Feelings REALLY are a key tool for change
What are your Dominant Feelings?
Are you living the "dream"? How do we change? Feelings may influence how we act
much more than we may realize. The purpose of this page is to offer an
understanding of how feelings often do effect the decisions in our lives, and how
to use feelings to help us change our lives.
Regardless if you are a female or male, in some families or cultures,
feelings are sometimes suppressed generally due to "incorrect
lessons." This may be cultural, or it may be first learned from within
the family, where you may learn at a very age to suppress your feelings. Claudia Black, PhD,
MSW discussed in her book "It Will Never Happen To
Me" (amazon) that we were given the messages "don't talk, don't
trust, don't feel". Her
blog (blogspot.com) talked about how this could happen. For example, in extreme
cases situations could be so abusive or scary, that suppressing your feelings
was a way to deal with the insanity or difficulty of a situation. It is said
that some people drink to "stuff their feelings." In other cases, you may have had
parents that dictated what you were to do, and that left no room for expressing
Furthermore, for some men in U.S. (and maybe elsewhere), it was (or still is)
considered a sign of weakness if men show they had any feelings. "Keep a
stiff upper lip" (wiki) is a British attribute where you were taught not show any fear.
Moreover, in some families or cultures, it was considered a sign of failure if you had to see a
therapist because of your emotions. Now, suppressing your feelings may
seem to make sense if you have to fight in a war, and you have to choose between your
life or an "enemy's" life.
It seems that in some cases, the interesting paradox is that
some people may have been taught not to be aware or express their feelings, yet
it isn't it often the feelings behind our thoughts that run through our minds that keeps
some of us from
sleeping well at night or that sometimes dominates our mind during the day?
Understanding how feelings actually affect you can open a door for
change. Have you ever wondered:
WHY do we sometimes make decisions that either
ARE NOT THE BEST CHOICE or
WE KNOW THEY ARE WRONG
but we make them anyway?
WHY do we sometimes
RESIST A CHANGE THAT WE WANT TO MAKE?
HOW does understanding WHY we make those decisions
to make the changes in our lives?
Have you ever watch or read The
Secret (thesecret.tv), or read the Power of
Positive Thinking (amazon) by Dr. Norman Vincent
Peale, the Bible, or any of the other positive thinking, (what could be called) "self-improvement" books and wondered:
- Have you or others read books like these, yet continue to have
negative attitudes or events happen in their lives?
- How do they
- Should I "trust" in the process of positive thinking? After all,
isn't it brainwashing, telling me how to think and feel?
Have you ever felt stuck, like your "spinning your tires", even though you know you
may want to be doing something different?
Why don't we always end up
"teachings" that self-improvement books have to offer? After all, if you
have read any of these type books, don't they all generally seem to make common sense?
Does positive thinking actually work and how?
Well I think that understanding how the brain works, and how dominant feelings
could be effecting how I act (or react), gave me a plausible reason to HOW and WHY
positive (and yes negative) thinking works.
If this makes sense to you, and you understand HOW dominant feelings can
live, then you can better
harness that knowledge towards producing a more positive, productive, meaningful and happy life. After all,
isn't this the true message from all these teachings? How we can best live this
amazing gift we call life?
The following explains the "what, how and why" of dominant
- Where did the term "the dominant feeling" come from?
- What is "the dominant feeling"?
- How does "the dominant feeling" affect your life?
- Why you should identify any negative dominant feelings in your life. (You
may be surprised to read this especially when the purpose of this site is to
help people become more positive and loving.)
- How you should use any identified negative (or positive) dominant feelings
to improve your life. More specifically:
1) How to create the best positive dominant feeling for a given situation.
2) How to take your positive dominant feeling and apply the lessons learned
to live a happier life through personal change.
Where did the term "the dominant feeling" come from?
I first heard about "the dominant feeling" from the audio version
of a great book by Dr. Wayne Dyer called Wishes
Fulfilled (hayhouse.com). In it, he frequently talks about one of his mentors, Neville
Goddard. He mentions quite frequently passages from a book by Neville Goddard
called "Feeling is the Secret." Neville's
book appears on many sites
including here (feelingisthesecret.org)
(nevillegoddardpdf.com). Amazon also sells the book
(amazon). Neville devoted a lot of his life to helping others,
not just with books, but also many lectures and audio recordings. Some of those
lectures and recordings can be found here
(Thank you Neville!)
In "Feeling is the Secret," Neville talks about "the dominant
What is "the dominant feeling"?
The definition of "dominant" is "most important, powerful, or
influential." It's the "strongest emotional feeling."
Something that really surprised me at first is that according to Neville,
"the dominant feeling's" strength is "measured" the same,
regardless if it is a positive or a negative feeling. In math, they would call
that that the "absolute value" of the feeling. Simply put, whether you
are happy or sad, whichever is a stronger feeing at the moment wins. This
sometimes happens even if your rational thinking determines that the happy choice is the
choice you want to make.
For example, everyone has a fear of jumping off a tall building and landing
on a cement ground. Good thing! However, how many people, including me, have an
"irrational" fear of
heights (Acrophobia) (wiki), even
when where you standing poses absolutely NO risk whatsoever of falling down?
What if by going up a mountain and looking down a cliff would provide a
most amazing view. For some people, the dominant feeling of fear limits them
from experiencing an amazingly beautiful view. It can limit your life, even
though rationally you know it's safe.
How does "the dominant feeling" affect your life?
Neville says, "The dominant of two feelings is the one expressed." He then goes on to say that, your ideas become
your feelings, and that "No idea can be impressed on the subconscious until
it is felt, but once felt - be it good, bad or indifferent - it must be
expressed." In simple terms, Neville says your dominant feelings
choose most (or all?) of your resulting actions in your life, even though you may not
want them to!
To visualize what Neville says, consider you are a
robot waking down this long hallway, and at the end of the hallway you run into
a junction and you can take either a left or a right. Which direction do you
choose? In terms of feelings, your dominant feeling would determine if you will
be taking the left or the right depending which feeling, or "program"
(right or left) is stronger.
To understand these concepts and how to use them, I suggest you read his book
"Feeling is the Secret," but I'll also try to simplify what he says
and how he arrives at his conclusion. This is because if you start to read his
book, you may first find it confusing. I did. I hope that my simplified interpretation
or "translation" will
be accurate and help you better understand how you can use this knowledge in
Besides what instincts we are given at birth, it seems just about everything in life is learned. (Note: You may also want to
read most skills in life are
learned.) So how do we learn and process
what we have learned?
- We first hear, see, feel, smell, taste, sense, and so forth everything
that happens in our life. If we model us like a computer, these are our
"inputs." These are our conscious thoughts.
- From our "inputs," we create our thoughts or ideas. For example,
a bright sun creates heat.
- From our thoughts/ideas, we formulate feelings. For example, on a cold
day, the bright sun may feel good to us, and we may feel "comfy."
These ideas and feelings get stored in the subconscious part of our mind. The subconscious is like a computers
- When there is a decision about what action to take in our life (or how
we react with people or situations), decisions are driven by "the dominant feeling." The subconscious
simply retrieves the data and acts accordingly. So the subconscious simply
stores what we tell it to store, and retrieves what we ask for.
As previously mentioned, Neville talks about the subconscious and consciousness
mind in his writings. The concept of the conscious,
subconscious and unconscious mind was made popular a long time ago by Sigmund
Freud. He called the subconscious "preconscious." The actions of the
conscious mind may be loosely grouped into steps 1 and 2 above, while the
subconscious and unconscious are more related to steps 3 and 4.
There are lots written about how the mind works. The
Conscious, Subconscious, And Unconscious Mind - How Does It All Work? (awaken.com)
a good starting point for those interested in more detail. If you want, take a look at it, and
then maybe with that and what I've written, Neville's "Feeling is the
Secret" will be easier to understand.
It's important to understand that in "Feeling is the
Secret," Neville says that the conscious mind communicates
or directs the subconscious mind through ideas and feelings. Neville
says that is the ONLY way to communicate to your subconscious mind. Maybe
he is right.
If you ever wondered about how powerful the subconscious is, and how much it runs
our life without us evening thinking about some things, consider this. Simply recall the last
time you drove a car, and hardly remember thinking about how you drove it! The
subconscious runs our life ("drives our ship"). Wayne Dyer in Wishes
Fulfilled (hayhouse.com) talks about how we can skate on a thin blade on ice, and once we
learn the skill, we can skate effortlessly years later even if we never skated
for many years. Research indicates that about 95% of our decisions come from our
subconscious and the subconscious mind process some 65 thousand thoughts a day!
You Programmed at Birth" (healyourlife.com), Bruce H. Lipton Ph.D. says,
most influential perceptual programming of the subconscious mind occurs from
birth through age six". Since your subconscious is programmed through
feelings and ideas, what do you think is stored (programmed) into the minds of children that
are brought up in a very loving, nurturing family verses a family with lots of
anger, abandonment, abuse and so forth? Moreover, it's not until around six that a
child has the ability to reason and say, in the case of a family that fights a
lot, "that's not normal for people
to fight all the time!"
Why I think you should identify any negative dominant feelings in your life.
If most every day your life is filled with joy, love, and happiness, then you may not have any negative dominant
feelings. However, if you seem to repeat (or seem stuck) in some situations in your life,
or the same negative thoughts continue to play through your mind day after day, and
you can't find
a solution, then I think identifying the root dominant feeling for the situation
is very helpful
because it can give you a reference for what you have to "unlearn" (or
"reprogram"). If Neville is correct, this is because it IS the dominant feeling that IS controlling your
actions in your life, so your goal is to switch that to a positive dominant
feeling. By having a clear understanding of what's wrong, by diagnosing the
problem, you can define and implement a plan to turn it positive. And if you don't take action to replace a
negative dominant feeling, then, according to the "laws" described by
Neville, it will continue to express itself (or play out) throughout your life, resulting in
So how should we use any identified negative (or positive) dominant feelings
to improve your life?
First, create the best positive dominant feeling for a given situation.
I believe that if you can identify any negative dominant feelings, then the
solution is to essentially look and research for its "positive mirror"
(or opposite) feeling and focus all your efforts in learning and living with
that new positive dominant feeling. I'm saying once identified, as Wayne,
Neville and others would write, don't give the old negative dominant feeling ANY
energy in your thoughts. Focus only on the positive through the conscious mind.
The following are two examples of how to create a positive dominant feeling.
Example 1, weight:
I think most people have heard the saying that
"food is love." Yes, food can be a loving act in many ways. Food
comforts a baby from birth, and is necessary for life. However, some people
have grown up in families with the notion that "when things get emotional tough, sit
down and have some pasta, or some food." Sure, people can show love when they
take the time and prepare special dishes for themselves and others. Those are loving
acts. So let's call "food is love" a dominant feeling. It seems like
it is a positive dominant feeling, at least to a point!
We all know what can happen if you "love food" too much, you
gain too much weight and that's not being loving to yourself or your body. We
all know it's doesn't look as good, but most importantly we all know that being
overweight has huge negative health impacts. Among other things, eating too much
takes food from other people, costs society and yourself amazing amounts of
money in health care costs, causes depression, gives you a lower quality of
life, kills you sooner, the list can (and does) go on. Knowing these TRUTHS, why doesn't
everyone weigh close what they should weigh? What are your thoughts?
One answer can be that they learned an unhealthy form of the dominant feeling
"food is love." Another answer can be from advertisements that sell
unhealthy fast food products" Just think, how many fast food commercials have
you watched? Have you ever heard a commercial use the word "love" in their
To learn how to eat healthy, learn (ask, read, etc.) which foods
are the healthiest foods and learn what quantities to eat and replace "food
is love" with sayings like "I love my life, and
want to now live a healthy
life, eating the right amounts of healthy foods." On the other hand, say, "I feel great
because of eating healthy foods and maintaining my proper weight. I also know it
off every day for the rest of my life allowing me to live a
longer, happier, healthier, more loving life." Now you probably noticed I
crossed out " want to." That is because if you say to
yourself "I now live a healthy life," the phrase is in the present
tense so it feels better and stronger. Remember, "Feeling is the Secret."
So, how do you make loosing weight a positive loving process?
How do you make that process something that you can be excited about right
NOW? One of the best examples I've heard was by Dr. Dyer. He said to see yourself
(imagine or visualize) as
already weighing what you want to weigh, right now. Feel the feelings that you
would feel if you already weight what you want to weigh. Feel how great will it
be. Feel how many activities and life options you now have!
Consider finding pictures of yourself or others who look like how you want to
look, and put them on the walls, screens or wherever you are likely to see them
every day. Now feel how that person feels weighing what they want to weigh. It would be normal and natural for a
person who weighs what they weigh to have smaller portions on their
plate. Use your imagination and feel how beautiful and uplifting it will feel
with all the new benefits and options that become available at your desired
weight! See also life changing tools.
Example 2, fear:
I'm guessing that the (or one of the) most common negative dominant
feeling for people may well be "fear." Now knowing exactly what a
person may be fearful OF can offer a more directed solution, but for this
example, I'm just going to say "fear." Now I think fear limits so many
people in what they do in their lives. Yes, folks should be smart enough to not
jump off a tall bridge with nothing but cement below. However, for some, fear can be debilitating,
and counterproductive. Actor Will Smith has a great perspective about fear and
its role in people's lives in
this YouTube video (youtube)
about his experience with skydiving.
What is the opposite of fear?
Google "the opposite of fear is" and Goggle's results give you many options,
such as acceptance, love, faith, and peace. I initially found "courage".
Therefore, it's something for you to think about and decide what works best in your life.
Second, take your positive dominant feeling and apply the lessons learned
to make every day be a better day for you and those around you through personal change.
As outlined above, once you have an idea of what positive feelings you want, the next step is to
work to replace the negative feelings. The short answer to how you do this is to
"reprogram" your thoughts. Since it depends on what your goals are,
the method may be different. However, the most common technique is using positive affirmations.
In Example 1 gave some sample "affirmations" designed for that
specific goal. You can make them up yourself. "Affirmations" are
really just positive sayings that focus on what you want to be or gain. If you
are still stuck, you can research or ask others for specific affirmations. There are
many audio sources with great affirmations, check out youtube and search for
affirmations. A primary key to having those affirmations work in life is
to use repetition.
Simply reading them once will not produce many changes. Some people suggest
you say the same affirmations in the morning and night every day for 1 year. If
that sounds like a lot, consider how many times top athletes practice
the same routines before they master them. To make them work for you requires
repetition, repetition, repetition. A 12-step slogan is "the program works
if you work it". In other words, work is required.
Now some may still be skeptical
that we can program our mind with positive affirmations, but I think the proof
is that if negative feelings are programmed, so can positive feelings. My logic
might be similar to proof
by contradiction (wiki). If you look at most young children, they tend to be
fearless. Over time, these same humans grow up
with some (or lots of) fears. This is because the fears were programmed into
them. Be careful about this, be careful about that... How much of the news
creates fear and/or negativity in our lives? If fears can be programmed in, they
can be programmed out through repeating positive affirmations. It's as simple as
that. It just takes work Try it for 1 year, it may take you less. Fear is learned,
and some fears are irrational and cause negative (or prevent positive) events in
our lives. By applying proof
by contradiction (wiki), positive feelings can be
"learned" through positive affirmations as well as other tools. Neville and Dr. Wayne
Dyer believed feeling
IS the secret. When you say your affirmations, it's very important that you
really feel the
feelings as if the result has already happened.
Maybe there IS a better way than "keeping
a stiff upper lip" (wiki)?
Obviously, any changes in your life of can ONLY come through
your actions = your work. Consider spending time learning from the teachings I've mentioned herein
or elsewhere. Never forget that just about everything in life is learned. There is almost an unlimited supply
of resources and people that want to help guide you towards helping yourself.
I've always been a positive thinker. Neville, Dr. Dyer and others
have provided me with new tools (such as the power of feeling), and I'm
seeing good results from using them. If you identify and understand any negative dominant feelings and
replace them with positive affirmations using feeling
and for long enough (remember repetition), you too can see great changes.
See also life changing tools.
I've read not too long ago that "it takes work to be happy," but I prefer
not to live an unhappy life. In the same way exercise helps to keep me physically healthy,
it makes sense to me to do the work to have healthy feelings. Just think what your days would be like
if everybody focused on being more
positive and loving!
Best wishes to your
loving, happy, healthy life!
Thank YOU for reading this!
By David M
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This page updated 12/07/22 09:56 PM