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Allowing a Feeling vs Indulging in a Feeling

Difference Between Allowing a Feeling and Indulging in a Feeling

In my coaching practice, I often talk about the model taught by The Life Coach School; the idea that Circumstances (FACTS) lead to Thoughts (that we control), which lead to Feelings (that we control), which lead to Actions and finally Results.  When I have a client who is stuck, we will discuss how to “Allow their Feelings”, and how to move forward and backwards in the model.  

I recently had a client who was trying to allow his feelings, but kept getting stuck.  He explained that while he was trying to allow his feelings, he continued to get more and more angry.  This is a common issue. 

When one “Allows their Feelings”, it involves quieting one’s mind (i.e. no Thoughts) and just sitting with the Feeling.  (Me, personally, I often picture the “10,000 Volt Monster” (from Scooby Doo), when I am angry.) However, when one is stuck, it typically signals that the person continues to have Thoughts, which then drives more Feelings.  This is not allowing a feeling; rather, it is indulging in a feeling.  This will usually lead to a person spiraling or spinning, which may lead to Actions contrary to the Results desired, for example yelling at their spouse, ranting on social media, over-eating, etc.

The next time you try to allow a Feeling, remember that Thoughts drive Feelings; and, as long as you are thinking the same thoughts that resulted in anger (or sadness, or any other emotion you don’t want to feel), you will not be able to move forward.  So, take a deep breath, clear your mind of thoughts, and just sit with the feeling… then grab an intentional Thought that creates the Feeling you want.

If you want help, I encourage you to reach out to me.  I am happy to help.

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