Over the last one decade, I have worked with people who have managed to overcome insurmountable challenges and eventually got to their biggest goals. Some of them have gone through life’s challenges just like you and me but what did get them to be resilient during this journey was their belief in themselves and by working on their Emotional Strength.
Working on building your strength emotionally is more about identifying what’s pulling you down rather than focusing on what to do. I am not advocating as to what to do in this blog. On the contrary, I am going to tell you WHAT NOT TO DO so that you do not fall into this trap.
It is a pattern you need to break to become strong emotionally. This, in my experience will help you move ahead without any resistance and hopefully become more mature by the time you reach your destination. So, here are the habits which you need to let go of, if you are trying to beat the Odds.
Change Scares You
One of the most common reasons I do come across with people not able to change is Fear. Even though most of them are aware of this and want to change at the conscious level, there is something deep inside which is giving them the jitters.
The fear of the unknown often stops them in taking a different approach even though it is more than certain to improve their own life. In fact, I do remember a person asking me this “Satish what is the guarantee that doing something different will improve my life?”. Frankly, I did not have an answer for this question because there is no one answer for this.
However, I did tell her that not accepting that change is not always good for growth and she was preventing herself from growing more stronger and eventually becoming better. I did tell her that the world around us is changing so rapidly that it is imperative we adapt quickly to thrive. This is a brilliant video on “Why Do We Fear Change”
Big Results Take Time
With everything at our finger tips these days, most of the people are excepting things to happen in double quick time. However, remember that real change does take time. If you are always looking at getting to your big goals overnight, then I will guarantee you that you will give up sooner than later.
If you see a long-distance runner see how they pace themselves to run a full or half marathon. Working on big results is more of running a marathon rather than a 100 M Dash. Accepting this will eventually make you look at things from a bigger perspective. You can refer my previous blog How To Prepare Your Mind For Peak Performance.
Do Not Dwell On Self Pity
Have you noticed that most of the people who are not Emotionally strong do waste a lot of time feeling sorry about themselves? Well, this does not surprise me at all because there is a reason for people doing this.
The answer according to me, is simple. It is the easiest thing to do – Yes, dwell in self-pity. The sad part that many do not realize is that it might give you a shoulder to cry on but in the long run, it does make you that much weaker emotionally because day in and day out magnifying your misfortune and hardships will only drive you to further misery. You can refer my previous blog to break through this habit.
Yes, occasionally feeling sad and grieving about a loss or a rash decision is human. However, to use this as a crutch is nothing but putting yourself down every time. The more you depend on these crutches, the more you end up compromising.
The Only Person You Should Compare Is Yourself
If you are harboring bitterness, then it’s time to understand as to why it is there in first place. When you begin to compare yourself or your life with other people who are more successful according to you, then what is automatically happening in your mind is resentment.
When there is enough resentment cemented over a period, then it eventually leads to bitterness. If you understand as to what bitterness can do to a person, you will probably … after reading these lines, do anything and everything to move away from it. You can refer this brilliant article by Daniela Tempesta published in huffingtonpost.com
When I come across my own clients going through something like this, the first thing I do with them is to make them aware and gently lead them away from comparing themselves with somebody else.
The best advice I can give if at all you must compare yourself with someone else is this, Always strive to compare yourself with the person you were yesterday and make an honest effort to become better. In this way, you will develop a healthy competition.
Failure Is A Good Opportunity To Try Again
If you are someone who has failed before in life then, believe me it’s a good place to be. I would rather be a person who has failed many times and learnt it the hard way rather than not having failed at all. When you have failed at something in life, it does mean that you have tried but it did not work out the way you wanted it to be.
However, not trying again is accepting defeat once for all. Some of the most successful people out there have failed more than the number of times they have succeeded. So, do not think that successful people do not have their fair share of failures. They have worked on overcoming the burden of failures by not giving up.
Each one of them have turned failure into an opportunity to try again with more focus and vigor. This can come only when you see failure in life through different lenses. Once you begin to perceive failures this way, Believe Me! opportunities just come in front of you which otherwise you would never have noticed.
You will love this brilliant video by Larry Smith – Why You Will Fail To Have A Great Career
Human Mind Is Programmed To Learn
Once you acknowledge your fallacy, then you will be in a better position to see through the walls you have built. If you are doing the same mistakes be it in your approach, behavior or reaction, then it’s time to channelize your energy in learning from your mistakes.
If you do the same mistakes again and again then without you realizing you will try to put that in the blind spot and get frustrated with the end results. The best way forward for you and others around you is to acknowledge your missteps and commit in doing better the next time.
This will not only give you time to introspect but also dig into your inner strength of resilience and condition your belief system. We are built to learn and grow every day. By not doing this, you are doing a disservice to yourself and the immense potential bestowed upon yourself.
Don’t Give Away The Power Of Your Emotions
When you begin to give away the power of your emotions to someone else, then you are giving an opportunity for someone to control you. Let me give you an example. I did work with an Entrepreneur couple of months back and he did mention to me that his business partner makes him feel bad about himself for not making the right effort consistently.
Now even though there was some meat in the argument, there was no justification in his behavior. There will always be circumstances, incidents in life which will make you come face to face in this type of situation.
However, retaining the power of your emotions is nothing but acknowledging that you are in absolute control on how you think, feel and react always. No one can influence your behavior or your thought process unless you explicitly give them the permission. This must be the truth and the core belief you must build your foundation upon.
You would love this article by Jim Taylor – Sports The Power Of Emotions.
Focus On What You Can Control
There are only a few things in our life which we can control and if you ask me, you should give your best shot for each one of these. Most of the things happening around us is beyond our control and there is no logic in getting frustrated and beating ourselves for not getting it right.
We as human beings cannot control most of the things however what we can control and regulate is how we are prepared for it. Last December I did work with a CTO of a company who was extremely stressed and was not able to justify his role in the company.
Even though he knew what was happening he was paralyzed with fear of taking any decisions pertaining to his career. However, when we worked together the first thing we focused is looking for better prospects outside his organization.
This was in his control and he did work diligently towards it. Eventually he was laid off from his job but the momentum he had gained in our Coaching Intervention made him pick a better offer in the next couple of months.
Earlier he was trying to control things which was beyond his control and getting frustrated. However, the moment he focused on what he could do he gave his energy and time and reaped the rewards for his efforts. This blog article by Catherine The only 7 Things You Can Control is a good read.
Don’t Be Just Another Passenger
If you are always looking at what you are getting in this life, then sooner or later this entitled attitude will make you more of a passenger rather than the driver of your own life. The more you give the more you get – this is the law of nature and most of the people do tend to forget about this one important logic in this world.
Work towards this one attitude and see what you can give in to others without expecting anything in return and that is when the magic does begin to happen. The more you do this, I will guarantee you that you will take charge of your own reactions, behavior and eventually life.
You will not compromise on your values and will strive to be the best version of yourself. This will create more opportunities to beat the odds and eventually not get frustrated on mundane things in life.
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Thank you for reading my post. I regularly write about Leadership, Peak Performance, and Health & Wellness.