When emotions trip you up

Emotional resilience is an important pillar of optimal leadership, especially now. No-one has been exempt from the increased challenges faced over the last 18 months.

Picture this. It's the night before the biggest sales presentation of your career so far. You come home feeling slightly edgy but also a bit euphoric at the possibilities for your life, given the magnitude of what's on the line. Your thoughts turn to the future, imagining the life you have dreamed of. Goals and aspirations to be lived and shared with that special—

There's a note on the table. "Dear John…"

Your mouth goes dry and your breathing gets shallow. Flushes of hot and cold prickles swarm across your body. You feel numb. Everything is hazy. The world starts to tip on it’s edge…

How well is the sales presentation going to go now?

It’s about feeling, not thinking

There are many situations where we need our emotions to work with us and not against us and trip us up. I could paint a few more scenarios like the one above: the stress of deadlines, meeting client and manager expectations, challenging co-worker relationships and let’s not forget that fiery b-word, burnout!

There’s also copious amounts been written, researched and said about the problem emotions can cause us. Most of our work world is overly dominated by thinking. There’s been some great progress made about having conversations that lift the lid on mental health. The problem here is that we tend to think it’s all in and about the mind.

Emotions are meant to come and go. The root of the word emotion means “to move”. Emotions also show up in our body, it can’t be called an emotion if it isn’t felt in the body. Emotions impact how we think, make decisions and problem solve. Emotions also affect our physical health.

If emotions are intrinsic to everything we do, why don’t we spend more time managing and regulating them?

We don't know how

In my experience there are two main reasons. The first is we don’t want to. The second is because we don’t know how. I wasn’t taught by my parents. It wasn’t a subject I could take at school. Our approach to learning about emotions and managing them is akin to the way some teens learn about sex: through trial and error, some misguided peer knowledge dusted with a sprinkling of urban legend. We all know how this turns out.

It’s far better to have a structured and informed approach to managing and regulating emotions. Our body has physical needs that we attend to, and we do this regularly. Eating, exercise and sleep are the primary ones. It’s about time we started applying the same approach to regulating our emotions and how we feel. And not through technology or an app. In a way that is gentle, supportive and connecting. A way that gets us back in touch with our bodies. A way like Shape of Emotion.

Remember Shape of Emotion is a mindful and bodyful process that is easy to learn and enables you to regulate the way you feel in the moment. Using it our dear John above would have been centered, calm and focused for his presentation.

Do you have a “dear john” challenge?

If you have your own version of the “Dear John” experience and would like support or even to learn Shape of Emotion, remember to get in touch with either of us.

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About the author

5th Place

5th Place is a dynamic organization that's passionate about emotional fitness. We're the creators of Shape of Emotion, a revolutionary tool that's changing the way we understand and manage our emotions. But we're not just about theory - we're about practical, tangible change.

We offer Emotional Fitness Classes and courses that help individuals, from children to adults, build emotional resilience and well-being. For our younger audience, we've created the Vibarealm, a vibrant universe that encourages a healthier interaction with emotions.

Join us on this journey to emotional fitness and let's make the world a better place together.

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