Emotional Empowerment – getting a grip on Thinking, Feeling and Behaving
Emotional Empowerment – getting a grip on Thinking, Feeling and Behaving !
By Elmarie van Heerden – LifeWorks Personal Development Trainer.
The understanding of human behaviour intrigued scientists since the earliest of times. Theories varied from the 16th century belief that there is a little man (homunculus) living in the brain, mechanically ‘driving’ it, to as resent as 300 years ago when Medici believed that only women can get hysterical. To treat it, they removed the uterus (from there the origin of the word ‘hysterectomy’ – removing the source of hysteria). It is only more or less 100 years ago that scientists realized the importance of thinking and feeling on behaviour.
In an ideal world where we always feel wonderful, always behave in a beneficial way and always manage our thoughts pro-actively, we can assume that we will be 100% mentally healthy. Nobody, however, is perfect and we do not live in a perfect world.
To empower ourselves emotionally means that we have to manage all 3 these areas of our lives: Thoughts, Emotions and Behaviour. It can be compared with a three legged pot that needs all three legs to be balanced. If two of the three legs are stable, the pot might stand firm for some time, but if only one leg is stable, the pot will certainly fall.
Thoughts are basically our awareness. Sometimes thoughts are straight-forward and easy to implement, i.e. the choice to go left of right; to sit or stand. Thoughts can also make our lives very difficult, i.e. the thought that we are unattractive and overweight and therefore do not deserve to be loved.
Behaviour is everything that can be observed in oneself and others. Behaviour is the result of responding to stimuli according to what we believe or think. One woman might refuse an offer to go on a blind date because she is scared of rejection whereas another woman might look forward to it because she enjoys meeting people – regardless of being rejected or not, accepting the risk of being rejected.
Emotions are feelings, varying in intenseness and duration. Emotions are the result of our thinking and actions.
We might not choose to be sick, made redundant at work or suffer the loss of a relationship, but we can surely choose how to respond to it by being aware of our thoughts, resulting in how we feel and determining our behaviour. Pain is inevitable, but misery is a choice!
Emotionally empowered people know that self awareness (of Thinking, Feeling, and Behaving) impacts positively on the quality of their lives.