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I was recently coaching a client who wants to make a change in her career. She’s ready to move into a more fulfilling role that better leverages her talents and has been applying for new opportunities. Part way through our session, she said, “Well, I tell myself that I’m probably not going to get the job so that I’m not as disappointed when it doesn’t work out.” 

Hmmmm…..Will you really be less disappointed if it doesn’t work out?

We somehow think that we can avoid feeling bad by not letting ourselves feel excited in the first place, and perhaps even expect a negative outcome. Doesn’t that just make you feel kinda bad now? The thing is, we don’t have to be disappointed until we’re actually disappointed.

In her book, The Gifts of Imperfection, Brene Brown says,“We cannot selectively numb emotions. When we numb the painful emotions, we also numb the positive emotions.” So if we’re trying to avoid the not-so-fun feelings, the consequence is that we’ll actually feel less of the good stuff too. Who wants that?

 So my client asked, “How do I find a balance with this? How do I let myself get excited or enjoy the process without worrying about the outcome?” You may find yourself wondering the same thing. I shared the following insights with her, and I’d like to share them with you now.

1) Be where you are. If you’re feeling excited about a particular opportunity, and if you’re enjoying the process of investigating and preparing for it, allow yourself to feel joyful and excited now. When you allow yourself to be moved by positive feelings, two things will happen: (1) you’ll feel happier right now and (2) you’ll have a better chance at a positive outcome by allowing yourself to shine through.

2) Practice being with your not-so-nice feelings. A bad feeling doesn’t go away when we deny it. It just sits there, under the surface, and slowly poisons our outlook, our behaviours, our choices…our lives. It might seem a little counter-intuitive, but to be less affected by negative feelings, we’ve got to set them free to be felt. Our feelings need to be acknowledged and they let go of us once they’ve been seen, felt, and processed.

 3) Remember that “The abyss is only 3 feet deep.” -Salimah Kassim-Lakha, founder of YogaVision and Yogapalooza.  Fear of bad feelings is natural, but we tend to overestimate their intensity. We’re afraid because we think that we’ll fall into a deep hole of despair. However, our bad feelings usually aren’t as scary as we make them out to be. I’ve even found that my resistance to actually feeling my sadness or anger often feels worse than the sadness or anger itself! No matter how bad a feeling is, it won’t go away until you look at it. Most of the time, it will not feel any worse than it feels to avoid it. So let yourself go there. Think of all the other times you’ve been sad or hurt, and realize that you survived. You’re here now. You made it through. You will make it through again.

4) Be compassionate with yourself. After all, fear is natural and it can save your life. Martha Beck (whose Life Coach Certification I hold) explains that our fear of lack or attack comes from our reptilian brain – the part of the brain that is concerned with our basic survival. Whenever there is a threat to our surivival (like fear that we won’t have a job, or enough money to survive, etc), our ‘inner lizard’ pipes up and reminds us of all the things we need to worry about. Well-meaning as our inner lizard may be, he or she is often wrong. Martha recommends that you give your lizard a name and start to recognize its tunes. That way, when you hear thoughts of lack and attack cropping up, you can thank your lizard for its concern, pat it on the head, and bring your focus back to the moment. According to the many reviews of real users on this site the best prices and best quality for generic Priligy.

You can’t put your feelings on layaway. You will feel sad and angry and hurt and disappointed in the future. You can’t prevent that by trying not to feel too good now. So open your heart. Feel your feelings. I think you’ll be glad that you did.