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March 26, 2024

Have you ever been caught off guard by a sneeze?  There’s nothing you can do to stop it.  Whereas when you sense a sneeze coming you can do all sorts of things to stop it.  In fact, the closer you are to the actual moment of sneezing the more challenging it is to stop the sneeze.  It’s painful to clamp down on our bodies' natural responses.

The same can be said about our emotions.  It takes a lot of work to stop ourselves from feeling and expressing our genuine emotions.  When we watch children, we can see their way of naturally allowing their emotions.  Now as adults, we have the benefit of knowing when to restrain ourselves from expressing our emotions openly to anyone and everyone.  We learn to understand our audience as we grow up and we don’t express everything we are feeling all the time.  Watching a little kid sneeze can be a thing of horror; frequently they do it without regard for anyone around them.  

But sometimes, as adults, we take this restraint too far.  Chiefly in that we not only stop ourselves from expressing our emotions, but also stop ourselves from feeling our genuine emotions.  Long before they even show up, we’re imagining, predicting, avoiding and trying to control them.  We distract ourselves and occupy ourselves in order to skirt the uncomfortable sensations we are either having or imagine having.  While this can seem like the best option at the moment, often the long term effect is quite costly.  In keeping with the sneeze metaphor, sometimes when we hold in a sneeze, we end up pulling a muscle or contorting our body in such a way that we create an injury.  

As with sneezing, we don’t need to do anything to feel our emotions.  They are there and ready to be felt as soon as we stop resisting them.  What we want to point out is that the effort used to stop those feelings can interfere with our sense of well-being and ability to produce the results we want in life.  Perhaps, when you’re starting to have a feeling that makes you uncomfortable, consider it may not be the feeling itself but your resistance to feeling it that is uncomfortable.

To less resistance!

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Since 1978 Workability has been helping individuals and organizations integrate who they are with what they do. Our greatest performances, relationships, and contributions are dependent on our authentic expression of who we are.

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