We Are The Sum of Our Actions, Not The Sum of Our Thoughts

Just a few days ago, after a stressful day, while looking for answers to the problems which I didn’t know I had…  I came upon a simple truth beneath the luminescent glow of  orange streetlights on that autumn night…

 

What we or others think of ourselves does not and will never define us, the only thing that will ever define us is what we do in life. The sum of our actions will always matter more than the sum of our words, and that fact also extends to the words that we use inside of our own heads. The stories that we tell ourselves about us or the stories that other people tell about us will never matter compared to the actions that we make.

Thought2

There have been many times in the past few years where I couldn’t stop feeling miserable or sad, and I looked unhappy a lot. I didn’t feel happy and I didn’t want to “fake” being happy because I wasn’t feeling that way. I’ve been mildly abrasive towards some people, because inside I didn’t like them very much (for one reason or another) and I didn’t want to “fake” it either. I’ve shown my disdain for being at certain social events because I didn’t want to “fake” pretending I was happy to be there. I was a big old sour puss!

Puss

All of this made me begin to wonder… Why do I define myself by that feeling inside? If on the outside I want to be more social, feel happier around others and be a kinder, gentler person at times… Why did I believe that I couldn’t be? Why couldn’t I just “fake” it until I made it?

Just the very act of smiling has been proven to make you feel happier. Not only that, but the act of frowning can make you feel more sad and scowling can make you feel more serious…

Smile
…So we might as well smile! Right?

It’s all a feedback loop in the brain, and you can read more about the details here on Scientific America. It’s possible that one could, to an extent, overwrite old habitual negative ways of thinking by consciously applying a positive outer experience which reflects the way we would like to feel! If we could challenge the beliefs that we have of ourselves…

(ex. I’m a loser; I could never drive a school bus over the gap of a crumbling highway; I can only eat peanut butter stirred in with cat food etc.)

…and prove to ourselves that these things aren’t actually true, then we can learn that we are capable of so much more. We can let go of the negativity by forcing the positivity sometimes.

Act confident -> Feel more confident -> Be confident

ORing

Act happy -> Feel more happy -> Be happy

Emotions

Act sad -> Feel more sad -> Be sad

For some reason I’d been putting a stigma on myself for trying to be anything other than how I feel inside when it came to dealing with people or situations, because I was letting my emotions run the show. I thought that this was keeping me authentic. Yet, another part of me is beginning to understand that sometimes inward change needs outward momentum, and changing outward behavior to disagree with inward feeling can sometimes be healthy if it is leading us towards a place that we want to go.

If we feel sad, and we talk sad, and we act sad, well… We’re not creating a good environment for ourselves to actually begin a spark for that happiness somewhere inside. There are many other things we can do to change our moods, but consider this a tool in your arsenal to enhance the habits which will lead you to the life that you want to live; to be the person that you want to be. Outward momentum can bring you there!

momentum

But, before I leave on that note; I think it’s also important that one never disregards those other feelings inside either. We feel our emotions for good reason, and sometimes those emotions (although they may feel negative) are usually trying to point out problem areas in our lives which are keeping us from moving forward. These problems sometimes need to be addressed before we can reach an ultimate happiness that we all strive for. It’s okay to feel sad, angry and to want to be alone sometimes too. We should hide from none of them, but wouldn’t we all like to spend more of our time in peace and happiness?

 

Thoughts? Comments? Leave them down below!

 

27 thoughts on “We Are The Sum of Our Actions, Not The Sum of Our Thoughts

  1. I agree that actions matter, not thoughts, intentions, wishes, dreams, etc. The absence of action also matters, as in “I meant to, but…” Obviously, something else was more important. In my past relationships, I got really tired of hearing that “meant to” line. Either you do a thing or you don’t.

    I realize I took this in another direction, but it’s sort of the same, right? Actions matter! Your behavior is what counts, not what goes on in your muddled mind. So many days, I wish I could stay home and be sad, but I get up and go to work. And that’s what they see: reliable me.

    Great post!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Lovely post! I really like what you said in the last paragraph, about how negative emotions can clue us into areas of improvement. It is so easy to try to run away from negative feelings, but you are right – they are there for a reason.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Your last paragraph reminded me of this thing I read the other day about happiness. We all strive and put pressure on ourselves to be completely happy one day. But, the truth is, happiness is just an emotion and it’s impossible to just feel happy all of the time.There isn’t one person on this earth that is completely happy.Things are constantly changing in our lives and it’s important to be a “chameleon” and adapt to change. It’s also important to love yourself enough so that when those negative emotions come to the surface, you can remind yourself that what you’re feeling isn’t forever. It’s up to you to adapt and pull yourself out of it.No one is going to fix how you feel except you. Every high has to have a low.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I agree with the last paragraph because I tried all the ones above and it brought me not the results expected. To feel what you are really feeling is a skill. Just feeling sad and dwell on it, won’t help but being fun all the time won’t learn you the things needed.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve been the opposite of this a great deal of my adult life. I was very good at not behaving, acting or reacting in emotional manners with people. I was adept at pushing emotional actions and reactions aside and using rational common sense with people regardless of how they treated me.i wanted to show them love and affection regardless because that’s what I wanted to put forth into the world.
    Positive thinking about myself was my way, but because of the first paragraph I was also very very alone in life and was missing a thing, letting people inside. WhT I was doing up there was putting myself in a place in the relationship that made them one sided and lacking the vulnerability of both parties.

    This can get very complicated, but
    I agree with the idea that if we want to be something we do it. Which means if we want to be positive people we begin by outwardly exhibiting it and the rest follows.
    Self awareness is also probably key, and self acceptance. My upbringing made the second thing difficult but when I’m introspective and recognize my own negative patterns I find I’m able to balance this much better.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing ❤

      I think I also put forth what I want to see in the world, or have for a majority of my life until I incurred some deep emotional wounds and afterwards I became overly defensive. My defensiveness has made me, at times abrasive. Like you said, I've had to become more and more self-aware to recognize my patterns to try to erase those learned behaviors and free my heart up again.

      I hope you continue to lighten your shoulders and brighten your spirit 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hey Mat!

    I love this post a lot, it really hit home for me. Especially today for some reason for I feel I’ve been in a somewhat slump without even noticing it. It brings me back to the concept:

    You Dress Good – You Look Good – You Feel Good

    Sometimes we get so caught up in one emotions or one moment that we tend to stay in that lapse of time for much longer than we are suppose to.

    Thank you for the good read and as always,
    Have a wonderful weekend!
    Will

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I think most importantly is to love yourself and know what you like and what you dislike. Then to build a life full of activities you love, where you are surrounded by the happy few whom you love and who love you back. It happened to me to hit rock bottom countless times, but one day I decided to see the ones i love and only them (as much as possible) and to do activities i love on daily basis. What happened next, it built a core confidence in me and it saved me from hitting rock bottom. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I strongly agree to this, especially to the quote “Fake it ’til you make it”. And while our inner emotions matter a lot, what we choose to do matters even more.
    Fantastic work on this post! It’s funny how our musings can turn into great write-ups. I’ve been in a slump with lack of motivation in the last few days and it really helps to read posts like these.

    Liked by 1 person

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