3 Essential Steps Towards Emotional Fitness

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Post written by Luke Havard.

In my line of work so many people I meet are enslaved by their emotional reality.

One minute their happy the next they’re stressed, and the next they’re angry! When speaking to people during one of these changes of emotional state they will often over generalize.

For example, a person goes for a job interview and they’re not chosen for the job. In this moment, they take this news personally and interpret this as rejection. Their emotional explanation of this event often sounds something along the lines of, “This always happens to me, or I’m never going to get a new job.” Their resilience to pick themselves up and go for another interview is significantly less. They continue to over generalise and start to remember other similar situations where they’ve failed in the past, and this further reinforces their beliefs. This example is applicable in all areas of life, in romantic relationships, friendships, career and so on.

So what’s happening? People give their emotions a free reign and their emotions overwhelm their sense of logic. Feelings of disappointment become feelings of inadequacy and fear, leading to a generalisation of their whole experience, “This is my life story!” But here’s the thing…. you are not your emotions. So how do you prevent this from continuing to control your life? You need to train yourself to be emotionally fit.

1. Stop Over Generalising

First you have to stop making a moment into your whole experience. Life doesn’t always go to plan, but consciously see these moments for what they really are, just momentary!

Choose to freeze your reaction, remember that you have the ability to choose how you want to feel. It’s not easy I know, but it’s completely possible.

2. Choose A Confidant

Choose a person who you consider to have wisdom and insight – someone who will energize and inspire you. As a recommendation, I would not advise going to your peer group. I recommend investing in a coach or mentor. I recommend this because a coach or mentor does not have an emotionally connection to you like a friend will. It’s important that they’re neutral. Being neutral means they can see your situation from a strategic perspective, not an emotional one. In choosing a coach or mentor you should look for someone who you would aspire to be like. It’s important that they are achieving a level of mastery that you would like to master in your own life.

Even as a coach, I have my own mentor and this relationship continues to stretch me and refine my emotional fitness. I remember a time when I felt I had really let myself down and I was beating myself up. Within 30 minutes of speaking with my mentor, he had helped me to see this situation from a completely different perspective and reassured me that although the choices I had made were not the best, by no means did they tarnish who I was as a person. Remember you can’t do this on your own. My best advice is to invest in yourself by finding a mentor/coach and creating a dynamic relationship where you draw from their wisdom and expertise to explore what your options are in the good times and that the not so good. Remember, we’re social beings, and we need each other’s unique opinions and life experience to learn, grow and experience life to the fullest.

3. Refuel Your Resilience

Start by looking back at difficult events that you’ve overcome in the past. By doing this you’ll discover like many people, and when it really matters, when it’s all on the line, that your ability to be emotionally strong comes through. Stop remembering times similar to negative events and focus on the success stories – the times when you’ve succeeded. Your ability to recapture successful moments will re-inspire your belief in yourself and help to shift your emotional state from a negative one to a positive state.

To finish; I once heard an incredible story of a woman who developed her emotional fitness to help her to be resilient – even after failing her driving test 39 times. After reconditioning her emotional state, she gave everything she had and passed her driving test on her 40th attempt. Remember, no matter what happens in a moment, this is not the whole story. It’s not over until you say so.

Luke Havard is a life and career coach, author, speaker and founder/CEO of www.lukehavard.com. He teaches his clients to live and perform with lasting, authentic confidence and excellence. His client list consists of people from all walks of life: politicians, educators, entrepreneurs, busy executives and major corporate organizations. He is also the up and coming author of his book entitled: Punching Above Your Weight, A Violent Assault On Mediocrity. To learn more about his book or to find out more about Luke’s coaching programs and live events visit his website. 

photo source: sydneyemotionalfitness.com.au

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