How often do you say some variation of, “She makes me so mad!” or “He drives me nuts!”? Even though we have a culture that supports this dynamic—the idea that a person or situation can MAKE you feel anything—it actually never happens. What happens is that what you are feeling in any given moment is the product of what you are telling yourself about that moment. And wrapped up in that dialogue is the fallacy that the situation or person is causing your feelings, both positive and negative. In other words, you perceive that the situation or person is in control and you are not. That is a disempowered victim place to operate from. How would you like to break out of that constraint for good?
If I had wanted to stay frustrated, I could have chosen that. But the key is that owning my experience gives me the choice.
I had a recent experience with this when I was waiting on something from a friend. She delayed and delayed and broke her word to me several times. My inner dialogue sounded like this, “She’s so frustrating! She’s frustrating the crap out of me! I’m so tired of this. I hate how she frustrates me this way!” And then, I turned it around with a simple statement—the statement I am giving you today. I even said it out loud. In that moment when frustration was going through the roof, I said, “No, she’s not frustrating me, I
am frustrating me.”
Instantly, the frustration vanished. Every bit of it. I even laughed at myself. I was able to then engage with my friend in a way that brought about a great resolution to the issue. If I had wanted to stay frustrated, I could have chosen that. But the key is that owning my experience gives me the choice. And it’s not just that I’m allowing someone else to make me feel a certain way, it’s literally that I AM THE ONE MAKING MYSELF FEEL THIS WAY. Owning my experience creates a new lens to see what’s really happening, putting me as fully responsible of who I am being, regardless of the circumstance.
“Literally empower yourself to create a new possibility for handling any situation in a way that isn’t possible when all your energy is being diverted to being the victim.”
To create a statement for turning your experience around, first identify what you’re saying others are doing to you, and then put yourself as the owner of it. For example:
“He’s making me mad,” becomes “I am making me mad.”
“They make me nervous,” becomes “I make me nervous.”
“My spouse won’t forgive me,” becomes “I won’t forgive me.”
“My customers are frustrating me,” becomes “I am frustrating me.”
“My child is disappointing me,” becomes “I am disappointing me.”
Make it a game. The next time your boss makes a big demand, and you notice a big reaction of stress, pause and say, “No, my boss isn’t stressing me out. I am stressing me out.” You will literally empower yourself to create a new possibility for handling that situation in a way that wasn’t possible when all your energy was being diverted to being the victim of “My boss is stressing me out.” Take note of how you show up in a new way when you come from completely owning your experience.
Your emotions are a powerful resource. You will either own them or they will own you.
Your emotions are a powerful resource. You will either own them or they will own you. Owning your experience doesn’t mean you’ll turn into an emotionless robot. On the contrary, you may even allow yourself to feel more deeply than ever before because emotions will no longer appear as uncontrollable experiences to be avoided. You will learn to master and use those emotions to enhance your life.
Pay attention this week to just how common “makes me feel ________” occurs in your everyday language. Notice how often it shows up in conversations, on TV and in books and magazines. Here’s a preview: You’re surrounded by it. That is the current world that has been created through language. What world might you create instead?
To Your Great Life!