Why Leaders & Change Makers Need Emotional Fitness Training Not Resilience

Why Leaders & Change Makers Need Emotional Fitness Training Not Resilience

Resilience is the consequence of, not the solution to, becoming empowered enough to create change through adversity. To become resilient requires Emotional Fitness Training 

 More than ever we are we cut off from our emotions.  This is a very natural consequence of living in an age of technology. It is not our fault, but it is not the way we are going to get to our best work or life.

 When we suppress,  ignore, or devalue our emotions, we miss the opportunity to bring the one key quality that machines do not possess. Our humanity 

The human body is so much more sophisticated than any machine ever built. No part of it is wasted, even our negative emotions have a purpose. 

Every emotion brings us an important message. But if we don’t know how to access and skilfully manage our emotions, we will naturally shut them down out of fear, to avoid being hurt or hurting others. Out of fear of seeming weak or incapable. Over time, we start to believe there is no place for them.   

The most significant way in which humans differ from the machines we build is, our capacity to experience emotions. It is fundamentally what sets us apart. 

Only when we find ways to reconnect with our emotions, and re-assimilate our human self in a technology driven world, that we can find kind of happiness and meaningful success we long for. Without our emotions, we are lost in the ever increasing demands that technology makes on our time and attention. 

Our leaders are overwhelmed by deadlines and budgets that leave them no time to pause and check in with how they, or their teams, are feeling. Our workers are driven by fear of losing their jobs, livelihoods if they don’t perform to ever increasing demands on their time to be available 24×7. 

No one is to blame. But there is an answer, and it lies within us.  Not outside of us in some APP or book or podcast. It is much closer to home. It is found in our emotions. 

What is Emotional Fitness Training “EFT”?

Emotional fitness is the ability to experience the whole spectrum of emotions, decipher and assimilate the information they bring us, and take right action 

EFT is not taught in any school, University, business school or leadership management course. It is specific training to reconnect with our emotions (positive or negative) in a safe and productive way. To re-assimilate our organic human selves into our mechanical world which is devoid of emotional intelligence. 

There’s been much taught on resilience and mindset training. But when we are not feeling good about ourself, our life, or work, these emotions will always sabotage our best intentions if left unchecked. 

My clients will say to me:  “I don’t know why I feel anxious about speaking up at work, or why I procrastinate on doing what really needs to be done.” Or they will say, ‘I don’t feel good enough, I need help to change my mindset’.  

The issue is their emotions, not their mind. It is their feelings that are crying out to them to be heard. We interpret feeling anxious or not good enough as a need to change our mindset. But it’s the underlying emotions we need to be working with. 

Here is the biggest problem. When we experience a negative feeling or emotion such as anxiety, sadness, fear, anger, we are likely to get one or more of these messages:

  • Coaches will tell us to change our mindset and think positively;
  • Our boss or partner will tell us that we are being ‘over emotional’ or ‘hypersensitive’;
  • Our friends will try to make the bad feelings go away by telling us to just feel better;
  • Western society will tell us, ‘you are weak’ for experiencing these kind of feelings and emotions;
  • Spiritual teachers will tell us that we are not our emotions and to surrender them to God;
  • We will tell ourself, “I am a failure, it’s all my fault, I’m not good enough’. 

In other words, we are not validated for experiencing negative emotions. 

Emotional Fitness Training Model 

Emotions need a workout. They need to be felt, flexed, released, voiced and expressed. Think of your emotions like the workout machines at the gym. It can be painful when we first start using them. But when we use them regularly, they help us become stronger and fitter and more resilient in any situation. 

When we are emotionally fit, we can overcome any crisis or difficulty and forge a new way forward using our emotions to guide us.

I use this model of EFT with my clients and in teams to help them reconnect with the power of their emotions for greater clarity, perspective and self direction.

  • CONNECT – to whatever feeling or emotion you are experiencing that is uncomfortable. Your feelings are trying to tell you something. They are different from your mindset which is your thought process. Your emotions are your feeling process.
  • COLLABORATE – with your emotions. Ask yourself what message the emotion is trying to bring you. It is not here to harm you or derail your life. It is not a weakness that must be ignored. It is bringing you vital information to help you better navigate your situation.
  • CONQUER – any instinct to shut down, push away or project any negative emotion. Instead, sit with it, however uncomfortable it may seem at first. Treat it like an old friend you haven’t seen for years who has come knocking on your door in need of help. By sitting with our emotions, they no longer have power over us and they naturally release themselves, once we have got their message. 

 If you are interested in Emotional Fitness Training for your teams or yourself, or would like me to speak at your next event on this topic, simply click HERE to book a call with me to find out more.

Leave a Reply