Pepper spray, stout stick, stun gun, swiss knife and so on …a range of weapons do come to our mind the moment we think about self-defence. And … we do not stop at one method when it does come to protect ourselves from our surroundings. However, have you ever realized that we are constantly in need to defend ourselves from another source?
It’s against the games played on our own mind and emotions sometimes by ourselves and at other times by our surroundings. The only difference is that we cannot run away here but do need to combat the source of the disturbance.
Having said all these, is it necessary to think of self-defence on an emotional level as something only for safety from some harm? Not at all! I would say it is more for awareness of our own mind – the thought process associated with our own mind. Protect our mind, we must!
The more we become aware of our thought process, the better we can then work on strengthening the core areas and thereby become stronger than ever. It is then that we will be prepared for situations which would have otherwise thrown us out of gear emotionally. This does happen in our day-to-day life.
Here are a few tips which will help each one of you to gear up for emotional challenges in your life.
Analyse Your Fear
One of my clients had a very high fear factor and would get scared at the slightest fear-evoking incident. When I did probe into the issue, I found that it was not because of something which happened recently but she had been fearful since her childhood – fear of height, fear of talking over the phone, fear of crossing the road, fear of talking to people and so on … It had become so much that fear was more of an identity element for her. This emotion, fear accompanied her in her growing up years due to which she was perceived as emotionally weak. This is when others slowly started taking control of her life and the decisions associated with it. She started depending on others for making decisions regarding her own life.
Now, as long as you are in good hands, it is fine but life is not so. It is then this negative element fear becomes our enemy. Most of the fears we do face in our own life do exist is our mind. How can we overcome it? One way is to analyse the fear. My client started doing it and it worked. Several times, it so happened that the fear was not real but perceived. There was absolutely no need to get scared. Once she started analysing her fears, she was able to bring it under her control.
Beware Of Hidden Persuaders
“I take my own decisions. I alone decide what to do!” This is what one of my clients did say long back. As long as the persuaders are visible, it’s fine but are you sure that you are not allowing any invisible persuader to take over your thought process?
Observe your thought process. You will see how you, yourself are led by the environment around you, influenced by other people in your life and controlled by various challenging situations.
The key here is about awareness. Being aware of the hidden persuaders does help us be more prepared in analysing the situation and taking the right decisions. You do not have to be doubtful about anything and everything. You only need to be aware of your thought process and how it is being influenced.
Strengthen Your Intuition
At times, trusting your intuition leads to better outcomes than trusting your logical thinking brain. Research says that intuition operates from the part of our brain that developed at a time when hidden dangers could jump out at us at any moment. This part of our brain became highly skilled at sensing immediate danger as well as places of safety.
However, whenever I suggest the word “intuition” during my Coaching Engagements, it is often met with a frown “does it really work?” This is because most of us now live a relatively safe, day-to-day existence and the intuitive part of our brain is not triggered very often. When it actually does, we are not aware of it and hence tend to ignore the message our own intuition is trying to convey.
One of my clients who initially frowned upon the power of intuition now realizes how many times she had ignored it’s messages earlier.
How can you strengthen your intuition? Meditate for a few minutes daily to engage with your intuitive self. It works wonders!
Be Aware Of Your Emotional Needs
Fear of being manipulated by others or getting manipulated without you being aware of it is one of the biggest emotional challenges we do need to face.
Each of us do have some basic emotional needs. It could be a safe and secured environment, someone who listens to us, a sense of involvement, feeling needed by those close to us ie family, social status, emotional attachment, a sense of purpose in our lives, our work being recognised and so on.
Many a time, what happens is we may be short of some recognition, affection etc. At such times, there is a tendency to latch onto an alternate source. This alternate source may not be a genuine one and may end up manipulating us.
The key here is to understand your own emotional needs first and work on it directly. Depending on an alternate source is definitely not the solution.
Anger Is A Weakness, Not A Strength
Many, as I have observed over the years take pride in their anger. However, you cannot be more wrong here. Anger is a sign of weakness – a sign that highlights that you cannot get things down without getting worked up and frustrated yourself. Moreover, this trait burns you from within.
Is there any way to overcome it’s effects? I would say – work around your anger. Never try to control it. Negotiate with your angry mind. Try to get to the root cause. Ask yourself “Is it worth hurting myself for someone else’s mistake?”
Emotional betrayals are one of the most common reasons for a mountain of rage in people. I have observed clients reliving their state of betrayal followed by anger bursts. They replay each and every bit of the incident and end up hurting themselves. “Now, it is understandable that you may be deeply hurt but why punish yourself?” This is my question to any of you who can relate to this emotion.
No matter what the situation might be, distance yourself from anger and work around it. You will surely be able to manage it better.
Pepper spray, stout stick, stun gun, swiss knife and so on may be required for physical self defence but when it does come to the emotional area, you need to be soft and gentle.
Nurturing your mind with a positive thought process and thereby strengthening it will go a long way in helping you face emotional challenges of any magnitude.
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Co-Authored By Sushma Krishnan