Did you know that your emotional reactions are measured in thousandths of a second? They act with such speed that they make your analytical brain movements look like tired snails. In fact, emotional reactions develop so fast that it can be impossible for us to be initially conscious of why we feel the way we do. So it begs the question, are we responsible for our emotional reactions? If you agree that mastering the use of positive emotions is essential to becoming your best, how in the world is that done when they act so lightning fast?!
It turns out, after our initial, automatic reaction to emotions, we’re presented with a window of opportunity. Learn how to recognize and take advantage of this window. You, too, can become a Jedi Master of your own emotional reactions.
Emotional reactions are lightning fast.
For those of you leveling up your EQ, welcome to Week #3 in our study of the book, Intelligently Emotional. We’re basically figuring out how to master the emotional prowess of a Jedi.
Should be easy enough, right?
Uh… no. It’s not easy. But it’s completely doable if you’re willing to practice taking advantage of an important window of opportunity when it presents itself.
You see, your emotions don’t really stop to consider what should be done. There’s no thorough examination of a thoughtful response before they react to an unexpected event. The focus of your emotions is narrowed to one concern ONLY, and whatever is the greatest need is the one acted upon. Furthermore, this is all happening unconsciously. You may be asking yourself, “How in the world does this do me any favors?” You wouldn’t ask this if you saw a tiger in your yard, running at you with teeth bared. Or more likely, if you saw a car barreling down the street toward a child running out into its path.
We can be thankful for this reality of lightning-fast emotional reactions. BUT, we also need to realize we have an important opportunity to level up when it’s needed.
Your Window of Opportunity
Since initially, we have no conscious control over our emotional reactions, no one can praise or blame us for them. These reactions simply outpace our capacity to make decisions about them. How often have you, or someone you know who is emotionally sensitive, been bombarded with accusations like, “Why can’t you just control yourself?” “What’s wrong with you?” “Can’t you just grow a thicker skin?”
The intensity with which a hurt registers is hard enough to handle, but to understand that the emotions surge within someone before they know what is happening should give us a new perspective. For some of us, it can also bring a huge sense of relief.
Doesn’t it help to know there’s a better path of action? In fact, there’s a window of opportunity that opens AFTER our emotions have been activated. Only then can we begin to think about what’s happening to us. And when the window opens, we can literally allow the breeze of rational thoughts to blow in our minds.
It starts with the question: “What’s the best thing for me to do?”
Emotional Reactions and Jedi Mind Tricks
If you want true emotional intelligence, rip a page from Obi-Wan’s book of Jedi Mind Tricks. Just because a negative emotional reaction has occurred doesn’t mean you have to play that scene out to its messy conclusion. An emotional Jedi Master takes the opportunity to upgrade a damaging, unhelpful emotion (e.g., hurt, anger or contempt) to a positive helpful one.
You can introduce the change with something like this:
- “I’m sorry, I should be doing [such and such],”
- “Let me change that…”
- “On second thought…”
Statements like the examples above are the equivalent of saying to yourself, “These are not the emotions you’re looking for. Move along. Here’s a better one.”
Changing the automatic emotional reaction as quickly as possible is the goal of anyone attempting “emotional control.”
Level Up to Being Intelligently Emotional
We’ve started a 6-week book study, designed to dramatically level up your emotional intelligence (“your EQ”). And even though it’s already begun, it’s definitely not too late to jump in and go at your own pace.
Here’s everything you need to do to join us:
- Make sure you know your InnerKinetics. A simple assessment will provide the answers you’ll need as we study how to become intelligently emotional. Just click that orange button to complete the assessment and get the results immediately on the screen. You’ll want to take a screenshot or record the results so you can refer back to them as you progress through the study.
- Grab your copy of the book “Intelligently Emotional“ by Ray W. Lincoln.
- Be sure you are subscribed to our weekly updates, which often contain coupon codes for discounts on books and events as well as bringing the latest articles right to your Inbox.
- To receive all the study materials as well as a coupon code for a discount on Intelligently Emotional and free shipping — all right in your Inbox — click the pretty red button!
See you next week!