When I was growing up, I wanted so badly to be â€œfamous.â€ That seems like a fairly typical dream for any teenage girl, right? Sure, it was a â€œnormalâ€ fantasy, but it wasnâ€™t necessarily the best use of my energy. The problem underlying this early career dream was that I programmed myself to look at success purely through the lens of possession, what I would have: money, clothes, fabulous parties and friends â€” a luxurious lifestyle all around.
But I never considered how I would feel, and the importance of happiness and fulfillment when considering the meaning of success. Of course, I always assumed, on some level, that I would be â€œhappy.â€ I mean, why wouldnâ€™t I be?
But this assumption is dangerous, especially in light of our cultureâ€™s emphasis on money and possessions. Think about it: so many of us say, â€œWell, Iâ€™ll be happy when I get that raise â€¦ when I finish this project â€¦ when I move across the country â€¦ when I meet my dream partner.â€ Too often we think of happiness as conditional on these external markers of â€œsuccess.â€
As I grew up, I luckily began to understand that my emotions were so much more important than my possessions â€” and by extension that my possessions certainly wouldnâ€™t confirm my happiness. Sometimes, Iâ€™d get the things that I wanted, and then wonder: why doesnâ€™t this feel right?
So today, Iâ€™m going to show you a three-step framework you can follow to use how you feel to get the kind of success in life that suits you.
1. Get curious.
If youâ€™ve ever heard yourself think or say, â€œI get restless when Iâ€™m aloneâ€, this first step is especially important. So often weâ€™re told to push emotions away or that itâ€™s a waste of time to understand them â€” but that couldnâ€™t be further from the truth. If thereâ€™s anything to change your mind, itâ€™s that the further away you push how you feel, the more control unhealthy habits or beliefs will have over your life.
So your first step is to simply get curious about whatâ€™s going on with you. Why do you feel anxious or happy today? What happened in that meeting that made you feel angry? Instead of thinking, â€œOh, no! Itâ€™s that feeling again!â€ instead think, â€œHmm. whatâ€™s going on here? Let me take a few minutes to find out.â€
2. Talk to yourself like you would talk to a friend â€” no matter what.
When you first start understanding the kind of emotions youâ€™re feeling, itâ€™s easy to get mad, annoyed, or frustrated and want to push them away. â€œUgh, Iâ€™m so silly for being angry by this. I shouldnâ€™t let it bother me.â€
But consider a radical, but simple alternative: what if we talked to our thoughts like a friend would?
You could gently ask, â€œHm, why do you feel that way?â€ rather than berating yourself or becoming guilty for allowing feelings anger or frustration to arise.
What this kind of talk does is relieve so much of the stigma of having uncomfortable or negative emotions, and allows you to talk to yourself with compassion. Doing this lets you see it like a friend or outsider would, and therefore come up with healthy ways to deal with it. The result? Youâ€™re much better equipped to actually deal with challenges that are going on.
3. Find a solution.
After being curious and talking with yourself, the last step is to find a solution for whatâ€™s going on. If youâ€™re feeling sad, maybe you need 20 minutes of alone time. If someone bothered you, maybe itâ€™s time to figure out what youâ€™ll say to that person so you can express how you feel. And sometimes, all a thought or emotion needs is a little attention and the solution is just to let it be there vs. trying to â€œfixâ€ it.
The incredible benefits of this step-by-step process of cultivating emotional intelligence is that youâ€™ll find that youâ€™ll learn to be in better control of your emotions, rather than letting them controlling you. This is something that â€œsuccessâ€ will never be able to provide for you.
Just imagine having a particularly long or busy day â€” but feeling that you handled it well instead of lashing out or getting so stressed you couldnâ€™t think. Or being able to handle conflict with grace because youâ€™re not in your head, stewing with anger. And even better than that, imagine feeling confident that whatever direction you choose to go in life should not be based on what people think you â€œshouldâ€ do â€” but on decisions that align with what you want, and who you are.
â€œ3 Steps To Tap Into Your Intuition For Success (On Your Own Terms)â€, by Felicia Spahr, April 16, 2015 at http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-18307/3-steps-to-tap-into-your-intuition-for-success-on-your-own-terms.html