“I don’t want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them.” — Oscar Wilde
You can be crippled by your emotions, or you can use them as a source for insight and action.
If you want to master your emotional intelligence, you can use a specific technique to get better and better over time.
Eventually, your emotions will be input and you’ll be able to respond vs. react.
In the book, Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny, Tony Robbins shares what optimists do differently.
Why Use These Six Steps for Emotional Mastery
By using these six steps, you can leverage and shape your emotions more effectively.
“With these six simple steps, you can master virtually any emotion that comes up in your life. If you find yourself dealing with the same emotion again and again, this six-step method will help you identify the pattern and change it in a very short period of time.”
1. Identify What You’re Really Feeling
Step back and ask yourself what are you really feeling right now. If you identify what you’re really feeling you can lower the intensity, and make it easier to learn from the emotion.
“If, for example, you say, ‘Right now, I feel rejected,’ you might ask yourself, ‘Am I feeling rejected, or am I feeling a sense of separation from a person I love? Am I feeling rejected, or am I feeling disappointed? Am I feeling rejected, or am I feeling a little uncomfortable?’”
2. Acknowledge and Appreciate Your Emotions, Knowing They Support You
Whatever you tend to resist, persists. Instead, Tony recommends cultivating the feeling of appreciationg for all emotions.
“You never want to make your emotions wrong. The idea that anything you feel is ‘wrong’ is a great way to destroy honest communication with yourself as well as with others. Be thankful that there’s a part of y our brain that is sending you a signal of support, a call to action to make a change in either your perception of some aspect of your life or in your actions.”
3. Get Curious About the Message This Emotion is Offering You
When you get curious about your emotions, you learn important distinctions about them. Getting curious about your emotions helps you master emotional intelligence, solve the challenge, and prevent it from occurring in the future. For example, is your emotion your misinterpretation of a situation, or is it a call to action?
Here are 4 questions Tony Robbins recommends you can use to cultivate curiosity for your emotions:
- What do I really want to feel?
- What would I have to believe in order to feel the way I’ve been feeling?
- What am I willing to do to create a solution and handle this right now?
- What can I learn from this?
4. Get Confident
Simply remembering a time when you’ve handled the same emotion before should give you some quick confidence in your ability to handle it again.
“Get confident that you can handle this emotion immediately. The quickest, simplest, and most powerful way I know to handle any emotion is to remember a time when you felt a similar emotion and realize that you’ve successfully handled this emotion before. Since you handled it in the past, surely you can handle it again today. The truth is, if you’ve ever had this Action Signal before and gotten through it, you already have a strategy of how to change your emotional state.”
5. Get Certain You Can Handle this Not Only Today, But in the Future as Well
Knowing that you have a plan, will help you gain a sense of certainty for the future that you can handle your emotions more effectively.
“You want to feel certain that you can handle this emotion easily in the future by having a great plan to do so. Once way to do this is to simply remember the ways you’ve handled it in the past, and rehearse handling situations where this Action Signal would come up in the future. See, hear, and feel yourself handling the situation easily. Repetitions of this with emotional intensity will create within you a neural pathway of certainty that you can easily deal with such challenges.”
6. Get Excited, and Take Action
It’s an exciting thing when you can use use your emotions for insight and action.
“Now that you’ve finished the first five steps — identified what you were really feeling, appreciated the emotion instead of fighting it, gotten curious about what it really meant and the lesson it was offering you, learned from it, figured out how to turn things around by modeling your successful past strategies for handling the emotion, and rehearsed dealing with it in the future situations and installed a sense of certainty — the final step is obvious: Get excited and take action! Get excited about the fact that you can easily handle this emotion, and take some action right away to prove that you’ve handled it.”
You emotions are input.
Use them to master you emotional intelligence.
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Image by Moazzam Brohi.