This post is dedicated to the courageous ones - the ones who let themselves feel, live and experience it all. The ones who don't run away. This post is dedicated to you.
The Emotional Element
energize action & stabilize response
The 6 Emotional Attributes
Self Assessment / Regulation
Optimism / Grit
Initiative / Competitiveness
Resilience / Commitment
Emotion has a bad rap. Its the dirtiest word in sport. The word we don’t speak of or name outright. It’s the thing we pretend doesn’t exist because if we accepted its existence we’d destroy our mask of control. If we cared, or cried, or felt sad, or had anger, or felt joy or inspiration, if were honest about what really motivates us and overwhelms us, we’d consider ourselves weak, irrational, out of control.
Worst of all, emotional.
We run from emotion because we don't totally understand it, and we don't want to take responsibility for it. We dismiss it as an unstable, unpredictable, and supremely volatile. We disregard it, bury it, demonize it, get caught up in it and don’t healthily express it or let ourselves feel it because emotion - the unpredictable, three-eyed, morphing monster of creation and destruction that lives inside of us - has a bad rap. We want to be happy, but we feel sadness, anger, fear, overwhelm. We don't understand the contradiction, and because we don't understand emotion we refuse to accept it, appreciate it, or take responsibility for its profound impact on us.
The 6 Emotional Attributes
Self Assessment / Regulation - ability to identify, evaluate, and direct energy
Optimism / Grit - ability to see energetic possibility and direct it with humility
Confidant Expression - ability to express and communicate energy in healthy and positive ways
Stress Response - ability to choose a healthy response to emotional pressure, strain, and tension
Initiative / Competitiveness - ability to motivate, self-start, and take part in a contest
Resilience / Commitment - ability to bounce back, regain energy and maintain resolve
So let's clear the air.
Emotion is not a monster. Emotion is an energy system, a very sophisticated internal energy system like the weather, that - at it best - moves in, does its thing, and then moves out. The very nature of emotion is that it is in motion - stirred energy. Emotion plays an important role in our bodies ability to maintain ideal performance conditions. It is a conduit - a messenger - between the mind, body (our internal environment) and environment. Emotion provides us with valuable information about our level of arousal. It tells us if we are overexposed, underexposed, overwhelmed or in equilibrium. It helps us identify the need, and way, in which to rebalance the interaction between internal and external environments.
Emotion creeps up when we are tired, stressed, over or under stimulated, dehydrated, over-thinking, around certain people, trying too hard, unsure, wanting something, ignoring something, resisting, not listening. Millions of factors trigger the onslaught of a myriad of complex emotions, some positive, some negative. Some of those factors come from within us and others from beyond our control. Thoughts trigger emotion, as do conversations, stories, and physical experiences. Emotion is not something to fear or shy away from, nor is it something to get too caught up in. Denial deepens our attachment, and over-identification creates emotional layers.
So what do we do with emotion?
We let it move through us. We accept its presence, listen for its message, and then choose how to respond to it. Emotion is stubborn. It won't go away until it does it job, until we let it deliver its message. We must listen to it, because it influences how we interact with the world, and ourselves. It motivates our decisions. It gives color and texture to the context of our lives. It is part of what makes us human. Emotion is a power to be embraced, harnessed and respected.
So do things that stir emotion. Play sports. Compete. Perform. Care about something. Open your heart, and put it on the line. Go into the uncomfortable zone of feeling. Lean in to the emotions that come up. Get curious about your default reaction to each specific emotion. When you feel anger, do you fight? Run? Try harder? Pretend? Blame? Learn to listen to and respond to whatever emotion the experience brings up. Let your response create new adaptations and opportunities for expansion. Let emotion energize action and when necessary, stabilize response.
Emotion exists. Stop pretending it doesn't. It's not dirty. It's powerful. Stop avoiding responsibility. We wear emotion on our face, in our body, and in our thoughts. Harnessing our emotional power requires taking responsibility for the energy we wear, we give, we create, and we destroy. Responsibility means listening, and responding. Being able to feel the message without getting caught in the messengers delivery.
So here is my challenge to you - are you willing to put your heart on the line. Are you willing to feel it all, live it all, and let it all move through you. Are you courageous enough to be vulnerable to it all, and to trust yourself to be responsible for it all.
Whatever comes up. Listen to it, and let it go on its way. Emotion is energy. That's all.
Discover Within, Expand Beyond,