Many therapists choose to focus on feelings in their dealings with their patients. The notion is that by discussing feelings, patients can learn more about themselves and translate that knowledge into more success and fulfillment in their lives. But is this really true?
Let’s look at this premise and see if it holds up in light of what is controllable in our lives. Can we control the weather? Can we control the stock market? Can we control what others think and do? Looking at these situations, we can say “No, they are not controllable.”
Are your feelings controllable? Can you control feelings of anger, sadness, joy? Most of us, upon reflection, would say “no.” Feelings arise, reside within us for a while, and then dissipate.
Make a list of all the things you think you can control? Try as you might, you will find there is only one thing you can control: your behavior.
In subsequent posts, we will examine how the less we dwell on our feelings and the more we focus on our behavior, the more control we will have over our lives, careers and relationships.