Hi, and welcome to episode nine of Take Control with Whitney Wells. So I want to start off by saying a huge thank you to everyone who has shared, rated and reviewed this podcast. It means so much to me. I really, really appreciate it. And thank you so much for listening. All of your support means so much. I love getting this content out to everybody. I love sharing everything I've learned. So I've really appreciate all of your support.
Today we're going to talk about some common feelings that I've been hearing a lot lately. Some from clients, some from family, friends, these feelings have been coming up a lot with the world that we're living in right now. These feelings of overwhelm stress and powerless. I've been hearing people mention these feelings a lot. Maybe you're feeling some of these feelings as well. Maybe you're a mom or a dad, and you're planning for the upcoming school year and you're feeling stressed or overwhelmed or powerless. You don't know what they're going to do. Are they going to open the schools? Are they not? Have they decided already, so you don't have control of that. Do you feel overwhelmed with the homeschooling? Are you stressed out with all the things that you'll have to do? Maybe you're not a parent and you feel stressed, overwhelmed, and powerless with the world around you. You feel stressed, overwhelmed, and powerless and maybe it s your job or COVID-19, or the government, or other people: what they're saying, what they're doing. I totally hear you. I totally get you. I'm right there with you lately.
I have been thinking a lot about my son and my stepdaughter heading back to school. I think, "will it happen? Do I want it to happen? Do I want them to go back to school during a COVID-19 pandemic?" I don't know what to expect. "Will they have to wear masks? What will their day look like? Will they go a couple of days a week? Will it be virtual learning? Will be homeschooling? Will I have more responsibility with their schooling?"
I have been feeling all of the feelings. My son is entering kindergarten and I already was nervous. I already was so worried about him going into this new school environment; not knowing anybody, not knowing any of these teachers, any of his friends. I get a little choked up talking about it. And now with the COVID-19 pandemic, I have added feelings. I have stress and anxiety. I'm nervous; even more nervous than I was. I'm scared and I feel powerless.
This leads me into some concepts that we're going to talk about today. We're going to talk about emotional adulthood and emotional childhood. I'm going to explain these topics; these concepts. I'm going to talk about how you can take control, how you can have that power, pull your power back and how to not give away your power. How not to be at the mercy of the outside world. That's what we're going to go over in this episode.
These concepts of emotional adulthood and emotional childhood, they're so beneficial. Understanding and implementing these concepts gives you your power. Gives you your control. You're not at the mercy of other people and other things when you're able to implement emotional adulthood. And we'll dive into that.
These concepts that I learned of emotional adulthood and emotional childhood, they changed my world. They changed my relationships. They changed my overall experience of myself. Before learning these concepts, I would think that I felt a certain way because someone said something or did something. So if someone said or did something, I felt hurt, I felt sad, I felt angry because of their words or their actions; their behavior. I would give them the credit for my feelings. I would give away all of my power before learning these concepts.
Emotional childhood is living in blame and victim mode. But it's important to understand that most of us are taught as young children, that the things that are occurring outside of ourselves, including other people, what they're saying, what they're doing, how they're acting, all their behavior; we're taught as young children, that these things, these other people, are what are causing our feelings.
For an example, a parent may say to a child, "I'm sorry she hurt your feelings when she didn't include you", or "that hurt his feelings when you said that". We are connecting our feelings to their words and actions. We are connecting our feelings to the outside world. We are connecting our feelings to whether people behave in a certain way. Believing other people have the power to control how we feel is living in emotional childhood. And this is completely disempowering. And it's indulgent.
When you make yourself a victim by being at the mercy of someone's words or behaviors you're indulging in this emotion. You are at the mercy of the "villain" or the circumstance such as COVID-19, homeschooling, virtual learning. When you feel stressed, when you feel overwhelmed, when you feel powerless, we often think the outside world is causing this. Maybe it's your job that you're thinking is the cause; maybe it's COVID-19, maybe it's the government, maybe it's other people, their actions, their words, what they say, what they do, and maybe it's school. Just some examples. But the best news is that this isn't true. It isn't true that the outside world can create your feelings. The outside world can't cause you to feel anything.
Where do these feelings come from? Your thoughts. From you. So for me, I was thinking "my son won't feel comfortable", or "I was also thinking my son will feel scared and alone". That's probably my main thought that I was thinking about him going to kindergarten during a COVID-19. And when I thought, or when I think, "my son will feel scared and alone", I feel powerless. It's the thought "my son will feel scared and alone". That is causing my feeling of powerless. It's not that he's going to kindergarten during a COVID-19 pandemic. It's my thought about it.
So when we go back to how we were taught as children. For instance, when a parent would say to us, "that hurt his feelings when you said that", in fact you did or said something and the other kid then had a thought that made him feel hurt. So his thought caused his feeling, not what you did or said. When you're living in emotional childhood, we think the outside world caused the feeling. We think the other person caused the feeling. We think that government or COVID-19 or kindergarten caused the feeling. When living in emotional adulthood, we take our power back. And we know that our thought about the circumstance caused our feeling. Our thought about kindergarten in the fall. Our thought about COVID-19. Our thoughts about our job is causing our feeling. Emotional adulthood is taking your power back. It's owning your responsibility.
Emotional adulthood is taking full responsibility for your emotional state. Emotional adulthood is not expecting external things to make you feel a certain way. It is taking all of your power back. It's the best place to live. You are responsible for how you feel in every single moment. It's the best news. Living in emotional adulthood allows you to be aware and take ownership over your thoughts, over your feelings, over your actions and your results. And from there, you can decide on purpose, how you want to show up; who you want to be. You can decide on purpose, the results that you want to get.
So often we want to justify that he or she caused our feelings and I've been there. I get it. We want to justify that something outside of us like COVID-19 or the government, or as I said, kindergarten in the fall or homeschooling or other people's words and actions, all of that; we want to justify that they're causing our feelings. We want to blame them because if we don't, maybe we feel we are "letting them off the hook". But I want to offer that you are only creating unnecessary suffering for yourself when you're connecting your feelings to their actions or their inactions or the outside world, or the things that are occurring outside of you. You were feeling this stress. You are feeling overwhelmed. You are feeling powerless. They can't feel your feelings. You are creating these feelings for yourself. They can't feel them. So blaming people and outside circumstances for our feelings gets us nowhere. Besides feeling disempowered.
The best news is that our thoughts are both the problem and the solution. Because we can't always change the other person or the thing. But we do have control over our minds. So for me, I'm thinking "my son will feel scared and alone" about kindergarten and the COVID-19 pandemic. And I feel powerless when I think "my son will feel scared and alone". Now, what if I thought, "no matter what, I'm here for my son", when I'm thinking about him going to kindergarten during a COVID-19 pandemic. I'm thinking "no matter what, I'm here for my son" and that thought gives me the feeling of love, instead of powerless. My thought can be both the problem or the solution. But it is never: kindergarten, the pandemic, the people, the words, the actions of others, that is the problem or the solution. It's always our thoughts. You have all the power; best news.
Let's say you feel stressed and overwhelmed. You feel stressed and overwhelmed because of your mind. Living here is emotional adulthood. How do we live in emotional adulthood? How do we do this? First: You have to recognize your power. So ask yourself, "what are you thinking that is causing your feeling?" Maybe you have thoughts that look like: "I wish this wasn't happening". "They shouldn't say or do that". "I have so much to do". "Homeschooling is so hard". "My child won't be comfortable". "The state of the world is horrible right now"., These thoughts are causing your feelings, not the outside world. The outside world is not causing your feelings. The first step is awareness of your thoughts, recognizing your power. Have the awareness of your thoughts and have that awareness, that your thoughts are creating your feeling of overwhelm, stress, powerless.
Then you want to take responsibility for your feelings, take responsibility for your thoughts, own your thoughts on your feelings. That's where you are living in emotional adulthood. But once you recognize your thoughts and know that they are causing your feelings, I want to strongly urge and emphasize to have compassion for yourself. Don't judge yourself or beat yourself up for your own thoughts and your own feelings; for feeling overwhelmed, for feeling stress, for feeling powerless. You had those thoughts and those feelings. And of course you did. And that's okay. There is no upside to beating yourself up about your own thoughts and your own feelings. So Just have compassion for yourself. Be curious about them, recognize them.
Be aware of them and have compassion for yourself and be curious. And from that curiosity question, your thoughts. Question if they serve you: "do these thoughts serve me?" "Do I want to keep thinking them?" "Are they creating what I want to create for myself?" And then if you want to, you can change them from there. You have the power over your thoughts. So that is how you can live in emotional adulthood. If you're living in emotional childhood, you're at the mercy of the outside circumstance. So you can't change that outcome for yourself if you're dependent on that outside circumstance. But when you're in emotional adulthood, you have the control over your result.
For example, the thought "I have so much to do" and you feel overwhelmed or stressed. The thought "I have so much to do" is causing that feeling of overwhelm and stress. It's not, let's say, the items on your to do list. It's not the things to do. It's not your job. It's not homeschooling. It's not your kids. Recognize your power. The first step be aware of that thought: "I have so much to do". Be aware that it's creating your feeling of overwhelm or stress. Have compassion for yourself. Have compassion that you thought this thought, and you had this feeling. Question, your thought. Do you want to keep thinking this? Is it serving you? And then change it if you want to. Or keep thinking it, if it's serving you,
Let's try another one. The thought "I wish this wasn't happening". And you feel powerless. The thought, "I wish this wasn't happening" is creating that feeling of powerless. It's not COVID-19, it's not the schools being open or shut. It's not homeschooling. It's not what other people say or do. It's not how they behave. These circumstances is not creating your feeling of powerless. When you're in emotional adulthood, you recognize that the thought, "I wish this wasn't happening" is creating your feeling of powerless. You're aware of your thoughts and your feelings and what they're creating for you. You have compassion for yourself for thinking, "I wish this wasn't happening", and for feeling powerless. Of course you did. Of course you feel that way, when you think that thought and that's okay. And then you question, do you want to keep thinking this? And then you change it if you want to.
So the steps you recognize your power. You have awareness of your thoughts and that they are creating your feelings of let's say overwhelm, stress and powerless. You take responsibility for your feelings. You are causing your feelings, nothing else; best news! And then you have compassion for yourself. You have compassion for the thoughts that you're thinking. And then you question your thoughts. Question if these thoughts serve you or if they don't. And then you decide on purpose, if you want to change them, or if you want to keep them.
Remember that emotional adulthood is taking responsibility for your own emotional state. I believe that understanding emotional adulthood can be so powerful. Living from emotional adulthood can be so powerful. Knowing where our power lies and how much we have control of, in regards to our reality and in regards to our experiences, is so empowering.
So take control by living in emotional adulthood. Don't live at the mercy of others. Don't live in emotional childhood. Take your power back. Thank you so much for listening and I'll see you next time!