Now that I given myself time to feel this invisible emotion it is now time to process this feeling. If you ever felt like this you have to know this is not an enjoyable feeling. Like all bad emotions I have to take the steps to process this and find a constructive way of handling this emotion. By doing the work to process this emotion…that way when the emotion returns it will not linger as long.
Plus the point of doing the work, is to feel better.
Steps to Processing Negative Emotions
Step 1: Locate the Origin
Contrary to popular belief, emotions don’t come out of nowhere. At one point of our lives someone, something or an occurrence planted a seed that grew overtime.
This seed grows into insecurities, self-consciousness, self-loathing and lack of confidence just to name of few. If you noticed most of the emotions have the word “self” in front it. This is indicative that we are allowing our hazardous past to destroy ourselves. There are people around us that do put us down, however, it is how we respond to the situations that will determine how we feel. It is important that we find ways to self-protect.Don’t be too hard on yourself as some of these seeds are deep-rooted and you will not be able to uproot these negative emotions overnight.
Just remember you did not get to this feeling overnight so it will take time…be patient with the process.
To continue with my transparency, I think I could pinpoint this invisible feeling back to grade school. It started when I was always picked last in gym or last when playing games that involved running. I was an overweight child so running fast did not come easy for me. Looking back, I realized I was a pretty reserved kid. I wanted to hang with the “in” crowd but did not know how to connect or could it be that I just wanted to avoid being overlooked?Neverthless, this left me grow up to be pretty socially awkward.
In high school and through college, I learned that you could be liked by becoming a “yes” person. I mean I said yes to EVERYTHING!!! It was from spending time and money I could not afford for people that knew I overextended but did not care. People treat you how you allow, so my lack of self-worth and respect lessened the more I did this. I liked being used because it meant I was getting noticed, it meant I was being liked. Being liked was like a drug to me and I did all I could for my next hit.
Overtime I decided that I would do what I could to never feel overlooked again, not really seeing that I felt more invisible overtime.
Step 2: Speak Logic to the Emotion
So, if I am feeling the same way or even worse, why do I continue to take myself through this?
This is an example of a logical question and an actual question I asked myself. Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results. Once you realize your actions are illogical that is the first step of realizing the emotion YOU think is real and may possibly be something else.
In reality was I invisible if I was everyone’s “go to” person? When in a crowd people would talk to me and acknowledge me even when I felt I just blended in a crowd. The logical thought process is I felt like a throw rug instead of someone important to some of the people around me. The emotion of invisibility derived from people only calling me when they needed something and not calling to genuinely see about me. To get even more logical there are people in my life that genuinely like me but I removed myself from them to please other people.
Why in the Hell did I do this?
It’s because at one point of my life I wanted to be a certain way that was clearly not me. So those who can’t, hang with those that can. Hanging with people that genuinely loved me would cause me to be myself and why would I want to be someone that I don’t like.
Yes! You are reading it right… I did not like me and by being around people that did…it would force me to be myself.
It still sounds illogical but is more realistic than feeling invisible. The emotion of not being comfortable in my skin is root cause of this emotion. The experience of not being picked for certain games as a child made me believe something was wrong with me. At 35 I realize something was wrong with them…any one that did not want to be my friend…their loss. See I am not really invisible just never vibed with the crowd I wanted to be a part of. I never was an outsider I just had nothing in common with those people I felt I had to change myself for. There, my friends, is the logic.
Step 3: Do the Work
Now that I know the major key is I have issues with myself, it’s time to do what people avoid by this point…THE WORK! Now it is time to find the tools that work towards your issues to avoid this emotion from taking over again. The thought of invisibility will arise again but I will use the tools I discovered that work for me and it will pass and not be entertained.
I think we all love some aspects of ourselves but we allow the things we hate about ourselves to override those things. What I did is started speaking things I like about myself versus what I don’t like. I started talking more to people that genuinely call me to talk about nothing or see about my day. I still help out but I have set boundaries because I realized my time is valuable to me. I accepted saying “No” may cause people to stop talking to me but if that is all it took they did not need to be there in the first place. I realize that I am not like the crowd I wanted to be a part of but I really like myself and that’s ok. I realize sometimes I will accomplish something and no one will notice but it’s good I can congratulate myself.
If you notice I am responding to the same emotions as Part 1, but I changed my perspective.
I am a Christian and I started talking to God more. I know he listens and I know he cares. The more I talk to him the less I have that need to be heard by people. This is also known as a form of meditation. I started writing my thoughts down and the more I write, the better I feel. The more I look in the mirror the more I like what I see.
The work I put in the more I am uprooting the negative seeds that caused the cognitive distortion of invisibility.
Bonus Step: Turn your Insecurity into a Super Power
Models do this all the time. They take one physical flaw and highlight it in the cameras. This action exudes confidence and strips away negative energy. For instance if Cindy Crawford would have felt embarrassed of her mole it would have become a crutch instead of a super power.
Instead of hiding yourself behind the “in crowd” create your own super team and conquer the world.
For physical attributes you don’t like about yourself highlight them in more pictures.
For things you like to do but don’t feel confident about share them with people, no need of keeping your greatness all to yourself…share it with those who matter. Even if you are a novice of something constructive cricticism is just that… constructive. Whatever it is, take your insecurity and make yourself proud of You. If you have confidence in yourself, no one will have the power to take it away. My mom always told me to keep my eggs in my own basket, that way no one else has access to them.
Protect yourself even it is from your thoughts. You are worth it.
Do you have a unique process of processing negative thoughts? Please share in the comments.