What does it mean to have “emotional responsibility”? There is a cycle we discuss in the coaching industry— first, we receive information; second, we process it; third, we decide how we feel about the information; fourth, we take action on the feelings; five, we create a belief. In this cycle, emotions can turn into both positive or negative actions. But, it’s all about the third step, how we choose to feel about the circumstances before us. Once we’ve decided how to feel, it’s up to us to take responsibility for that feeling, leading us into action. What are you going to about how you feel?
Our emotions are the driving force for almost all actions we take in our lives. If we love to do something, then we do it. If we hate a particular food, then we don’t eat it. It’s as simple as making a yes or no decision because we understand our emotional response to something or someone. But, what if we interpret that with a bit more thought and complication? Our emotions are almost like an instinctual response. More often than not, we don’t need to think about why we feel the way we do–we just feel it.
And here is where emotional responsibility comes into the picture. Our emotions or thoughts dictate every action we take. But what about a reaction? As we move forward with this conversation, I want to remind you that, like always, this conversation and its topic are taking place under the context of intentional living.
Choosing How to React
Our thoughts and emotions dictate our world —and how we perceive the world—around us. As within, so without. Those that are spiritual beings understand that our world reflects how we feel about ourselves and our abilities. And because our world reflects our emotions, it’s our responsibility to handle what feels challenging. We do this so our outside world understands we’ve adjusted our beliefs, so it no longer needs to reflect that challenge. The difficulty here doesn’t lie in understanding what we initially feel, but challenging ourselves to believe something different. When we’re faced with monumental decisions or a change in environments, we turn inward to a place that feels comfortable: self-doubt. Once we’ve decided that we doubt our abilities, we choose how to react to the situation.
It’s our choice to take responsibility for the things that make us emotionally uncomfortable. Things that may trigger us into feeling insecure, doubtful, or lost. Because the bottom line is, we’re choosing to believe those things about ourselves first. Every emotional ‘decision’ we make, going back to step three of the cycle, is already decided based on what we choose to believe about ourselves. So how do we change our beliefs about ourselves? This is what it means to be in a space of emotionally responsibility. To know that sometimes, your gut reaction won’t be the one to serve your highest self, so you choose to believe differently.
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Driving Inspired Action
When situations feel uncomfortable or unsafe to our subconscious, we choose to believe the negative: that if something bad can happen, it will. Or, if something can go wrong, it will. It’s similar to when one bad thing happens in our day. We choose to believe that day will be bad, and then like dominoes, one bad thing happens after another, and the day turns to a miserable happening. We choose to believe that one thing dictates another without any actual proof that there was a cause and effect. The actual causation here isn’t the bad or annoying thing that happened, it’s actually how we choose to see how it will affect our day/mood. That entire day or belief can be changed in one thought: “What if I choose to believe differently?”
Changing one initial thought is how we can drive inspired action. Slowly, as we begin to change the little thoughts, the grand ones adjust over time. Perhaps someone who is more often pessimistic chooses to believe the day will go differently. This person does this day after day until, eventually, the thought that the day can go differently morphs into the understanding that they deserve the day to be great. Our world reflects what we choose to believe about ourselves. And if we choose to believe that the world is an abundant universe full of possibility, success, and love, then that is what we will receive.
Taking Emotional Responsibility
When we talk about taking emotional responsibility, it’s about changing your life. It’s about not allowing the little nuanced inconveniences to shift your day. It’s about not letting that one ridiculous thing that person said to you shift the way you think about yourself. Emotional responsibility is about changing your perspective in one area to shift your perspective on the universe. It’s about letting go of your insecurities and stepping into the confident, abundant, and loving person you’ve always been. We have the power to believe whatever we want about life. And if you choose to believe things are happening for you rather than to you, that is what the Universe will reflect.
We are all creators of the Universe and have many different available fates or timelines to choose from. To move into your highest timeline, and most spiritual version of yourself, you must first begin to rid yourself of the negative thoughts that consume your power. Start small. Choose to believe that the traffic you’re stuck in is for a reason. Choose to believe that the six-dollar latte you spilled was going to give you a stomach ache, so the universe had you drop it on the sidewalk. Instead of letting life’s little inconveniences dictate your life, take back the power and choose to believe it’s the little things that are happening for you.
listen to the podcast
Want to know more?
Head over to the Do the Damn Thing Podcast on Apple or Spotify and listen to the conversation on this week’s topic! The podcast is an open forum conversation where we dive even deeper into all that is intentional living.