An Inside Job

A few days ago, I did a Go Live video on Facebook. Before I pressed the “Start Live Video” button, my heart was pumping; my skin felt as if it had tiny pins and needles all over and butterflies were doing loop the loop in my stomach. There was also a lot of noise whirling around my head.


Despite this, I still did it, but rushed. I wasn’t happy as I didn’t get the message across that I wanted. More thinking! I found the delete button and re-did the video.


These nervous or scared feelings often put people off taking action. They certainly have for me. How about you? It can be so debilitating, holding us back, we play small.


Perhaps you tell yourself a story on what those feelings mean: “I’m not ready”, “What will they think of me?” “I might get rejected”, “blah blah blah”. Maybe you say to yourself “I’ll take action when I feel confident.”


Someone once said, when we put off taking action until we feel ready, it’s like waiting for the room to warm up and then put a log on the fire.


Why wait?


We wait based on a misunderstanding of what our feelings and emotions mean.


It seems as if it’s the “Start Live Video” button or people potentially criticising us or all manner of things such as our money situation, the past, the future, covid19 or even the weather causes us to feel a certain way.


However, what I’d love to share with you is something that I have learnt. It was transformational for me. I realised that our feelings and emotions never come from the outside; they only ever come from our thoughts in that moment. It’s an inside job!


So, going back to me about to do Facebook Live, my nervous feelings were a representation of my fearful thoughts. Or I may have even mislabelled excitement as nervous! These sensations are very similar, aren’t they?

Inside the Dark, Silent Box

I read an article in the Guardian recently about Professor Lisa Feldman Barrett, who studies emotions. She talked about the brain and brilliantly described it as “a prisoner in a dark silent box – the skull”. She explained that it has no idea what is happening on the outside. Yes, it’s an inside job always.

The only information it receives is via a change in light, air pressure, being exposed to chemicals etc. It second-guesses based on data it has stored and decides what to do next – usually thought and a feeling – they are two sides of the same coin.


Based on complex data from a Spaghetti Junction of neural pathways, plus our current mood and energy levels, a thought magically pops into our consciousness. Our feelings reflect this thought; it’s an inside job. They are never based on the outside. Oh yes, it seems like it. It is the world’s biggest illusion.


Let’s look at another example. Yesterday a person said something to me, and I felt angry. You may think that it was the person that caused me to feel angry; however, if I hadn’t had that “angry” thought, I wouldn’t have had that feeling.


If I had been in a joyful mood, I might have experienced the comment as funny. I would have had a funny thought rather than an angry thought. Our experience only ever works one way. Guess which way…yes, it’s an inside job.


What is the point of our feelings?


Our feelings are a fabulously precise system giving us feedback on the type of thought we are having right now. When we see this for ourselves, it frees us up. We don’t need to analyse them; we don’t need to stir thoughts up, we don’t need to get stuck in certain emotions, stops overthinking and our stories going round and round in our minds, which is extremely exhausting. The impact of this is we have so much more energy; we take action no matter how we are feeling, which moves us forward.


As I have written before, we have approx. 80,000 thoughts every day. Fresh thoughts and feelings can appear effortlessly. It is liberating, let them flow.


So my tip for today is to realise where your feelings are coming from and put them into perspective. They are not from the outside. They are not from other people, money, past, future or a camera. They are always an inside job, originating from a squishy fatty complex blob inside a dark, silent box.

If you want to take action – Go do it, despite your feelings of nervousness. Try it out for yourself.

Thanks to Markus Spiske on Unsplash for the great photo)

Hi, I am Lindsey Reed.  I love connecting with people and helping them to remember who they really are, their true selves. Coaching is online, the wonders of technology. If you would like to connect with me, pop an email to

My book Got It: The Answer to a Confident, Productive & Stress-Free Life is available from Amazon and is now in over 25 countries. It describes how we create our experience of our own reality called life. Through this understanding, we can have a more confident and freeing life.

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