I was listening to an audio recording of a talk by Graham Cooke.
Graham shared a story about a dinner conversation he had with the lady who had just received a promotion. When he asked her if she was excited about the promotion, she told him, that she was, in fact “terrified.”
Graham considered this for a moment, and then asked her, “Yeah, but what if you’re not? What if you’re not terrified, but instead you are a bit anxious and somewhat excited?”
The woman thought about this, and then said Graham was right… she wasn’t really terrified, but a more accurate description would be that she was a bit anxious and somewhat excited.
“Right,” said Graham. “But what if you’re not? What if, instead of being a bit anxious and somewhat excited, you are actually only a tiny bit nervous and really excited?”
After thinking this over for moment the woman agreed that “tiny bit nervous and really excited” was a more accurate description of how she felt.
Graham proceeded to walk her through a few more progressions of this kind of thinking, until she realized that she was actually quietly confident and incredibly joyous about her new promotion.
Quite a difference from being “terrified”, isn’t it?
The lesson I take from this is a simple one. It is this: the language we use to describe how we feel about any given situation has a powerful influence over our emotions.
Simply asking ourselves if it’s possible that we might feel excited, instead of anxious, about a particular circumstance or situation, has the power to alter our actual emotions about that situation.
My question for you is: what situations are you facing right now that leave you terrified, bored, or depressed?
Think about that for a moment.
And then, think about this… what if you’re not?