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Feelings Are Data, Not Directives – You Don’t Have To Do Anything But Feel Them

I got this idea from Susan David, author of Radical Candor. She says feelings are data, in other words, they tell us something about what’s going on with us. And she says feelings are not directives, meaning they are not a command for us to act.

I also teach in my classes, feeling a feeling is much different than acting on a feeling i.e. feeling anger is not the same acting in anger. Make sure you do the first, and then you can choose whether you do the second. Often when we fail to make a distinction between the feeling and the action, we are reacting, usually without thought. When we feel a feeling, pause, and reflect on it before deciding on the action, we are responding.

In fact, often just allowing ourselves to really feel the feeling is enough to lessen its intensity…’feel it to heal it’.

In my blog a few weeks back, you may recall that I waited 6 days to respond to an accusatory email. In those 6 days, I was fully able to feel all the feels: shock, anger, hurt, resolve and finally peace. Then I was ready to respond; my feelings were no longer directing me.

Try this ONE thing

Next time you get charged up with emotion, remember that you don’t need to do anything. Allow yourself to feel the feelings fully. And then decide how, if at all, you want to respond.


Want to experience coaching? I like to start with a deep, get-to-know-you conversation to see if we are right for each other. Sometimes we talk for one or two hours at no charge. I have no goal except to bring about transformation. Together we work on the lies, the self-deception, and the fears of the power you perceive to be outside yourself. We work on your difficulties in making decisions and your inability thus far to make bold choices in life and to follow through and trust yourself completely to do so.

The irony for some people is that the very thing that they want the coaching for (an indecisive, half-hearted life) is what’s keeping them from deciding whether to get coaching.

When you’re ready, reach out @ Meanwhile, enjoy the blog!

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