are some suggestions for going "through"
the mountain instead of looking for a way around,
over, or under the mountain:
Remember that the goal of self-development is to
grow into someone who can handle anything that comes
your way. We can't do that if we are trying to
pretend that we are not having a negative response
right now. We almost never try to hide a
positive emotion; we need to expand that philosophy
into all emotions.
The emotion is not bigger than we are.
Sometimes we are fearful of allowing ourselves to
really go with an emotion because it threatens to
overwhelm us. In reality, that almost never
happens. What makes the feeling so powerful is
the energy we put into not admitting we are feeling
it. Fear, anger, guilt, and resentment--these
are all like small children pulling at your
leg. They get louder and louder until you
finally ask what they want. Ninety-nine
percent of the time,
their response is "nothing." What
they wanted was your attention, and now that they
have it, they can move on.
Stay in the present; articulate exactly what the
feeling is. We can often be so afraid of
feeling negative emotions that we lump a whole gamut
of emotions together. In fact, there is value
in being able to identify exactly what you are
feeling. For example, there is a world of
difference between "apprehensive" and
"paralyzed with fear," yet we often don't
make the distinction. We just generalize the
feeling and we say we are afraid. For me,
being apprehensive doesn't necessarily mean an
inability to take action. There is something
going on, yes, but it could be as simple as being
afraid of something I've never done before.
Taking the time to get clear can often get you
Don't try to "rise above it." I
often have clients tell me they feel they shouldn't
feel or encourage the negative feeling because they
are on a path of evolving. Allowing the
negative emotion appears contradictory to
them. Again, it isn't the emotion, or feeling
the emotion, that gets in the way of our personal
growth, but how long we spend feeling it. I
once knew a person who was quite proud of the fact
that he never got angry. As I reflected on
this, I was graced with an awareness. It was
true--he never got angry--but it was because he was
ALWAYS angry. He never had to "get"
there. That anger came out in behavior we
would classify as passive aggressive. True, it
was never overt or loud, but it ran through each and
every interaction he had. How could that
possibly be better then never getting or showing
Set a time limit on how long you are willing to
vent, rant or whine. Five minutes is usually a
good time frame. Most of us will have
exhausted all that negativity by the end of 5
minutes and we will have freed up a ton of energy
that we can put to work on achieving our
goals. If you feel that 5 minutes isn't
enough, then wait some time (perhaps 2 to 4 hours)
and then give yourself 5 more minutes. The
very act of setting a time limit gives you a sense
of control over the feeling that helps put it into
When an emotion hovers just under the surface, try
to bring it out. Watch a movie that will bring
out the tears (or the right McDonald's
commercial). Some movies that make me cry
(just about every single time I see them) are:
Pay it Forward, An Affair to Remember,
Terms of Endearment and all three of the Lord
of the Rings movies. I'm sure you can
think of a few of your own. Rent the movie,
get out the Kleenex and let yourself go.
Find a physical means of releasing negative
energy. It may be putting extra energy into
physical exercise you are already doing (walking,
jogging, bike riding, etc). or going for a full-out
release of the energy by slamming into a punching
bag, screaming at the top of your lungs, etc.
The key here is to release the energy--so that you
can be free of it. It is not meant to be
directed at anyone.
Don't forget the power of the written word.
Take time to sit down and write out what you are
feeling. Any way that you are able to clarify
what you are feeling is good. In the heat of
any emotion, most of us have the same thoughts
rumbling through our brain. Writing it out can
bring clarity, and more importantly, release.
If someone else is involved, try writing a letter or
postcard that you burn instead of sending.
A negative response is just that--a response that
comes unbidden and not through the brain. It
is never logical and always needs to be acknowledged
and validated. It is possible, however, to
allow logic to dissipate the energy. If that
works, fine. If not, try a physical release.
Don't allow any emotion to stop you from taking
action. I'm sure you've heard the phrase,
"Feel the fear and do it anyway."
Allowing yourself to take action despite the fear is
what makes a true hero. Fear can often be the
sign of good common sense kicking into action.
Become aware of your personal response to
fear. For example, I have found multiple times
in my life that sickness is a "legitimate"
reason for not doing what I know I need to do but am
afraid to do. I now know to ask the question
when I'm sick: is this real? Or is this
a fear that I'm unwilling to look at? Most of
us have something that we use to keep us from taking
action. Look for yours!
Louise Morganti Kaelin. Louise was a Life
Success Coach who passed on in 2011. Rest in