Friday, March 18, 2011

Self-Reflection and Meta-Emoting

"Resentment, anger, frustration, worry, disappointment—negative emotional states, justified or not, take a toll on your heart, brain and body. Don't let justified emotions rob your health and well-being."
Doc Childre and Howard Martin

In today's post I want to explore the incredibly important skills of meta-cognition and meta-emoting...

So what is Meta-Cognition?

Meta-cognition is cognition about cognition. It's thinking about your thinking. It's an important part of self-reflection.

Self-reflection involves processes such as feeling an emotion, experiencing it and taking the time to think about and understand it.

Thinking about your feelings and thoughts, reflecting on your behaviours and emotions and deciding whether you support them or want to change and improve them is key to life intelligence. You can produce amazing results in your life by thinking positively and generatively about your emotions and behaviours and then using the NLP Success Formula to change and adjust:
  1. Clearly know your Outcome
  2. Take congruent Action
  3. Sensory Acuity – Learn from Feedback
  4. Behavioural Flexibility – Change and adjust to achieve your Outcome

Creating your reality...

You can create hell on earth in your own life in the same way. It's the same process, just different content. For example, if you feel angry about something -- that is, if you do angering of your self over something -- and then you get angry about the anger, you set yourself up to spiral out of control. The angering about anger is a meta-emotion - an emotion about an emotion. You need to be very careful about the meta-states you are generating in your mind and body. On the other hand, if you were to feel entertained by the anger, you would find the anger dissipating and not so impactful on your mind, body and behaviour. It's a much more useful meta-state to be in.

As highlighted in previous posts, it's all about outcome and purpose. What and how do you want to 'do' yourself? Stop, self-reflect, and get clear about how you want to think and feel in your life, on a moment by moment basis.

The capacity to do meta-cognition is vital for success, life enhancing and deep happiness’ing. Going 'meta' to yourself and observing your behaviour, observing the patterns and quality of your thinking and emoting, is a skill you want to practice and practice and hold as a high process value.

Really value this and make it salient in your life. Make the time and space in your life to think about your thinking and feeling. It's a key strategy for enhancing your life.

life enhancing smiles,


  1. Another excellent post, Grant! Of course, I try to apply information to myself (rather than thinking of everyone else's shortcomings!), but I couldn't help but think of several people I've known over the years who simply live in anger. Each provocation is stored up like treasure to be pulled out again and again to "enjoy" repeatedly. What a way to live, huh?!

  2. That's sooo right Grant!! and what you said about getting angry about something & then getting angry from ourselves is just what happening to me .. so I think I should start controlling that meta-state ..
    Thanks alot ..

  3. Hey Jean and Hamda, thanks for sharing your thoughts and ideas on this!

    Yes, so true, angering over anger, storing it up like a precious jewel, or even delighting over anger... you see people doing this and creating ongoing hell in their lives and the lives of those they 'care' about. Crazy and unsane.

    We all need to meta-state our way to more love, calm abiding and sanity in our lives and our world.

    Thanks again for your great comments.

    smiles, Grant


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