If you had a simple tool to change your state with ease would you use it?
Imagine a spectrum with your negative feelings about life or a current circumstance on one end, and way over on the opposite end, how you most want to feel.
Neither good nor bad. Just neutral.
Where do you typically find yourself on this spectrum?
If you’re human, you’ll have days when it’s a fast and slippery slope to the negative, a.k.a. the dark side.
The problem isn’t that you go there, it’s that you stay.
Sometimes for a brief visit, and sometimes for an extended period that sucks the life right out of you.
And maybe you think there’s not much you can do about it. You react, get caught up in the emotions and in the blink of an eye a week’s gone by and you’ve barely left the house or your jammies.
It doesn’t have to go this way.
Becoming aware of where you are on the spectrum restores your power and ability to choose.
Imagine standing right in the middle, in neutral.
Look to the left – all the dark, negative feelings await like a creature from the black lagoon. Familiar, dark, heavy.
Look to the right – where your most inspired and positive emotions live. Engaged, exciting, light.
Be here in the middle and notice both ends.
“There is neither happiness nor misery in the world; there is only the comparison of one state with another, nothing more.” – Alexandre Dumas
It’s easy to sabotage yourself when you want to change the state you’re in. You try to jump from feeling like crap all the way over to joyful and inspired, but it’s too great a gap and instead, you feel stuck, frustrated and resigned.
However, if you start to view your state from the perspective of a spectrum – a stateline – there’s suddenly room to move in either direction.
You really don’t have to stay stuck.
“Getting stuck is reactive, getting unstuck is proactive.” – Sherene McHenry
And if you do? There’s something powerful in realizing you have a choice.
That you’re not a victim of the circumstances. And you’re not at the mercy of your emotions.
Even if you only move to neutral, there’s a world of difference from where you began in your negative state. Taking that one step towards how you want to feel moves you in the direction of feeling better.
You now have a tool to explore the full range of whatever emotional spectrum you feel stuck in.
“Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.” – Anais Nin
Step 1: Notice what negative state you’re in. What’s the emotion you’re feeling? Name it.
Step 2: What’s the opposite, positive and desired feeling? Name it.
Step 3: Notice where you are on the spectrum. Are you really at the furthest point on the negative side? Or are you closer to the middle, neutral ground?
Step 4: What one action would move you towards your positive, desired feeling?
Step 5: Go take that action.
When you learn how to pay attention to your states you empower yourself to choose, and feeling stuck can become a fleeting state of mind rather than a pity party over on the dark side.