March 15, 2022

Episode 30: False feelings

The way you describe your situation has a major impact on the range of responses available to you. Today we look at how you involuntarily trigger yourself into powerlessness when you use “false” feelings.

What you will discover

  • What “false” feelings are
  • What insidiously happens when you use hem
  • What empowering words to use instead


Mixed and produced by Adrien Grenier

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Episode Transcript

Hi, welcome to the excellent rider podcast! I'm Mélanie, I'm a certified life coach and I specialize in helping people just like you get things done, find ease and motivation again and get unstuck when it feels like you've lost your mojo. Today, before we start, I would like to thank very much. Sarah Abd in France who left me a very nice review. She said:

Excellent podcast! I've just listened to the second episode and I have already learned precious information about motivation. Thank you, Mélanie. I'm eager to hear more. And just like you Sara Abd, I am very eager to hear more of these kinds of reviews that really make my day and make me very happy to continue recording this podcast.

So thank you so much for taking the time. I really appreciate. Last week we spoke about victim mentality. And this week I would like to continue a little bit in that direction by talking about false feelings. So false feelings are something that creates a lot of powerlessness and powerlessness is the typical feeling that we have when we are in victim mentality.

And it's a problem because when you are feeling powerless, of course you don't take the kind of action that you could perhaps take in your situation, however difficult it might be. So you're not creating whatever little window of opportunity you have to do something about your situation, however tough it might be.

You're not doing that. And so of course you are not optimizing the situation for you. So I want you to remember that your brain is always listening on to what you're doing. So you have to imagine that your brain is like a big fat cat, which is sleeping next to you. Any reference to my own life would of course be completely a coincidence.

I don't know if you hear my cat purring as we're speaking, but my cat loves to come next to me and purr exactly when I've decided that it's time to record the podcast. So anyway. It feels nice to me. I hope it will feel nice to use you if you hear it as well! So you can imagine your brain like this big fat cat, which is a purring next to you and pretending to sleep, but looking at everything that you do and having an eye on you. And unlike a cat, it's quite helpful.

So the brain is very helpful. So it's not watching everything you do like a horrible big brother thing that is trying to plan your demise based on what you're thinking and saying. It's exactly the opposite. Your brain wants you to reach your goal. So more exactly your brain wants you to reach whatever state it is that you're describing to yourself the most.

So the thing that you're thinking about the most, the thing that you are describing to yourself the most, the thing that you're visualizing for yourself the most: this is what your brain will do all that it can - and in particular, it will use all of its automated processes - in order to help you reach that goal.

So if you're focusing on having more clients, for example, in a good way. So you're focusing on how fun it will be to have more clients, how enjoyable it will be to have more clients, how easy it is to get more clients. This is what your brain is going to do. It's going to do everything it can to help you get more clients.

And if you are focusing on how difficult it is to have more clients, how stressed you are because you don't have any more clients, how unpleasant it is to not have as many clients as perhaps another colleague, then your brain will do everything it can to protect you from getting more clients because it thinks that having clients sounds to be very stressful since you are describing it to yourself this way.

And so your brain will make you procrastinate and go and spend time on Instagram instead of doing whatever you had decided to do. So imagine that your brain is this big fat cat listening on to whatever you're telling yourself. And based on that, helping you reach whatever you are telling it is your goal.

In particular, the words that you're using when you're speaking about your goal. So whether you're speaking to yourself or whether you're speaking to somebody else, the words that you choose matter a lot, because the words that you choose imply a lot of things. And your brain will read between the lines and create a mental atmosphere, which is based on what you're telling yourself between the lines.

So, this is where false feelings come into play. We all say at one point or another something like I'm feeling rejected, I'm feeling cornered, I'm feeling betrayed. And my point is that these words don't actually describe a feeling. This is why I call them false feeling. I didn't invent that, this is a Non Violent Communication concept.

So basically what is a feeling? A feeling is an internal sensation in your body. The physical manifestation of each feeling is unique to you. Even though there are certain similarities from one person to another. And it's the way your body feels. And the feeling is the description of how your body feels. So for example, for me, when I have a tight throat, I call that shame.

And when I have a giant iron nail going through my sternum and pinning me down like a butterfly in a butterfly collection, I know that this is overwhelm. When I have a very big stone on my belly, this is grief. And when I have little needles or electricity running down my shoulders and my arms, this is anger. Etc. Etc.

And for you, you might recognize yourself in some of the descriptions I gave. Maybe for you, your physical manifestation of feelings is very different. But what is important to remember is that a feeling is the description of that particular sensation.

And a false feeling, for example rejected, cornered, or betrayed, that's something different. It's not a direct reference to a physical sensation like the words anger, sadness, or surprise. A false feeling is a word that implies that someone is doing something to you; specifically, something wrong and inappropriate.

So when you're saying I'm feeling rejected, what you're actually feeling in your body is a cocktail of several feelings, such as perhaps sadness, fear, disappointment, surprise, anger, defiance, maybe others; maybe less than all of this. But I'm feeling rejected is actually a mental description of a cocktail of feelings.

So let me give you a few more examples of false feelings. When we say I feel abandoned. What we actually mean is that the true feelings that are actually behind that word are probably something like fear, confusion, sadness, loneliness. When we say I feel cheated, what we mean is that we feel resentful, disappointed, sad.

When I say I feel cornered, the actual feelings behind that are fear, anxiety, and maybe a touch of hopelessness. When we say ignored, we mean loneliness, sadness, fear, embarrassment... Patronized, maybe that's resentment, powerlessness, inadequacy. When we say that person provoked me; what we mean is that I felt hostility, resentful, and fear.

When we say I'm rejected, maybe we mean sadness, fear, disappointment, surprise, anger, defiance. When we say tricked, we mean embarrassment and resentment. And many more, there's a huge list of those words. I can read a few more just to give you an idea of what I mean by false feeling. So. Betrayed. Blamed. Bullied. Intimidated. Misunderstood. Pressured. Taken for granted. Abused. Attacked. Belittled. Caged. Coerced. Criticized. Diminished. Disliked. Harassed. Insulted.

Interrupted. Isolated. Judged. Left out. Let down. Manipulated. Marginalized. Mistrusted. Neglected. Not accepted. Overworked. Put down. Ripped off. Screwed. Sidelined. Smothered. Threatened. Unappreciated. Unheard. Unloved. Unseen. Unwanted. Used. Victimized. Violated and so many more. So you hear all of these words have in common that they imply that somebody is doing that to you.

Somebody is doing an action on you that is creating a feeling. And when you use a false feeling word instead of trying to identify what is the actual feeling that you're feeling when you believe that you're being cheated, ignored, or provoked or whatever, what you do is that you create an undercurrent of powerlessness for yourself.

And powerlessness, with hopelessness, are probably the worst feelings they are because they make you give up on taking action. Or if you take action, it's the kind of action that will not yield very productive outcome. And we don't want you to create an undercurrent of powerlessness for yourself because you will start to stew in those feelings and you will start to assume that your feelings are the result of whatever the other person is doing.

Instead of noticing that even if whatever the other person is doing is mean and intentionally against you, the way you're feeling is created by what you are making the situation mean. So pay attention to the vocabulary you use. And next time that you notice that you're describing your feelings in a way that implies that someone is creating your internal sensations, remember that you are creating your feelings by the way you are reading the situation.

The situation is always neutral and you are assigning meaning to it that makes you feel the way you write. It doesn't mean that you should feel happy when someone is rejecting you, but it means that you don't have to feel powerless.

So pay a lot of attention to vocabulary. And in particular, a very easy first step to do that is to pay attention to whether you are using false feelings or not. And when you notice that you're using a false feeling, take a little step back and ask yourself: what are the actual feelings I am feeling when I tell myself I'm being rejected? Or when I tell myself I've just been cheated? Ask yourself, how do you feel?

And you will notice that the actual feelings pop up and it's probably a cocktail of several unpleasant feelings. The more specific you are, the more exact you are in naming your feelings, the easier it will be for you to take ownership of them and to transform them - as I have been explaining in all of the preceding podcasts.

I hope that you found this episode helpful. If you did, and you want to help me reach other people who need to hear this, the best way is to share it. You can tip a friend or you can leave a review on apple podcast or Spotify. And if you want the transcript it's on my website

Thanks a lot for listening today. And remember that even when you can't get yourself to do what you want, even when you're stuck in negative emotions and unpleasant thought loops. And even when you don't believe it - especially when you don't believe it: you are not broken. You are not flawed and you're not jinxed.

You're just learning how to be an excellentrider. There's no bad horses. Only untrained riders.

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