Feelings as Fuel

"What do you do with the mad that you feel? When you feel so mad you could bite? When the whole wide world seems oh so wrong and nothing you do seems very right?"That's a great question from Mr. Rogers.

What do you do with your feelings? Have you ever felt discouraged? Maybe you want to serve others but find nobody seems interested or appreciative of the value you offer.

What do you do when you feel embarrassed? Incompetent? Hopeless? Angry? Stuck?

First, I want you to know that whatever you are feeling is part of the human experience and it's perfectly ok to feel that way. In fact, it's healthy. What's unhealthy is resisting your feelings, pretending they are not there, or hiding them inside where they keep growing and maybe explode at some point.

What are you feeling? Take a minute to tune in to your body and notice what emotion you are feeling right now. Take a minute to listen to your feelings.

Can you describe your emotion in one word?

Where is it located in your body?

What does it feel like?

And what do you do with it?

Emotions are fuel. What do we do with fuel? We pour it into a vehicle and get going. But we can only use our emotions as fuel if we allow them in the first place. Allowing an emotion means that you let the emotion live in you.

Your body is like a house and emotions want to be inside your house. Do you allow them? Do you open the door and say, "Hi sadness, come in and sit for a while." If you allow emotions, they can teach you things. Every emotion has a lesson to offer if you're willing to hear it. Once you hear it, the emotion leaves.

If you don't hear it out, then the emotions will stick around indefinitely. It waits for you, it breaks in, damages your house, or gets louder and louder until you respond to it.

Here's what I recommend. When you notice an emotion knocking at your door, take just a minute to sit down with it. Do the exact exercise that I walked you through.

Name it, locate it in your body, and describe it.

If you can sit down to do this, that's great. If not, it still works. You can just do it in your mind. This is allowing emotions. After you've gone through this process, you can get back to work.

Keep crying and keep trying. Keep breathing. Keep feeling. Keep talking about how you feel. If you need to take a break, take one. But then, keep going.

And pour the emotional fuel into all the most important work that you do.

That's the best kind of work anyway. You can always tell when someone has really poured their heart and soul into something. Mr Rogers would swim as fast as he could, hit all the low keys on the piano, and kept showing up to work and talking to children through his television show. This works no matter what you are doing.

Your emotions don't need to overwhelm or cripple you. They're really quite harmless as long as you allow them to come in. You can and your work will be so much better for it. Wouldn't it be amazing if nothing could stop you from consistently doing the most important work that you do?

Imagine what that would look like. The feelings you have could change all the time, but you still consistently move forward. All the greats are people who could do a simple good thing over and over and over again.

Consistency is hard because most of us are waiting to feel motivated to take action.What we don't realize is that any emotion will do. All emotions are fuel. And work that is fueled by the full spectrum of human emotions is so much more human. It's so much better than work that is only fueled by joy and inspiration. Because as humans we feel so many more things than that. And they are all valuable and mentionable.

I would encourage you to decide what work you want to fuel with your emotions in advance. If you don't already have a purpose to pour into, then your fuel is useless. It just makes a mess.But if you can direct your emotions towards something, they become the best fuel for your dreams that exists.

Hope that is helpful. If you'd like to, I'd love to hear in an email or social media comment, tell me what you do with your emotions and any additional insights you have to add.

That's all for now, have a wonderful week, and I'll see you next time.