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The Purpose of Negative Emotions and How to Use Them to Your Advantage

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Grief. Suffering. Anger. Anxiety. All of these words come with their own visceral experience. Even seeing them on the screen, you can feel the punch in the gut, the struggle for air, the adrenaline coursing through your veins, and the weight on your body that feels like you’re walking through quicksand.

As people, we become averse to these emotions. We run from them, avoid them, and stuff them until we can no longer hide them from ourselves, and even then, we seek the answers of zen to take these nightmare-making emotions away as fast as possible. 

But what if I told you that negative emotions are actually good? 

Okay, maybe not good necessarily, but useful and important. And the more you try to outrun the negative emotions, the harder they will pound you when you get too exhausted to run any further. There is a much more powerful and grounding way to deal with these emotions

1. Examine the emotion

Negative emotions are so powerful because they’re like big, blinking neon warning signs saying, “HEY! Something’s wrong here! Pay attention!”. The problem is that because those signs can be blinding, it’s easy to close your eyes and shield yourself from them. The problem with that is you miss their intended purpose altogether when that happens. 

Negative emotions exist for one main purpose: to let you know when something has gone awry. When you fall and scratch your knee, it hurts. If it didn’t hurt, you wouldn’t know to tend the wound and you’d risk making it worse. Emotions are like nerve endings for your mental, emotional, and spiritual wellness. When things hurt, it means they need to be examined, not run from, ignored, or buried. 

When you examine the emotion you’re feeling, you need to ask yourself this question first: Is this thought true?

If the thought isn’t true, then you need to change your thoughts. If the thought is true, then you need to change your actions so that you can change the truth to be in alignment with who you truly are instead of who you’ve been acting like.

“When embraced and accepted, negative emotions can be a powerful catalyst to positive change in one’s life and can lead to deeper feeling of meaning and authenticity.” – Paul Wong

2. Changing your thoughts

Thoughts are like horses. They’ll run wild and trample all over you if you let them. But if you lead them, direct them, and corral them, then they can be quite useful. The more you allow your thoughts to spiral and run away with you, the more negative emotions they’ll create for you to process. And if you stuff those negative emotions in a corner somewhere, eventually they’ll come back to bite you. But changing your thoughts, that is the key. 

When we talk about changing your thoughts, we’re not talking about distracting yourself with a better feeling thought. That won’t help you. Instead, we’re talking about examining the thought and breaking down why it’s not true so that you can actually change the thought to something that is true. 

For example, if you have the thought, Nobody likes me, running around in your head all day, that’s not serving you. When you actually look at that thought, is it true? Probably not. Break it down as to why. 

You probably have a friend or two that like you. You may have a family member that likes you. There’s that neighbor that tries to bend your ear every time you wave hello at the mailbox. You may have pets who adore you. So if it’s not true that nobody likes you, what is true? 

Could you say, “I have people and animals in my life who value me”? Or how about, “The relationships I have are ones where I’m cherished”? Or even this one, “I am liked by some people”? 

Notice, you’re not trying to go to the other extreme and say, “EVERYBODY likes me!” That wouldn’t feel true, and your subconscious mind would immediately kick it out. But if you can reach for something that’s more true that you can show yourself is accurate, that allows you to actually change your thoughts. 

3. Changing your behavior

Sometimes when looking at a thought, it’s going to feel like a sucker punch because the thought is true in that moment. But that doesn’t mean it has to be true forever. It’s in that moment that you get to make an important decision. Are you going to live according to a truth that you don’t want to experience or are you going to change your behavior to live in alignment with the truth you desire? 

It’s a confronting choice because changing your behavior requires you to make new conscious decisions. You have to examine, “What are the thought patterns that come up that perpetuate this cycle of behavior?” Once you’ve identified those patterns of thoughts, you have to actively choose something else instead. 

Transformational Meditation™ is one of the techniques that can help with this, but for now, watch the excuses that you’ll use to keep yourself from living the aligned truth. Once you know what they are and get adept at talking yourself through them to take the action that you need to take, the new behavior becomes your default. And then you’re free to make better choices, which will reduce your experience of negative emotions as a natural consequence.

As painful as negative emotions can be, they’re there to show you your next stage of growth. When you can see where the work needs to be done and you run toward it instead of away from it, you’ll reduce negative emotional suffering and get to aligned living faster.

Dr. Libby Adams is a speaker, author, and transformation strategist, using her over 30 years of experience in education, leadership, and personal growth to help hundreds of high achievers transform their lives from the inside out, reaching their goals in record time. Dr. Adams is also the founder and president of the International Academy of Self-Knowledge, a master practitioner of neuro-linguistic programming, and the creator of Transformational Meditation™. Dr. Adams is also certified in the Dr. Albert Ellis™ method of addiction counseling and is the creator of Spiritual R.E.H.A.B., a 28-day transformational journey for people who do NOT have alcohol or substance abuse issues but who still want to "rehab" something in their lives. Dr. Adams has devoted time as president of the Association for the Integration of the Whole Person and is the presiding president of the AIWP Board of Directors. If you’re interested in learning more, check out www.transformationalmeditation.org.

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The 3 Step Process to Building a Profitable Pitch

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As a communication coach, one of the top questions entrepreneurs ask me is how to deliver a winning pitch to potential investors. They want to know if there’s a magic formula to get an investor to say yes and buy into their dream and their business. (more…)

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The 4 Pillars of Wealth and Abundance

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Have you ever wondered what the formula for a wealthy and abundant life is? Many people have. Lots has been written about the subject of wealth creation and living an abundant life. It was a breaking point in my journey and pursuit of success when I found out that there is a clear path to achieve success in life. Thanks to those who have shared their journey, we can clearly see and follow the principles of prosperity. (more…)

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Here Are 4 Reasons Why You Should Have a Podcast, Youtube Channel or Online Show

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Confidence comes from a place of strong understanding of self. After close to three years on radio, I’ve grown from a shy introvert to a shy introvert with an extrovert persona. When the mic is turned on, I can channel a version of myself that some say is attractive, strong, and of course, confident but it wasn’t always this way.

What I want to share with you is what I discovered on this journey into broadcast that you can apply to your life, your ventures, and your personal development. This doesn’t require any fancy gear. It does require a leap of faith on your part because once you go down the road of media; it can change your life.

1. Perceived Expertise

When you go to a doctor, you expect their knowledge will guide them to a solution to your problems. When you have a show, you become your listeners’ doctor. For all the multiple thousands, maybe millions, of YouTube channels, podcasts, and user-created content in the world, each person that gets behind a mic takes a position on their passion, their opinions, and their themes.

They challenge the status quo for the benefit of their listeners in hopes to entertain and educate. With consistency on your side, those fans place you on a platform and give you permission to influence them.

2. Global Acknowledgement

One of the benefits to increasing confidence is when you receive thank you notes from people you may never meet. The feeling of enriching someone’s life from halfway around the globe, provides validation you’re enhancing someone else’s life with your wisdom and your wit.

The very first time I was told I was making a difference in someone’s life in a country other than my own, I felt like I caused massive impact that transcends my circle of influence. When you experience just how much you can cause impact and it comes back to you, it’ll change your worldview.

“Be grateful for what you have and stop complaining – it bores everybody else, does you no good, and doesn’t solve any problems.” – Zig Ziglar

3. Backed By Numbers

One of the most exciting ways to measure success is to quantify your growth. It’s not enough to just broadcast. Having subscribers and downloads helps to know, numerically, how well you’re doing. Word of caution. This can be a way to set yourself up for distress because of number envy but if you understand what the numbers mean; you can control the narrative of the numbers.

The major number that makes most people smile is 10,000. I’d advise it to be 1. Here’s why. As you grow in your industry, so does your reach. If you learned that the one person that subscribed totally changed for the better because of you, wouldn’t that be worth the effort?

4. Effective Communication

While it’s not talked about much, having a show is documentation. You create a dynamic account of your life, your industry, and the pulse on what’s important simply by having a show. When you find a channel to improve your communication skills, you demand attention and people will listen to you. You become more trusted as a leader and people will follow you once they believe you can lead them to their wants and needs.

“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” – Tony Robbins

These insights have helped many people become leaders and, ultimately, move others to their best selves. It’s worked for me and I hope it works for you. At the end of the day, it’s all about showing up and showing out.

Have you ever thought about having a radio show? If so, what would you talk about? Let us below!

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7 of the Biggest Enemies Stopping You From Success

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Everyone wants to be successful. It is a thing we all wish for. We want to achieve mind-blowing success. However, the road to success is not so easy. And the funniest part is, you are the one to determine whether you become successful or not. (more…)

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