Something I learned several years ago, and was reminded of very recently, is that negative emotions hold the power to literally destroy our lives. They will rob you of your dreams, your self-confidence, your happiness and everything else positive in your life if you do not learn to first, control them, and second, systematically eliminate them.
There are many types of negative emotions but they all stem from 4 root causes — today, we are going to talk about one of the most powerful: Justification.
Justifying your negative emotions is like pouring fertilizer on a bed of weeds. It causes them to spring up more quickly and with much more force than what they would have initially. Thankfully, the process of eliminating your negative emotions begins with a simple decision: Stop Justifying Them.
While easier said than done, making the decision to stop justifying your negative emotions is simply a habit. You are probably already in the habit of justifying your emotions, which means your job becomes replacing that habit with the new, healthier alternative of yanking those emotions up by their roots before they have a chance to truly take hold in your life.
Let’s look at a couple of examples:
Anger. You are treated poorly by a customer at work. This makes you angry and, as soon as they are out of earshot, you begin venting to your coworkers, “Can you believe that guy? He had NO right to treat me like that! I bet he has never worked in customer service a day in his life. What an idiot. Doesn’t he understand this is not my fault? He is just a jerk.”
Those statements are justifying your anger to yourself and to others. They are your explanation of why you feel the way you do. The sad thing is, after venting your anger you are left only feeling more angry rather than feeling better about the situation. It will have an effect on the rest of your day beginning with the next customer you serve and leading to you being uptight and rude to your spouse and children because “you had a bad day at work.”
A quick way to eliminate the negative emotion of anger is to simply say to yourself and to your coworkers, “Wow, poor guy… he must be having a really bad day.” And that’s probably true. When people lash out at you there is a good chance they are simply exhibiting a residual effect of their own negative emotions. Determine now that the cycle will end with you.
Let’s look at another example: Fear
Most of the time are fears are of no real danger. They are exaggerated in our head and it is nothing but our justification of those fears that causes them to grow. Instead of allowing your head to run wild with justifications of why you should be afraid of something, whether it be failure, rejection, loss, etc, choose to override your feelings of fear with thoughts of the positive things that can come from your actions.
Focus on the benefits, not the fear. By doing this you will find that you are training your mind to find the positive in situations as opposed to always pointing out the negatives.
To be successful in any area of life we MUST learn to take control of our emotions. The first step in doing this is to stop justifying the negative emotions that plague your mind.
Stay tuned for Part 2!
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