Emotions vs. Actions — Navigating the Inner Tug-of-War

Emotions don’t have to be your identity. You are not your emotions.

W. Jon McClure
3 min readOct 17, 2023

Take control of your emotions before they take control of you.

Ever felt like a puppet to your own emotions? You know, those days where anger turns you into the Hulk, and sadness gives you that irresistible urge to eat a tub of ice cream? (For the record, it’s always chocolate chip for me.)

We’ve all been there. But have you ever paused to wonder if our emotions need to be the bossy pants in our lives?

“Life is a preparation for the future; and the best preparation for the future is to live as if there were none.” — Albert Einstein

Exploring the Emotion Conundrum

Emotions. We’ve all got ’em. They’re like the weather — unpredictable, changeable, and sometimes, downright stormy. But while a bit of rain won’t hurt, letting emotions steer our ship can lead us straight into an iceberg. And trust me, there’s no Leo DiCaprio waiting to save you in this narrative.

But what if you’re not your stormy weather, or the sunny days, for that matter? What if you’re the observer, watching the climate change, appreciating it, but not letting it dictate your next move?

Ruffling Some Emotional Feathers

When emotions rule, personal growth gets… well, a bit stunted. Imagine training a plant to grow in one direction, but your emotions keep moving the light source. Confusing for the plant, right? That’s you, by the way.

And let’s face it, we all have those emotional blind spots — the ones that trick us into thinking we’re belting out Beyoncé’s tunes in perfect pitch, when in reality, we’re… let’s just say, not Grammy-worthy.

“I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.” — Maya Angelou

The Map Out of Emotionville

Awareness is your GPS here. Ever tried arguing with a GPS? It’s a machine with a mission, just like our emotions. But with a bit of introspection — which, by the way, isn’t just a fancy word for “thinking a lot” — we can set the destination ourselves.

Instead of letting your emotions be the unruly toddler with the control over the music playlist, it’s time to put them in the backseat. Appreciate the songs, dance a little, but remember, you’re driving.


Sounds simple, right? But trust me, a few deep breaths can do wonders when emotions run high. Think of it as your built-in chill pill. And friends? They’re your road trip buddies — ensuring you’re not veering off course and singing along, off-pitch or not.

Lastly, question those emotional beliefs. Is that emotional GPS really right, or is it taking you on a wild goose chase? (Which, to be clear, is rarely fun unless actual geese are involved.)

Wrapping up

Navigating our emotional waters can be tricky, but it’s not about drowning them out. Instead, harness the power of Emotional Intelligence to recognize and understand these fleeting feelings.

By interrogating our emotions and understanding their roots, we can make balanced decisions.

It’s all about choice: Emotions can be the background music, but we’re the DJs, adjusting the volume and picking the track. Remember, life’s a dance, and we can choose whether to waltz gracefully or stumble over our two left feet.

So, are you ready to take back the wheel from your emotions? Or will you let them play DJ on your road trip of life?

Ideas to help

  • Keep an emotion journal, just for a week. It’s not as ‘Dear Diary’ as it sounds. More like, ‘Hey Diary, today I didn’t let anger make me send that risky text. High five!’
  • Also, pick up a meditation app. Or yoga. Maybe both? You’ll thank me later.

Jon McClure

Remember, emotions are events, not our identity.



W. Jon McClure

Start to seek. Become a generalist. Begin to serve. Rise to a Polymath. Start a mission. Live in abundance. https://linktr.ee/wjmcclure