry. Interesting.”

In either case, what happened already happened. Whether the person is a jerk or not isn’t relevant, and we can never know, really, why people do what they do. What will allow you to sleep well each night is knowing that you were your best self. And so the most important thing is what you DO following the incident. Who do you want to be?

Notice your feelings, but don’t let them hijack your brain and drive your decision-making. Being truly centered requires full awareness of feelings and emotions. Use that good information to thoughtfully decide what you want to do in each moment.

Reactivity is a natural human tendency, hardwired. But with practice, you can learn to observe all reality, including your own feelings and experiences, with interest and curiosity. This perspective underscores your agency to choose action, which lets you be more accountable. You’ll make better decisions, and feel better about yourself. Interestingly, you will also feel better about other people, as you’ll have stopped labeling their character or questioning their behavior in relation to yourself, instead simply taking each situation as it comes and choosing your best next step.

What scripts can you rewrite for yourself?

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