I recently read a passage from Branden's Psychology of Self-Esteem that resonated with me. From the section on anxiety and depression (p167):
I have often run into a paralyzing emotion when I consider pursuing some values. I find my self thinking "I wish I wanted that." For example, if I have some free time, I think to myself that I really wish I wanted to read a new book I have. Or I really wish I was motivated to start some new project with my son. Intellectually I want it, but emotionally I don't (not fully at least).
When a man doubts the efficacy of his mind, his tendency is to surrender to the guidance of his emotions--since they appear to possess a certainty and authority that his intellect lacks. This is the form in which a man experiences the process of subordinating the objective to the subjective. His emotions are not a substitute for rational cognition at any time, but they are never a less reliable guide than in the midst of an anxiety state.
I'm really confused with what to do with my emotions in these instances. I'm really worried about ignoring these emotions and acting solely on my conscious convictions, for two reasons:
1) I'm worried about repressing important elements of my psyche, and
2) I believe that just like central planners aren't capable of micro-managing a full economy, an individual is not capable of micro-managing his consciousness. The integrative function of the mind is invaluable, and one's emotions are part of that. I feel like it would be dangerous to ignore what my emotions are telling me, that they are useful guides in some what (in what way I don't know). So I'm worried that I might be relying on them as tools of cognition.
I know ultimately I need to identify all of my values and these emotions, but in the mean time, do I just ignore these emotions when it comes to my actions? Do I push the emotions to the side and just act on my conscious convictions? This is really scary when the value is significant.