Have you ever fought with someone and been so out-of-your-mind frustrated because they just didn’t understand how obviously wrong they were?
We all have. The strangest part is whoever you’re arguing with probably felt the exact same way, except reversed: YOU were the crazy one in their eyes. That’s because our reality is based on our perception of events.
OUR EMOTIONS GUIDE PERCEPTION
So if our reality is based on our perception, what guides our perception?
Our emotions! Our emotions create our reality. We’ve all experienced fluctuations in our feelings. One day we’re walking on clouds and the next we’re down in the dumps. Sometimes we can’t even explain why. Our emotions are unpredictable, so if you think about it, why do we trust something so unpredictable to dictate our reality?
As we go through our daily lives, we experience everything as though our perception of the world is 100% factual. But how can it be, if something as unpredictable as emotions guide that perception?
Ultimately our perception is one way to understand the events that take place. Everyone’s perception is influenced by their previous experiences and the emotions attached to them. Here’s an example: You and I see a dog. I might be overwhelmed with love and excitement because I love dogs, but you might feel fear and anxiety because in your experience with dogs you’ve been attacked.
Both of those realities make sense and are 100% real…..TO THE INDIVIDUAL!
WHY DOES IT MATTER
So how do you learn how to respond to your emotions so they can guide your perception to experience life in a more stress-free, enjoyable way? Well, first off, I know that nothing I’ll say here is going to change your reality, because I know that regardless of how much sense I make, you are going to believe what you want to. That is your ecology.
According to The Health Coach Institute, "Ecology" means,
“The collection of beliefs that represent all the underlying reasons for staying stuck
or not giving ourselves permission to go after what we really want.”
Sometimes our mind gets more comfortable in the negative, creating a negative reality; it’s easier to focus on the downside because that’s what most of us are used to doing. When you are stuck in a negative mindset, it makes it almost impossible to celebrate success. Success happens and the negative mind responds one of two ways: 1. Either it feels like it was an expectation to succeed so it doesn’t feel like something to celebrate, or 2. you find something negative within the success (i.e "I could’ve done XYZ better"). This type of negative thinking creates a pattern which becomes our Way of Being.
A lot of us have fallen into this trap with COVID - I know I have from time to time. There is so much negativity circulating around us, it’s hard to see any positivity. The negativity trap grows even bigger the longer we have to stay at home.
So what are we supposed to do? Fall into the trap?
DIG YOURSELF OUT
No! Of course not. You are supposed to try. Try to become more and more aware of how your mind is thinking and how you FEEL when you have those thoughts. Seek out resources (like this blog here!) to help you grow and mold your mind to create the best reality you can.
If you want to avoid the trap you have to catch yourself from falling into old habits or patterns.
Think about it, the last time you heard the stay-at-home order was extended, what did you feel? Frustration, anger, annoyance, desperation, fury? What did the rest of your day look like after that feeling? Would you describe it as frustrating or annoying perhaps?
Probably because without you even realizing it was happening, your mind went ahead and justified those feelings. That’s what our mind does. Regardless of what feelings come up, your mind will convince you those feelings are just and right. Once you realize that your emotions dictate your reality, then you regain your control; control to CHOOSE how you want to affect the rest of your days dealing with COVID and beyond.
So now you might be thinking, “Wait, if I get to choose that means I have options…”and you’d be right!
What are your options? How can you respond?
Option #1: You continue to allow and encourage your feelings of frustration and fall into the negativity trap making each day left in COVID worse and worse.
OR Option #2: You can choose to accept the facts:
1. FACT: You don’t have control of when the stay-at-home order will be lifted.
2. FACT: You feel frustrated, angry and annoyed about that.
3. FACT: You can’t go back to your old life.
If you accept those facts, then you can choose how you respond. Remember, your emotions dictate your reality. So if you want the remaining time during this pandemic to suck a little less, you can’t keep thinking about how sucky COVID is. Because there is one other fact: most of us will probably never spend this much time at home or with our family ever again.
How do you want to look back on your time? Do you want to remember how much you hated it and how challenging it was to keep your sanity? OR, do you want to say you played more with your family and created lasting memories, picked up a new hobby, or expanded your skill set? The choice is yours.
The point is - you have options. You are not trapped. You have control of how you think and the choices you make. You have all the power and necessary courage to make your reality a positive and enjoyable one. I’m not saying it’s easy, it’s not. I’m saying you are stronger than you know. You have all the necessary control, power and courage to change your reality for the duration of COVID and beyond.
All you have to do is try. Try to make ONE choice that is different. Because you can’t have a different outcome if you don’t make different choices.
You have control of the reality you live in, what reality do you want to create?