Emotional childhood and adulthood

Have you ever felt like you’re blaming someone else for how you feel?

It feels useful and true to do this, but it couldn’t be further from the truth.

The truth is your thoughts cause your feelings. Nothing outside of you causes you to feel anything. The government, your spouse, your boss, or your child cannot cause your feelings.

A circumstance happens. You have a thought about it. That thought causes a feeling.

This is great news because it gives you your power back. You can always decide how you want to feel in every situation.

Wondering if you’re acting like an emotional child? Listen to this episode to find out.

Here are more personal development resources that will help you when something sucks:

Full Episode Transcript

Welcome to the Design Your Dream Life podcast where it’s all about designing your life on your terms and now your host, Natalie Bacon.

What is happenin’? I am super pumped to talk with you today. Grow You is up and running and it’s so much fun. I am coaching so many women in this program and I just have to say that it is so amazing to see all of the growth already and the community that we have going on there. Some people have been emailing me, asking me questions about the program, how can they get into it? What’s covered? Is it business only? So I just wanted to start off today by kind of letting you know a little bit more about it.

It is a life coaching program for high achieving women and each month we dive deep into a new topic. It’s like taking the podcast to this whole new level where you actually apply it to your life and where I coach you on it. And every single month there’s a different topic.

So one month might be goal setting. One month might be emotions, another month might be mindset or money or career or health or confidence or online business or productivity or time management or you know, home organization, relationships, purpose. Those are just some of the examples and it’s based on a 12 month program where you’re going to get the most value by staying in the program for at least a year and every single month going forward. We will cover a new topic even after the year is over, but you won’t get all of the content at once. And this is by design so that I can take all of the content with you at a deeper level. But so many students are in there who have side businesses and full time businesses and there’s an always an opportunity for coaching, open coaching to get coaching on your business as well. It’s super fun. I’m just so excited about it.

I love everyone in there and the community and like how everyone is so motivated and growing and honest and really like authentic and genuine and I feel so grateful and lucky and excited. So if you’re not in there, you can apply. Now how you apply is you just fill out this like five minute application at NatalieBacon.com/apply and you will go onto a wait list and we will let you know if you’ve been admitted on sort of like a monthly basis if we think it’s a good fit. So you can fill out the application there and then we will send you kind of your acceptance letter when your number comes up if it’s a good match.

Now if you’re not really sure about what that means in terms of what you’re going to get in the program, even after this kind of short explanation, you can pop over into a new training that I have, which is called 9 Tools To Uplevel Your Life Today. It’s like a free life coach training where I’m diving deep into nine tools and you can just watch this video training. You basically just go through the training, um, at NatalieBacon.com/free-training, NatalieBacon.com/free-training. And you can watch that right away. And at the end of the video I even give you a link to a worksheet that you can use as part of your morning routine and that’ll kind of give you an overview of the topics and what we talk about in Grow You. It’s so fun.

I really think that this is going to be at least half of my business going forward. This is kind of my purpose. I feel so on fire and excited coaching all of these women. It’s been so fun and I’m so thankful for everyone in it and if you’re not in it yet, really go through that training and get on the wait list so that you know I can coach you. It’s super, super fun.

Okay, enough of that. Today we are going to talk about emotional childhood. Now I indirectly coach on this a lot, but I haven’t done a podcast on it and I think that it is going to be super helpful for you so that you really can maximize your life and that’s kind of what this podcast is about and that’s what Grow You is about. It’s all about wanting to take your life to the next level. I think everyone should have a life coach. It doesn’t matter where you are. I think there’s just like an information gap in the market that I’m doing my part to fill where I think people don’t understand how valuable life coaching is for everyone because wherever you are now, if you want to live life intentionally, there’s somewhere where you want to go. There is a level of growth that you want and that is where a really good life coach can come in and that’s what I do and Grow You.

And that’s what I do a little bit on this podcast, even though it’s just learning and information compared to coaching, which is the Grow You program or other types of coaching programs that you can get. So when I’m talking about emotional childhood, what I’m talking about is you taking responsibility for how you feel all of the time. This is kind of crazy because you would think that just that sense alone and you’re like, Oh, of course I do this right? We think that we’re always doing this. But what I’ve found and why I’m even doing this episode is that the people who are in my program and the people who take my courses are emailing me and getting coaching from me. And a lot of the underlying issue is emotional childhood. So it’s kind of like this hidden thing that I really want you to be able to recognize for yourself.

So again, it’s not taking responsibility for how you feel and it’s blaming someone or something else for your emotions. So let me go through a few examples for you. One of my students recently said that she’s been in a teaching job for over 15 years and she’s been unable to progress or get any sort of promotion or leadership position because of her boss, right? So she thinks that it’s her bosses fault that she cannot advance in her career. And this is what she said to me. And this is what I saw in writing from her. And she’s also said that she feels terrible and you know, she’s kind of blaming him. And what I, you know, coached her on is that this is not useful, number one, and it’s really not true. So her boss maybe isn’t giving her the promotion and she’s having a thought about that and her thought is causing her to feel terrible.

And there’s a space in between what her boss did not promoting her and her feelings and what she decides to think about what her boss did, which will cause the feelings. And you get to think whatever you want. So regardless of what her boss thinks of her, she can only control herself and she can think whatever she wants about not getting promoted and it’s going to be to her advantage to think something that empowers her and helps her feel motivated and committed to becoming a person of leadership.

Because when you become that person, when you take responsibility for how you feel, then you will have a different energy. You will have a different feeling, you will become that person and then you won’t have to force whatever it is you want. It will come to you. It’s kind of like everything I’ve been talking about, but in a different way in this emotional childhood way.

So she’s blaming something outside of her for how she feels. And the biggest problem with this, besides the fact that it’s just not true, it’s just not serving her. So you always cause your feelings.

Another one of my students actually in Grow You, she said that at every job she has, she feels unfulfilled and she just doesn’t think she’s doing meaningful work. And it, you know, she feels terrible about it. And what I coached her on was that feeling fulfilled is an emotion and it’s created by her thoughts and it’s not her job’s job to make her feel happy or fulfilled. That’s always going to be her job because feeling fulfilled is an emotion that comes from your thinking. And instead of looking for fulfillment outside of you and blaming your current job for your emotions, what you need to do is first of all, be curious and aware of what you’re currently thinking that’s causing the feeling, but then proactively choose to take responsibility for that feeling and that thought and decide to think something else that causes you to feel a different emotion and when you can feel fulfilled where you are right now in practice, the emotion of feeling fulfilled because it is an emotion. It’s caused by your thinking, it’s always within you.

Then from a place of feeling fulfilled, you can get a new job, right and you’re going to carry that fulfillment with you. It never means that you stay in the job, but it means that you create the emotion you want and you lead from a place of happiness. Just knowing that that chapter is complete and when you do this consistently, then you take responsibility for how you feel.

Another example that isn’t from any students or clients but that I hear all the time is with respect to student loans and it is from people who say all the time that it is the institution’s fault. It’s the government’s fault, it’s their parents’ fault. It’s always someone else’s fault that they have all the student loan debt and it’s just not useful. So when you blame someone else for how you feel about your debt, you give all your power away so that you can’t solve the problem. If you take responsibility for how you feel about your debt, you can change how you feel about it and you can create a plan to get out of debt and do it from a place of abundance instead of feeling like crap about it.

So I did this with my student loans and I remember thinking it was just so not useful. When I would hear people talk about how their student loans were the reason they couldn’t do something, I just, I would think that’s just so not useful, right? There’s just a better way to think about it that’s serving you more.

So I would always think like, what does this make possible? Right? So I started a blog about student loans and it was a slow process, but here I am years later now I have this business created out of that. So it was all from my thinking about it. And you always have a choice. You always have control over how you want to think and feel about something. And that is the best gift that I can give you because it means that no one else has that control over you. You have the control over yourself. It also means that by blaming someone or something else, you’re giving away your power.

And now the fourth example is the most obvious example of emotional childhood. And that’s with relationships. It’s when you give your emotional power over to your spouse or your friends or your family. It’s when we say he made me feel so angry or she made me so upset.

Anytime we say someone else made us feel a certain way, we are giving that person responsibility for how we feel. And the truth is that you created the feeling of anger or of frustration or of rejection or of whatever feeling you’re feeling by whatever it is that you thought. So someone did something and then you had a thought about it and that thought is what caused you to feel a certain way. And this doesn’t mean that you don’t have boundaries or standards or hold people accountable for their actions, right? You definitely want to do that, but you have to separate out their actions from your feelings. They have actions, right? Caused by their thoughts and their feelings, right? They take action and then they have the result for them. And then you have a thought about it and you get to think whatever you want.

You don’t hand over your emotions to them. You take responsibility for how you feel. Doesn’t it mean that you want to feel happy all the time. You might want to feel rejection, but you tell yourself, you know, okay, this is rejection. It’s the feeling of rejection. You allow it and you don’t blame the other person for it. And this is emotional childhood when we’re adults and we are blaming people outside of us for our emotions. And then what usually happens is that we’re resisting, we’re reacting and we’re avoiding those emotions rather than just taking responsibility for them and experiencing them. And then figuring out how to move through them and then create the more desirable thought that we want. And the more appropriate emotion.

This is really interesting. I find that the actions when you’re in emotional childhood often resemble the behavior of a real child. So it kind of looks like temper tantrums or you know, having little rage fits or you know, engaging with someone else and like some sort of yelling match, something like that. And the end result is usually finding yourself in a place where you don’t feel as if you have control over yourself.

So you act like a toddler basically. And when you choose to do this and not take responsibility for your feelings, you won’t take responsibility for your actions either. You’re going to be basically playing the blame game and it’s just not useful. It’s causing you to feel terrible. It’s not getting you the results that you want. And it probably perpetuates a cycle where you’re not moving forward. You’re acting as if you have no other choice. So I just want you to know and remember that you always have a choice. You always have a choice.

And it may mean that you just experienced the negative emotion and you choose not to act, but you always have a choice. And one of the other things I find really interesting with emotional childhood is that you might overeat as a way to kind of resist the emotion or um, avoid the emotion, kind of buffer that and escape it. Usually if you’re in emotional childhood, you will even do this with, um, food that tends to mirror what children would eat.

So it would be like the fast food, the French fries, the macaroni and cheese, the burgers. Um, and that’s not to say that, you know, I don’t love a good French fry or macaroni and cheese or whatever the case may be, but it’s just noticing that when you are in a place of blame and thinking that someone else is causing you to feel a certain way and you’re kind of blaming them, you’re acting from a place of emotional childhood, you’re likely going to take action that resembles that of a child, which will likely include some sort of, you know, eating that mirrors what children would eat.

Not always, but definitely sometimes I see it a lot and I’ve definitely been there, so I am including myself in here as well. And I want you to just know that however you feel in any moment is totally up to you. You can just feel anything at any time and you are completely responsible for your feelings 100% of the time. You are in charge of how you think, how you feel and how you act. And when you are in emotional childhood, you are not seeing that at all. And to really, you know, go to a place of emotional adulthood, which is the opposite of emotional childhood. It takes a lot of work. It takes doing this work and it takes really understanding something that we are not taught at all. Like no one teaches us this, which is just really unfortunate and that’s why you need a life coach.

That’s all you need me, right? It’s super fun to do this work and that’s why I’m so passionate about it. That’s why I get life coaching. I’m just not here talking about it. I have several life coaches actually. And the reason that it’s so useful is that having someone outside of you to kind of pick out how your brain is catching you up in things like emotional childhood is just something that you can do to coach yourself only to a certain extent. You will grow so much more quickly with a coach.

Something that I’m guessing you can relate to is as a child, you know, you probably heard a lot, you know, did so-and-so hurt your feelings? Or if you said something, your parent or teacher may have said, you hurt so-and-so’s feelings. So as a child, we don’t really have the capacity to be emotional adults, right?

We are in fact children, but it’s not true that we’re ever hurting someone else’s feelings. So when I coach parents, I suggest that instead of saying, Megan, you really hurt that little girl’s feelings, right? It’s like maybe saying, Megan, you did something and you are sorry about your actions. And the right thing to do would be to apologize. Do you want to apologize?

Or if their child is feeling hurt or upset or sad, I suggest that they ask their child, what were you thinking that caused you to feel sad? Instead of saying, what did Timmy say that made you feel sad? So there’s that slight difference there. That is everything. And most of us as children, were not taught this. I for sure wasn’t, and I don’t know anyone who was. But I think that as we learn this work and as I teach this work and coach people, this is where it’s changing and evolving and hopefully we can get this in schools and really help people grow up in a way where they’re taking responsibility for how they feel.

And most adults I know don’t function as emotional adults. Not only is this a debilitating way to live, but it also locks you in a space of blame. So you know it’s constantly blaming the government or the economy or your boss or other people, or your ex boyfriend or your ex wife or your mom or your dad or your childhood. That’s a big one I get.

In the episode of How To Change Your Past. I talked a lot about how to tell a different story because whatever story you’re telling, you get to choose. And if you’re telling one where you’re blaming something outside of you, the problem is that you can never design a future from your future if someone else has to create it. But if you get to create it, if you say, my child happened exactly how it was supposed to happen and it made me stronger and now I get to do this because of that, like there’s that subtle shift in telling the story of your past that makes everything better and will create the result that you want.

And you not only do this for your past, but you do this for your present as well. So anytime you are blaming, instead of blaming, you know, you can ask, how is this happening for me? What did I learn from this? Or what am I thinking that’s causing me to feel this way? Remember that the circumstances are neutral. What ever anyone does outside of you is neutral. How you feel is up to you.

And again, it doesn’t mean you don’t want to feel disappointed or heartbroken, but just take responsibility for how you feel and knowing that that feeling is caused from a thought that you’re having. Because when you’re in emotional adulthood, you will always take responsibility for your pain, for your excitement, for your love, for your joy. You will not expect other people to make you happy. You know, you will make yourself happy.

You will make yourself feel fulfilled, right? You will know that it’s within you to create the result that you want and know that you’re the only one who can hurt your feelings. And this is why people always say, forgive for yourself, not for the other person. Because when you hold onto anger and resentment in a place of scarcity, like you literally create that emotion, that vibration in your body where you’re literally hurting your own body.

So it’s not the other person like jumping into your body or your feelings aren’t jumping into their body. You just feel anger. So if you forgive, you get that relief. You get to feel better. So people say, forgive for you, not the other person. Really what they’re talking about here is that when you hold onto that you’re hurting your own self and you’re kind of giving power away to the exact person you don’t want to give it away to an emotional adulthood means that you are always going to take responsibility for how you feel no matter what someone else says or does.

And let me just tell you, it is really hard and it’s a huge challenge but it’s really worthwhile because when you’re able to do so, your life will really explode. So many people just in general feel like victims all the time. So they have this victim mindset where they think that their life is happening to them and it’s just a thought pattern. You can be very strong as a person and still have that thought pattering it’s just the way that your brain is wired. So I’m talking about the victim mindset here and if you are in that victim mindset, you’re always going to be at the mercy of other people.

So, for example, a single mother who is trying to raise a child with her ex husband might believe that her ex is making her feel frustrated, sad or disappointed, and then she gives all her power away to the exact person that she would not want to give her power away to.

So of all the people in the world, you end up giving it away to the exact person that you don’t want to. You blame the person who you know you’re at odds with. And instead you can take responsibility for how you feel and separate them from you. And this is where you get all of your power back and remember that how you feel determines how you act. So when you take responsibility for how you feel, you’re going to become an emotional adult and you’re going to act differently, right?

And this will lead to a different result. You end up feeling more empowered and you end up taking action in the direction of where you want to go. And then you get the result that you want. Rather than acting like a child out of control who is blaming and kind of spinning and repeating your past from a really clean place, you can take action that produces the results that you really, really want.

So notice this in your life, in your career, in your business, in your relationships. That’s the biggest one I see it in. It’s like for our relationships, are we blaming other people? I think the best relationships are when two people come together and they agree to meet their own needs and then they meet in the middle and then they just enjoy each other’s time together. So if one person is having a hard time managing their emotional life in this relationship, it’s really going to create tension in the relationship because it’s really unreasonable to expect someone else to manage your emotions for you.

Most people have enough trouble managing their own emotions, let alone someone else’s emotions. So if you’re telling your husband or your significant other, here are my needs and you need to meet them, it’s almost like a dependent child parent relationship where you want someone else to make you happy and fill this parent role.

And if the person doesn’t do that up to your expectations, then you’re going to be even more upset. And then there’s like this push pull and no one’s happy. And it’s just like all from scarcity and there’s like a ripple effect. So it’s not just one instance. You’re just creating more scarcity. Like taking action from scarcity creates more scarcity. But taking action from love and abundance creates more love and abundance.

So start to look at your words and your feelings and your thoughts and notice whether you are blaming someone, something, an institution, your boss, your family, your spouse, whoever it is for how you feel. How I recommend that you do this is a three step process.

And step one is to notice your feelings. So a feeling I want you to identify as one word. Do you feel frustrated? Do you feel angry? Do you feel disappointed? Do you feel confused? Do you feel sad? Look up a feelings list and this is something that I have in Grow You. If you’re in there, there’s a feelings list and start to look at it. Most of us don’t identify our feelings. If you ask someone how they feel, they will give you a thought. And what I find really useful is to actually notice feelings and noticing that means you separate yourself from your feelings and a feeling is just harmless. All of those negative feelings are just vibrations in your body.

And when you notice the feeling, the step two that I want you to take is to ask yourself what you’re thinking. That’s causing the thought. Okay, write down the thought that’s causing that feeling.

And then the third step is to be curious about the thought. Ask yourself, why are you choosing to think that. Approach this with curiosity and compassion. I think that a lot of times when we start to do this work, and I see this a lot, is that immediately we want to know how to get out of the negative emotion and change the thought and feel better.

But there is so much work to be done before you change thought and the feeling because you have to know what caused it. When you really understand yourself and you understand what you’re thinking and why you’re thinking it, it’s so much easier to move forward because you can do it from a place of compassion. There’s just no benefit and no upside to beating yourself up and really feeling sorry for yourself and thinking that you shouldn’t be thinking this. Instead, have compassion for yourself and be curious about what you’re thinking and know that you are causing your feelings and it’s totally likely that your feelings are happening for you.

So ask yourself why you’re thinking what you’re thinking. And then you can decide if you want to change it. But remember step one is to notice the feeling. Step two is to ask yourself what you’re thinking that’s causing the thought. And step three is to approach the thought and feeling with curiosity and compassion.

So don’t blame yourself. Don’t blame anyone else. And this is a lifelong practice. So people will commonly ask for coaching and they’ll say, you know, I’ve been working on this and I already did this work and I don’t understand why it’s coming back. And I like to give the analogy of cleaning your house. So you need to do it regularly. Like your mind needs cleaned up, it gets messy. You have to coach yourself and get coaching. 

Otherwise there’s dirt on the floor. You just need to dust and to mop and to clean it up.

And there is no end to this. This is why the coaching program that I have is lifelong and I really recommend staying in for at least a year so that you can get the tools that you need, but as long as you want to grow and evolve, this is the work that you get to do. And it’s such an honor and a privilege as humans that we have that we can rewire our brains. It’s so awesome that our neuro-pathways are not fixed.

You know, as adults it’s a lot harder to rewire them then rewiring as a child, but still it’s so worth it. Even if it takes years. Like, I did this with money and I am so thankful because now I have this confidence and this certainty and this attitude of just like bring it. And I really, really love who I’ve become through that journey and I know that it’s possible to do it for you in whatever area of your life that you want. So notice what area that you are placing a lot of blame in and try to, you know, do this three step process so that you can actually change and see new results. All right, I will see you in the next lesson. Have an amazing week.

Thank you for listening to the Design Your Dream Life podcast. Subscribe to the podcast to get the latest episodes sent directly to you. To learn more about designing your dream life visit NatalieBacon.com.