Picture this common scenario. You’re at work and your boss is annoyed because you missed a deadline. Meanwhile, you missed the deadline because your boss threw extra work at you, and asked you to prioritise it. You know you haven’t done anything wrong. In fact, you did your best. Regardless, now you feel emotions ranging from guilt to indignation to outright anger for being overworked and underpaid.
Whether you choose to react from these negative feelings or swallow them, you’ve jumped on an emotional roller coaster. These types of scenarios are so common – in work, love and life in general – that if you were on an actual roller coaster you would’ve turned permanently green years ago.
Before you can find emotional fulfillment, it’s important to understand how and why you’re holding yourself back from the state of feeling complete within yourself. The answer is ridiculously simple, yet it’s often one of the hardest things to conquer.
If you’re not emotionally fulfilled, it simply means that you’re not aware of your thoughts. If you were, you would know that you can direct them in order to create the positive emotions and outcomes that lead to emotional fulfillment.
Yes, you really are that powerful.
Emotional fulfillment stems from self-empowerment
Do you often feel sad, angry or even just irritated as a direct result of another person or a situation? Of course you do! We all do. On the flip side, do you think you’re currently happy because of your partner, your job or your bank balance? When we’re interacting with each other and the world, we often feel like we’re receiving emotions from our circumstances.
And this is why emotional fulfillment can seem so elusive.
Emotions can’t arise from anywhere else but within you, so you know that external circumstances aren’t actually creating them. Your thoughts about external circumstances are the drivers behind the feelings. Take this easy test for yourself, right now. Try to make yourself feel angry, happy, sexy or scared, but do it with a blank mind. Don’t picture anything or think about anything.
While you might conjure a semblance of feeling without at first being aware of a thought, give it a second and it will arise. Thoughts might come as visuals or words. Either way, you’ll discover that it’s not possible to amplify a feeling without a thought giving it substance and meaning.
Now, deliberately visualise or ponder something in order to evoke a specific feeling. Keep going for a few seconds until you notice the physical sensations that align with the feeling. If you choose a painful thought that makes you angry, your jaw might clench. If you pick a happy thought, a smile might tug on your lips. If you focus on sex, you can take yourself on a ride and further prove how powerful your thoughts are in affecting how you feel, emotionally and physically!
You are the master of your thoughts and, therefore, your emotions.
With this understanding comes self-empowerment and the ability to experience more moments of emotional fulfillment in all areas of your life.
Practical steps towards emotional fulfillment
If you’re living at the whim of what happens around you, rather than focusing on what’s arising from within, emotional fulfillment will forever allude you. So, the first step is to recognise that you’re the master of your internal universe. There’s no one else in there, right? It’s only with your permission that anything external to you can affect the way you think and feel about it.
Practice choosing your thoughts and feelings
The key to remaining aware of your thoughts is to use your emotions as signposts. As thoughts tend to be rapid-fire quick, it’s usually easier to stay mindful of how you’re feeling. For example, when you notice a drop in your mood, resist the urge to mentally analyse a negative situation or conversation. The focus on the negativity won’t help to solve an issue. Rather, it’ll empower and multiply the negativity.
Instead, once you’re aware that you’re spiralling into negative feelings, take a moment to consider what you were just thinking. Chances are, your thoughts were more ‘doom and gloom’ than ‘sunshine and flowers’. Can you now turn your thoughts around, one step at a time, to influence your mood towards a brighter day? Yes, yes you can. Doing so helps you to feel more emotionally fulfilled on a daily basis.
Stop chasing feelings from people and situations
What happens when you listen to a song that really inspires or moves you? Most often, you’ll experience a range of uplifting emotions, memories and even motivation for whatever it is you’re doing. These feelings can be just as potent as they are when you’re having an amazing time with a person or while doing something you love.
At any given moment, it’s likely you’re chasing people, things or scenarios to help you experience these types of potent feelings. The thing is, you can’t control outcomes or what other people do. So, if situations don’t turn out how you want them to, it’s all too easy to fall into your own trap of emotional non-fulfillment.
If your favourite song can send your soul soaring to bliss, if one thought can turn you on and if visualising a delicious meal can make you hungry, where is emotional fulfillment coming from?
When you live your life within this knowing, there’s no need to chase feelings from other people, careers, status or…anything at all. You have access to any feeling you want, anytime you want to have it. Taking complete responsibility for how you feel is the epitome of emotional fulfillment and the very definition of freedom.
Best of all, when you realise you have the power to create your own emotional fulfillment, you’ll become a magnet for experiences that match it.