Many years ago, I had a boss say to me “it’s business, don’t take it personal.” I still remember feeling completely stymied – his words were like a punch in the gut and I wasn’t supposed to feel this?
As women we are taught to stomp on our emotions, squash them, ignore them and for the love of God, don’t be too emotional or too strong, especially around a man or a woman who is misguided by power. I learned this the hard way. That same boss later fired me, saying I had “usurped” his authority. What the heck?!
I now understand the antiquated phrase, “it’s business, don’t take it personal” means “I’m delivering bad news and I wish to be exonerated.” And I now know, as author Sabaa Tahir, wrote “Your emotions make you human. Even the unpleasant ones have a purpose. Don’t lock them away. If you ignore them, they just get louder and angrier.”
I grew up in an environment where speaking your truth was not encouraged or supported. I had no idea how to navigate my emotions and my frustration at times would explode out of me physically and verbally. To not be heard, to not be allowed to express yourself and then to embody the message that emotions should be tampered down and withheld, led to a rocky road for many years ahead.
I get it now – emotions are your guiding light. How you feel can illuminate areas of opportunity and help you conjure a future, or circumstance that is in alignment with who you are and what you believe.
Perhaps you manage a business or lead an organization. Your goal may be to increase revenue by x-amount of dollars. You achieve your goal have a short-lived moment of “wow, great job” but you’ve arrived tired, depleted and are now setting the bar higher for the next goal. Exhausting!
What if your primary objective was how you want to feel? My example is; above all else I want to feel fulfilled, inspired, enthused, engaged and calm. I make choices and have conversations based on my emotional desire. My emotions light the path for what is working, what isn’t working, show me where to adjust and what I need to let go of or embrace even deeper.
Your emotions are your tuning fork to make beautiful music in your life.
I certainly have goals for my business and life, but how I pursue these goals (I prefer the word desires) isn’t guided by going for that goal; it’s guided first by how I want to feel, which clears the path for setting intention, which allows for presence and clarity and opens my heart to connection and opportunity.
Your emotions signal when it’s time to pause, reflect and fine tune so you arrive having enjoyed an enlightening, fulfilling trip.
Will you encounter storms? Probably. But when you fully embrace your emotions, you tap into a system of guidance that shows you how to adjust your sails to support your well-being and traverse life hurdles with confidence and more ease.