Let Intentions Carry More Weight Than Feelings

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When making important life changes we can think of our underlying intentions as the foundation upon which the house of change is built. Just as a house will collapse without a solid foundation the process of change will collapse without solid intentions.

Those intentions emanate from increased conscious awareness around why, how, and what. Why is this change important? How am I going to think, feel, and behave differently to get there? What are the concrete, specific behaviors I’m going to have to enact on a consistent basis?

During the long, difficult process of change it’s hugely helpful to be able to refer back again and again to those underlying intentions in order to refocus. Because the fact is that most of us allow how we’re feeling at a given moment to determine our motivation levels. We don’t feel like doing it so we don’t do it.

In fact many of us live under the false premise that a behavior isn’t authentic unless we are feeling like enacting it! We feel like we’re faking it somehow unless we’re feeling it too. But the truth is that feelings come and feelings go. They’re like waves in the ocean or clouds in the sky. They form, they stick around for a while, and then they dissipate.

We could easily make the case that it’s the feelings which are inauthentic in the change scenario, especially when those feelings don’t align with the freely taken intentions underneath.  

Let intentions carry more weight than feelings when it comes to undertaking important life changes. This is our existential power as human beings, that we don’t have to be like robots that respond automatically to however it is we’re feeling at any given moment. We can transcend those thoughtless responses and replace them with intentional behaviors, behaviors that stem from our free decisions around who and what we want to be.

Obviously feelings are important tools in our repertoire for understanding the world but they’re not the end all be all. The question in any important life undertaking where entrenched patterns of behavior have to change or new patterns of behavior have to be enacted should not be “Do I feel like it?” but “Does this fit with my underlying intention?”