When I’m first coaching someone and I ask them about why they’re struggling with their relationships or career or whatever it is, more times than not they will blame their emotions at some point.
Often, anxiety gets the blame, or fear. Sometimes anger. Sometimes confusion. And after a few sessions, shame is often pointed at as the culprit.
Apparently, these emotions hold us back. They get in the way and make life more difficult, or even outright impossible!
“I’m too anxious to talk to girls!”
“I’m too scared to stand up to my boss!”
“My shame destroys my motivation to change!”
It all sounds very believable… except there’s a slight problem with this type of blame, and that problem is the nature of emotions:
Emotions are a reaction.
That’s right, first something else happens, and then emotion arises as a response. Emotion is not the cause, it is the effect.
Blaming your emotions for causing your issues is like blaming your black eye for getting punched in the face. It’s completely backwards and actually makes no sense at all.
But of course it feels like it makes sense. These emotions are right there when the bad thing happens, and they always seem to be there when the bad things happen, therefore they must cause bad things, right?!
Remember, correlation is not causation. Just because something consistently happens at the same time as another thing, it doesn’t automatically mean that it causes the other thing.
Without exception, when I coach someone long enough, we clearly begin to see that the emotion arises in reaction to something else first. So even if you’re nervous before you confront your wife, the quality of confrontation is not diminished by your nervousness, but by what caused the nervousness in the first place: your BELIEFS.
Beliefs are where the finger should be pointed. Your emotions are actually trying to help you see the limiting and harmful beliefs you have.
If you’re scared of confronting your boss, it’s because you have an inaccurate belief about confrontations leading to career destruction, or a belief that being flustered in front of others will lead to some devastating loss of some kind.
If you’re confused when trying to speak to someone you’re attracted to, it’s because your beliefs demand impossible standards of you, or they lie to you that someone is worth more than you when they’re attractive.
If you’re angry about your child talking back to you, it’s because your beliefs have unreasonably convinced you to take the emotions of a child personally, or have tricked you into thinking that aggression helps calm children down.
Listen to your emotions instead of fighting them. It’s a skill that can be learned. Email email@example.com if you’d like me to show you.
Dan’s Top Resources
Dan has 3 bestselling non-fiction books available in both written and audio form:
- The Naked Truth, his latest release, shows you how radical honesty builds self-confidence and relationships
- Nothing to Lose explores how to build confidence from the inside by correcting the programming in your brain
- The Legendary Life is a very practical, action-focused guide on how to plan and execute a life plan that brings you your ideal lifestyle
Dan continues to put out high quality online self-paced courses through the Udemy platform
- Nice Guy Recovery: how to transform from a people pleaser into a confident beast.
- Shamelessness: how to relieve yourself of the “not good enough” story
- Powerful Honesty: takes you through step-by-step development of your communication skills to be more charismatic and powerful in your honesty
- The 3X Confidence and Authenticity Masterclass program: use the famous 3X Model to build confidence in all areas of life
- Financial Freedom for Beginners: includes everything from budgeting, to getting a raise, to investing in the stock market, to starting a side-business and more
- Overcoming Your Fear of Rejection… Permanently!: covers the psychology of “rejection” and what actions to take to make yourself immune to the fear of it