"In psychology and logic, rationalisation is a defence mechanism in which controversial behaviours or feelings are justified and explained in a seemingly rational or logical manner to avoid the true explanation, and are made consciously tolerable—or even admirable and superior—by plausible means." - Source Wikipedia
We rationalise for various reasons—sometimes because we think we know ourselves better than we do or because those feelings are too painful to feel. We judge and construct a seemingly good or logical reasons as an attempt to continue performing as expected. Essentially, we use our intellect to explain and then functionally bypass our experiences.
Rationalisation is Resistance’s right-hand man. Its job is to keep us from feeling the shame we would feel if we truly faced what cowards we are for not doing our work. J. Pressfield
By rationalising our feelings we miss the authenticity of the moment and the experience that ultimately become our life. It means second guessing ourselves, and maybe "failing" to move according to our own inner compass.
Journaling is a wonderful way to practice self-reflection and counter balance the habit of rationalisation of feelings. When we reflect — which is different from thinking or overthinking — we focus on feelings, desires, and truly learn a bit more about ourselves.
The focus is on learning, not on judging, about your inner world and the impact you have on the outer world.
A journal becomes the mirror where we can observe what is happening within us. In so doing, we become more present to what is happening to us. The simple act of acknowledging through self-reflection is a way to create space which allows us to process better and feel better. It ultimately becomes our own tool, always available to us, to manage our psychological and emotional health. Let’s reflect together on the prompt: “What permission are you NOT giving yourself to feel the raw truth?”
Experiment writing down the answer to this question without overthinking and editing yourself. What comes up? Read it back to yourself after you feel you have let everything out. You might be surprised by how different it feels to write down your thoughts and emotions rather than thinking of them. It can be so liberating!
Some inspiration from a David Whyte’s poem:
"I want to know
if you know
how to melt into that fierce heat of living
the center of your longing."
Let’s do this practice together. Write a short poem to those parts of you that you have neglected to feel, or to those facets at war within you. Let your feelings have a voice. Make peace with all that has been at war within you.
Sometimes it can be challenging to know where or how to begin on the journey of self-reflection. Using prompts can inspire new thoughts and help you out of a potential block. With this intention, I have created a year long journal, Freevolution, which is full of inspiration, practices, mantras, and images to help you feel more your own wisdom which is always available to you and that you can access through self-reflection. With time it will become natural to hear and feel your own emotional intelligence.
RNEWB offers a robust diversity of experiences, talks, workshops and programs that use storytelling, poetry and heARTistry in an innovative and yet practical methodology. Our work has guided leaders and teams to reach their goals, tap into their creativity, broaden their awareness and improve trust within the organisations they lead. For more information please feel free to get in contact.