Feelings we experience vs what we really are

Knowing yourself is the greatest ecstasy in the world.” – Osho Rajneesh

Back in 2012 I came across the concept of enneagram of personality by attending a session with Gonçalo Eiró. I’ve since learned a bit more about this tool for self-knowledge and one of the things that is encouraged is that we keep a record of our feelings and emotions throughout several days or months in an attempt (or pursuit) of finding patterns and providing evidence for ourselves of where we live internally. You can think of it as an emotional diary log (or journal).

I’ve been writing on my emotional diary log since January 2013 until know (some months on and off) and I must say it’s quite valuable to be able to review my internal state in such a detailed structure.

The way I’ve structured it is:

Date / What I’m feeling / Why? / In the light of enneagram

Date – the date of the entry log
What I’m feeling – how I’m feeling at the moment
Why – the reasons why I’m feeling that way (to the best of my knowledge)
In the light of enneagram – how does this relate to my personality type (according to the enneagram)

Today I decided to share some of my findings after two years of keeping an emotional diary. What have I found?

Top negative feelings of 2014: anxious, bored, stressed, worried, demotivated, blocked, tired, sleepy, feeling like I’m about to go crazy, overwhelmed, lazy, sick, incapable, raged, disturbed, sad, revolted, disappointed, pissed off, hurt, confused

Top positive feelings of 2014: happy, well and relaxed, challenged, well

After a while of keeping the emotional diary log I’ve also started noticing patterns that usually resulted in certain feelings. I’ve noticed and took note of some positive and negative patterns I observed:

Top negative patterns of 2014:

  • Read about a competitor -> Go back to client work -> Feel sad because I’m not progressing
  • I want to Write in blog ->What should I write about? -> No idea -> Go back to client work -> Feel sad
  • Daily scrum -> I don’t know what to say -> I mumble -> I feel I’m not good enough

Top positive patterns of 2014:

  • Arrive early at work -> Do more things than I would normally do on a morning -> Feel productive -> Feel I’m progressing
  • Think of a good idea for a blog post -> Write it on blog -> Feel good
  • Make a quick experiment -> See results -> Feel I’m progressing
  • Make a list of important outcomes to achieve during the day -> Check one by one until all or most are complete for the day -> Feel I’m progressing
  • Do an affirmation with Ana of what we want to accomplish and how we are going to achieve it first thing in the morning -> Feel inspired and happy
  • Have a difficult task that can’t be done -> Set myself to accomplish it -> Feel motivated -> Track how much time I take -> Solve it
  • Chunk things into smaller items -> Accomplish at least one of the items -> Feel progress -> Feel motivated

Noticing these patterns (especially taking conscience) and writing them down causes myself to feel I’m more experiencing these states rather than thinking “I’m like this”. It’s a bit difficult to explain but I hope you can relate somehow. It’s so easy to identify ourselves with the feelings that most of the time we assume that we must be like that! It’s the fight of “the feelings we experience vs what we really are”.

How about you? What are some of your patterns? I hope to continue discovering my patterns and deepening my knowledge of myself this year. After all knowing ourselves seems to be an infinite source of happiness, easily in reach as long as we’re brave enough to tap into it.