Are there certain things in life that you avoid because you don’t like the way they make you feel?
The other day my husband and I were watching a show where a young couple had huge stacks of mail sitting around unopened because they hated the way they felt when they went through their bills.
Even though they had enough money to pay their bills, the stories they told themselves around money left them feeling awful. So, to avoid the feeling they let the bills pile up.
Leaving bills unattended may not resonate with you, but doing things, or not doing things in life to avoid feeling uncomfortable is not an uncommon behavior for us humans.
In this episode I’ll talk with you about the problem of under feeling and how it can lead to overdoing a lot of other things in life.
The strange thing about under feeling is that we don’t avoid all our negative feelings, just the ones we’re not familiar with. So, the result is the same, we still feel uncomfortable!
The good news is you can change the habit of under feeling. I’ll offer you a perspective that can disarm the idea of scary emotions so you can move past under feeling and into a whole world of new opportunities.
Watch the full episode on my YouTube Channel
Referred to in this episode:
Read the full transcript below:
Laura Lummer 00:00
You're listening to the breast cancer recovery coach podcast. I'm your host, Laura Lummer. I'm a certified life, health and nutrition coach, and I'm also a breast cancer thriver. If you're trying to figure out how to move past the trauma and the emotional toll of breast cancer, you've come to the right place. In this podcast, I will give you the tools and the insights to create a life that's even better than before breast cancer. Well, let's get started. Hello, and welcome to episode 250 of the breast cancer recovery coach podcast. I'm your host, Laura Lummer. And I'm really excited to dig into today's topic. This theme has been coming up a lot lately. And I want to share a story with you about how it came up for me and got me started again, on thinking about this concept we're going to discuss on the podcast today of under feeling. So I have been meeting with a naturopathic oncologist. And she's wonderful. And the first time that I met with her, I had already filled out a very extensive intake like basically my whole life story, right lighting my entire literally my entire life health history, like I called my mom and said Mom told me about when I was a baby, tell me about when I was in kindergarten, like the whole life story, right. And it was really interesting thing, because I saw a lot of themes and a lot of stuff come up with my health over it by doing this assessment. But anyway, that's going going off track. So I had, I had filled out this extensive intake form, and we got together. And she said to me, you know, I've read everything, and we're going to talk about it. But I'd like to take a few minutes and just hear you speak about the story, what has happened, and where you're at, because there's a very different approach in naturopathic oncology. And that approach is, know the person get to know the person understand what that person has been through in their lives. See the threads, you know, in writing the whole life health history, what are the threads, you see? What are the emotional components of it. And so they spent a lot of time with a patient, really getting to understand the patient and the way that they think, and identifying what emotions and where emotions come up. So it's really interesting process. So we get together, she says, I want to just hear you say, take a few minutes, and listen to your voice tell the story of what you've been through since your diagnosis and 2020. And where you're at now. So I begin to tell her this story. And I get to the part where I received the phone call. After all of my diagnostics were complete, and I received the phone call telling me what was found and how extensive the cancer was in my body at that time. And as I'm telling her this, she very gently stops me and she says, Can I just interrupt you for a minute? Can you just stop right here and allow yourself to feel what's going on right now. Now, obviously, she's very intuitive. And obviously when I'm recalling that day, a lot of powerful emotions are coming up, right? Those are super powerful day in my life. And it was just a really cool thing that she noticed that and says okay, let's let's just not just glaze over this. Let's just not tell the story and pretend that you don't feel it right now. And let's acknowledge what those feelings were. What do you recall what was happening? And what's still there? What are you still feeling so important, so beautiful. And I think just in taking those few minutes to create that space to allow feelings, weather then to press pass those and under feel right under fuel and stay up at the story level instead of allowing the emotions to become a part of that story. So that was a really neat experience for me being on this side as the patient and having someone stop me and say, Okay, I recognize this stuff and feel. And it was really important to me, because obviously I do a lot of that. Right? In The Life Coach School while I was going through my training. There are a lot of people who come to the Life Coach School to be weight loss coaches, because there is a huge need and demand for weight loss coaches in the world. And so what have kind of these slogans I wouldn't really call this one but a saying that we hear a lot in the Life Coach School is that people are overeating. People are under feeling.
Laura Lummer 04:50
So fast forward. I'm coaching some people over this last couple of weeks and I start to notice this theme and our brain Brain is so beautiful. It's so subtle. It's so sneaky I love. I love the human brain. It's just the most fascinating thing. And I'm coaching some people. And I'm hearing this theme that, well, I'm allowing myself this space to feel that what they're telling me the story I'm hearing isn't that they're allowing them space to feel is that they're saying, I'm allowing myself space to feel in process. And in order to do that, I'm basically canceling life. I'm basically stepping out of life because I'm saying, Oh, now I need to feel. And so then the net result from that is kind of a negative net result because things are dropping, right things are dropping off the the radar for them important things, things that have to do with work, things that actually need to be taken care of in life, aren't getting taken care of, because the story that their brain is telling us, Oh, you're here taking care of yourself, when really that self care is coming in the form of buffering. So we don't want to feel these uncomfortable feelings. So we're calling this under feeling. And let me give you a really clear example. We are familiar with certain feelings based on the experiences we've had in our lives. Maybe you are familiar with the feeling of and the emotion of anger, resentment, feeling taken for granted, feeling unworthy, feeling victimized, feeling like a martyr, maybe these negative emotions, or any other negative emotion, you can choose that they've been a part of your life, like a consistent thread in your life, you've experienced these emotions. Frequently, your brain tells you these stories that bring up those emotions, you know them, you know what they feel like in your body. And so they're familiar to you. They're not comfortable, right? Because to me, comfortable, doesn't mean a negative feeling, right? But they're familiar. This is a familiar, uncomfortable feeling. Now, let's hit those familiar discomforts to the side. And let's look at changing your life, reframing your life, moving forward, recreating a new life that requires you to establish boundaries. And once you've established those boundaries, it requires you to honor those boundaries with yourself and with other people. Maybe it requires you to say no to commitments, and to people that you would have never said no to. In the past, you were always the yes person. You were always the person say I'll just do it myself. Because who else will because they need me. But in fact, what it was, is if you said no. And if you establish an honor to healthy boundary in that scenario, you are going to feel a different kind of discomfort. Right? You are going to feel guilty or you are going to feel selfish, or you are going to feel something self absorbed. Right? And those feelings are new, uncomfortable feelings. They're not familiar, right? I'm not used to feeling those things. I don't feel guilty because I always say yes, even when I want to say no, I don't feel selfish because I always overcommit rather than honor my healthy boundaries. So those feelings over there, oh, I don't I don't like those feelings. I don't want to feel them. So in order to under feel them, in order to stay with feeling the familiar discomforts, I will continue to overcommit myself, I will continue to overeat. I will continue to over drink, overspend over shop over work, right? Because whatever emotions those things bring up, I'm used to them. And they're very familiar to me. So even though they're not great, I know what they feel like and I know I can handle it. Those other feelings. Oops, I'm so sure about those. I don't want those. So I'm going to overdo everything I possibly can to allow myself to not feel those feelings. Right? Makes sense? Why am I even bringing this up? Why are we talking about this when we're talking about it, because this is a very sneaky tactic that our brain uses and because processing negative emotions, and because having a future focus in your life is so All important to creating the life that you want to live after breast cancer, that you need to be aware when your brain is throwing you a red herring. And I would like for you to explore this area for yourself, and ask yourself and really do this exercise, I put a pen to paper and ask yourself, what are the uncomfortable feelings that I'm familiar with in life? What are the common threads in my life? My go to feelings? And make a list of them? Like if you're a pleaser, if you're a people pleaser? What's that? What's the feeling there? When someone seems upset, unhappy when you think like, oh, I need to fix this, I need to fix this. What is the feeling that you experience in that situation? That's uncomfortable, which is why you want to change it. You want to please everybody, so you're not feeling a certain way? What is that feeling? What would you call it? And then think about that same experience. And think if I was in the situation, where I was feeling that feeling. And so let's say that that feeling is anxiousness. Right, two people are in front of me, they're not getting along, or even one person, one person is talking to me, I can see that that person doesn't want the same thing I want, or whatever I'm doing, that person is judging us. It's not making them happy. And I want to make them happy, because I'm a people pleaser. And so I'm feeling anxious. Oh, yeah. Anxiety, that's, that's an emotion you could identify with. It's a familiar negative emotion. What does it feel like? What does it feel like in your body? And when you go straight to people pleasing in order to not feel that anxiety, that's when you're moving into under feeling? What would happen? If you allowed yourself to stay in that place? What would happen if you allowed yourself to feel that anxiety? What would happen? If you said to yourself in that moment, this time, I'm going to stick to my guns, this time, I am not going to try to fix it for that person. I'm going to let them feel what they feel. And I'm going to feel what I feel. What emotional come up? How would you feel in that situation? If you wanted to change from being a people pleaser, to being a person with a healthy boundary? What would you have to be willing to feel? So you see where I'm going this when we start to think about under feeling? It's that emotion that's going to come up that you don't really get? You're not really familiar with it. So it scares you. You think I don't know how to process that feeling. If I honor a healthy boundary, instead of pleasing someone else, in this moment, I might just feel guilty, like how could I just leave without trying to make this person happy? How can I just leave it here without trying to make them feel better about it? Maybe you're gonna feel guilty. And maybe you're like, Oh, God, I hate feeling guilty. I think this is such a fascinating topic. Because when you really sit back, and you think about the things you do, or don't do in life, and how we make choices over and over again, based on how we want to feel, or what we don't want to feel. What do you realize in that moment, that if it all comes down to a feeling, what is the feeling? What is an emotion? Is this vibration in your body? Right? So in this scenario, I just use people pleasing. Do you want to feel anxious? Or do you want to feel guilty, either one is not going to kill you. These are just emotions. They're just vibrations in your body. And when you think about creating the life you want to create, and when you think about the emotions that you might go through in order to get there, but you stop and you embrace you think, Wow, this is simply a vibration. I can make these changes in my life if I'm willing to feel these uncomfortable, unfamiliar vibrations. I'm used to feeling uncomfortable vibrations, but as long as they're the ones that I know, I'm cool with it.
Laura Lummer 14:40
But I can also feel these vibrations that I'm not familiar with. And I can just let myself do that. If I let myself to that. I can pretty much create anything. If I'm not afraid to feel the energy of failing something in my body when If a failure might feel like to you that I could take all kinds of risks, I could try everything new. I could try saying things I've never said before. I could try meeting people in ways I've never tried before. As long as I am okay with allowing the feeling of failing to be there. What if I was okay with allowing the feeling of embarrassment? What if I was okay with allowing the feeling of being wrong? was a big one. What's wrong with being wrong? What if I was okay, allowing the feeling of being doubtful that I'm not sure I'm doing the right thing? I'm not sure I'm making the right choice. Okay. What if you could allow yourself to feel that what could you do in your life, if you stopped and really embrace the fact that it all comes down to allowing a vibration to occur in your body? And believing that you can get to live on the other side of that vibration? I mean, that's pretty fascinating, isn't it? And yet we go through our life, overdoing all the things like I mentioned a minute ago, over eating, overdrinking. Think about everything over eating, why I feel bored. What's wrong was feeling bored. It just feels like boredom. Allow yourself to feel that boredom, right? I feel unsatisfied. All right. What isn't satisfied feel like? Like, what if when you felt unsatisfied, instead of going to the frigerator? You went and grabbed the journal. And you just started go? Let me write about what unsatisfied feels like right now? What could change? What if you could say to yourself, This is a really cool experiment, I've decided I'm just going to explore uncomfortable feelings as they come up and look at how I can be okay with them. Instead of immediately trying to go to something to make that feeling go away to under feel it so that I can feel a momentary relief from that. What would be different in your life? If you could allow that? What if you allowed yourself to just feel instead of using it as an indulgent thing, right? I'm making time for myself and making space for myself. So I'm not taking care of my family. And I'm not working. I'm just here for me. That's a buffer, right? That's coming, that's getting a net negative effect. But if you stop the negative behaviors in exchange for allowing full feeling instead of under feeling, what could change? How could you get to know yourself even better? And think of the confidence that you could have? Think of it if you were either what? I went a whole weekend off, and somebody just called me said, Oh, we really need you to come down to the HOA social committee and throw but barbecue for us anyway. Oh, God, I have to show up for them. It's the board. And what have you just said, You know what? No, sorry. I have a different engagement this weekend. Because your engagement is with you to take care of yourself and have time alone. What if you could just do that. And you could say, You know what, for a minute, I might feel bad like I should, I should step up for someone else, I should go do that. I don't want to, I don't want to it doesn't feel good. I don't want to do anything about it. What if I just let myself be there, instead of choosing to under feel, so that you could go to the familiar negative emotion over commit yourself, do something you don't want to do and show up in a place where you don't want to be if you think about how valuable that concept is, to healthy boundaries. It's pretty amazing. If you think about how truly simple not easy, but simple it is to realize everything comes down to a feeling. And if I'm willing to allow the space to feel I could get to know myself better. I could make the changes in my life that I really want to make. I could take the risks in my life to do the things that I think might be really super cool. I could invest in myself with time with money. I could travel, I could go places as long as I was willing to work through and allow the feeling that comes with it. This is don't spend that money on yourself. Save that for somebody else. Don't spoil yourself. Don't be self indulgent. And you just said you know what, I'm just gonna I'm gonna let myself feel that I let myself feel self indulgent and I'm gonna say am I okay with this? Can I do this? I believe you can do it. Yeah. because we were under feeling they were overdoing something else in our life, that at the end of the day is going to bring a negative result. But when we allow ourselves to feel anything, then the sky's the limit to what we can accomplish. So I encourage you to go out there this weekend and open your mind and open your heart to feeling everything. And to make a commitment to yourself to say, I am not going to under feel I am not going to under feel this weekend, I'm going to notice every feeling that comes up and I'm just going to get to know it. I'm gonna get to know what it feels like in my body. I'm gonna say that's interesting. That's just a vibration. That's just an emotion. And it's something I can choose to manage. And it's something that I can make choices around that results in positive change in my life. I would love to hear how that goes for you. So go out there don't under feel and come find me on Facebook. And let me know how it worked for you DM me or come to the breast cancer recovery group my free group or come work with me in the veteran before breast cancer life coaching membership. You can find that on my website at the breast cancer recovery coach.com forward slash life coaching and we work on everything feeling there's no wonder feeling in and better than before breast cancer life coaching membership because you really are there to build a life that's better than before breast cancer and it's all possible All right my friends I'll talk to you again soon. Take care of yourself until then.