Managing Self

Feeling your way through sticky situations

Written by Jill Farmer

Feelings are sometimes slippery.

Recently, I faced a dilemma.

A decision about whether to “go for it” in relation to a relatively unknown business venture.
It could be really great it if worked out.
And, it could cost time and money if it didn’t.
I discovered every time I thought about it, I felt really edgy and out of sorts.

So, I did what I usually do when I feel uncomfortable.
I started getting busy and doing stuff.
I distracted myself. Started spinning my wheels so I was occupied—even if I wasn’t accomplishing much.


The light bulb went off in my head, reminding me that I tell my clients to pause and reflect when they’re feeling discomfort.

I ask them to take a look at the feelings that are making them feel uncomfortable.

So I did.

I paused and took a breath.
I was feeling fear.
I centered down into my body and let myself feel the physical sensation of the fear.

It’s not terribly fun.

Sometimes the feeling grows larger.

Again, not the most pleasant experience.

But, almost always, the feeling dissipates in about 90 seconds.

And, what’s behind it is usually clearer.

In my recent situation, it was a clear “go for it!”
I’m glad I did.

Feeling Into It:

1) When you notice yourself feeling stressed—see if you can identify the emotion you’re feeling. Watch it like you’re watching a movie inside of yourself. Feel it like you’re checking in with your body to see if you’re hot or cold.

2) Don’t judge or let a running commentary loose on the situation. Quiet your mind and just feel. Compassionately observe. Leave your inner critic out of the equation.

3) Notice what shows up on the other side of the feeling. Is it another feeling? Is it a lot of stories or about why you should hold onto that unpleasant feeling?

If so, consider whether a new script, or a new thought will be more helpful. For instance instead of, “this thing I’m thinking about doing may fail.” When I chose the thought, “I’m not sure how this is going to turn out and I’m curious to see what I learn from the experience,” I felt relieved, motivated, and curious. And I know from experience that following my curiosity is one of my superpowers.

THIS IS IMPORTANT! (I’m not shouting at you. Just grabbing your attention).

4) Give yourself a chance to FEEL your feelings before you ACT on your feelings. This is a biggie. We are so used to acting from our intense emotions. Or, trying to stuff them down and ignore that they’re still there influencing us. Wait until you’ve felt the feeling and let it move through you before you have big conversations or take big actions. Trust me on this. I’ve learned this the hard way. A lot.

Feel it, my friends.

You got this.

About the author

Jill Farmer

I love helping people get more meaningful work done in less time. I am the author of "There's Not Enough Time... and Other Lies We Tell Ourselves" which debuted as a bestseller in the Time Management Category on Amazon. In 2015, The Washington Post named me to its 21-Day Time Hacker team. I travel the world delivering keynotes and seminars for top corporations and organizations. I am also a wife and the mother of two teens and I have the two worst-behaved dogs in the universe. You can reach me at or visit my website

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