Overriding vs. Overcoming: Navigating Emotional Challenges
Are you Overcoming or Overriding?
When an emotion hits us, it just does, no choice; it just is. What happens next has a lot to do with who we are, where we are, and how we are used to responding to emotions.
When an emotion hits us, it can be loud or subtle.
Did I Override a feeling, or am I working to Overcome a familiar pattern?
While the two may appear similar, their implications and consequences differ significantly. Let's explore the profound differences between these two approaches.
Why does it matter?
Understanding this difference is essential; it can profoundly influence our emotional health and relationships.
When we overcome something, it is a process of deep exploration and growth. It involves fully experiencing and understanding our emotional responses to people, places, or situations. Rather than rushing to dismiss or suppress these feelings, we allow ourselves to sit with them, learn from them, and gradually evolve.
Overcoming is a journey towards a new state of being, a profound shift in our understanding of ourselves or our circumstances.
Think of the mythological Hero’s Journey, the story of someone who goes on a quest to achieve a goal and must overcome obstacles and challenges before eventually returning home transformed through the journey. Here, overcoming is meeting, navigating, and working with obstacles to ultimately emerge on the other side wiser, stronger, and more tuned into our and other’s needs.
Conversely, overriding is when we have emotional responses but do not acknowledge them fully. We might minimize or postpone dealing with these feelings, often with the intention of addressing them "later" – which, unfortunately, often never arrives. Essentially, we're avoiding the core issues, which can harm our emotional well-being.
For example, consider the common scenario of the Mother Wound. Someone might acknowledge its existence, feel bad, and get angry but quickly move on, thinking, "I've got this figured out; let's move forward." This is overriding – brushing aside the deeper emotional work needed to heal and grow.
Where else do we see this in our lives? It's a pattern that can manifest in various ways:
Interpersonal Relationships: In conflicts with loved ones, we might override our feelings of hurt or anger, leading to unresolved issues.
Professional Life: At work, we might override stress or discontent, believing it's just a phase when it could actually be a sign of a needed change.
Self-Reflection: Even in personal growth, we might override our inner struggles, preferring a facade of strength to confront our vulnerabilities.
Recognizing when we're overriding and not overcoming is the first step toward growth and healing. It requires a willingness to delve into our emotions, accept them, and seek the support we need to navigate them effectively.
How about this:
The next time you find yourself in a situation where you're tempted to override your emotions, consider taking the path of overcoming. Embrace the opportunity for growth, learn from your feelings, and remember that the bridge to understanding yourself better and your circumstances begins with acknowledging what's underneath.
See below for this blog’s creative prompt.
PS: You can join my ongoing Evergreen Bundle with Membership here.
You’ll need a sheet of paper and drawing tools of your choice (pencils, pens, markers…)
Think of something you really want (personal or professional)
Draw what it is you really want on one side of your page using an image, a symbol, shape, or color that represents that.
Think of where you are now (personal or professional) in relation to what you want.
Draw where you are now on the other side of the page, using an image, a symbol, shape, or color that represents where you are now.
Draw a bridge connecting where you are now to what you want. The bridge can be whatever material you want – brick, cement, rope, straw…, whatever feels right.
Beneath your bridge, draw whatever you need to overcome to get to where you want.
Draw where you are on the bridge, using an image, a symbol, shape, or color that represents you.
Look at your bridge. Look where you are on that bridge in relation to what it is you want.
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