🧠 Only Your Beliefs and Thoughts Control Your Emotions

Do you feel hurt by criticism? The truth is, it doesn’t have to affect you unless you allow it to.

Imagine a 3-year-old toddler telling you, “You’re so stupid!” It probably wouldn’t upset you. But if your boss said the same thing, it might sting.

Why is that?

It’s because you believe it when you hear it from your boss, but you dismiss the comment made by the toddler.

The negative comment itself can’t hurt your feelings or make you unhappy unless you believe it and agree with it. Only your beliefs and thoughts can determine your happiness or unhappiness.

💍 Some people declare, “I’ll make you happy for the rest of your life” during their marriage proposal. But the reality is, nobody but you can make you happy.


🤝 The Approval Addiction

Do you feel elated and proud when your boss compliments you or gives you positive feedback? On the flip side, do you feel crushed and worthless when criticized or given negative feedback?

Front cover of the book, Dr. David D. Burns, M.D., refers to this dependency as “the approval addiction” in his book, “Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy.


🎢 The Consequences of Approval Addiction

When you’re addicted to approval, your emotions are constantly at the mercy of others, fluctuating beyond your control. Imagine spending your entire life on a roller coaster, never able to get off. The lack of control over your emotional well-being can make you miserable.


Furthermore, as with any addiction, approval addiction makes you vulnerable. Others can exploit your vulnerability and manipulate your feelings for their gain.


⚖️ Maintaining Emotional Balance

To live an emotionally balanced life, you need to keep your emotions in an optimal zone. You have the power to do so.


Here are some tips:

1️⃣ Remember that only you can control your emotions.

As mentioned earlier, only your beliefs and thoughts can control your emotions. When someone criticizes you or makes negative comments, they can’t hurt your feelings unless you believe and agree with them.

Remembering this can give you control over your emotional well-being.


2️⃣ Don’t let other people control your emotions.

If someone tells you, “You’ll never get there,” and it leaves you feeling crushed and depressed, ask yourself why you’re giving that person so much power over your emotions. Are they infallible? Do they always know what’s best for you?

Everyone has bad days and may make hurtful comments from time to time. Recognize that their negativity might stem from their own problems, not yours.

Furthermore, different people have different opinions. Consider the person’s opinion as just one of many.


3️⃣ Don’t dwell on negative comments.

Suppose you have a 30-minute meeting with your boss, during which they give you negative feedback for three minutes. Don’t let those three minutes out of 1,440 ruin your day. Maintain a healthy perspective.


4️⃣ Use specific feedback to your advantage.

If someone gives you negative feedback for something you can improve, work on it. Take that constructive feedback and use it for self-improvement. Don’t jump to the conclusion that you’re worthless or incapable. Just do what you can and move on!


5️⃣ Take responsibility for your emotional well-being.

Don’t delegate your happiness to anyone else. You’re responsible for your well-being, and only you can make yourself happy.

Don’t make excuses like, “so-and-so criticized me, so I’m depressed.” If you do, your happiness will always be at the mercy of others.

As Marcus Aurelius said,

“If you are pained by external things, it is not that they disturb you, but your own judgment of them. And it is in your power to wipe out that judgment now.”


📝 Do this Now:

Remember to:

✅ Keep in mind that you have the power to control your emotions and don’t let anyone else take control.

✅ View criticism as just one person’s opinion. Don’t dwell on it, and consider the possibility that the person may be having a bad day.

✅ When someone offers constructive feedback on a specific area for improvement, embrace it and use it for self-improvement. Then, move on.


By taking control of your emotions and understanding that your thoughts and beliefs dictate your feelings, you can cultivate a more balanced and fulfilling life.


Ultimately, the power to control your emotions and maintain your emotional well-being rests within you. Embrace this responsibility and start taking steps towards a more resilient, self-assured version of yourself.