How to Act Smart despite your Feelings

One of the things I’ve noticed is that, from time to time, I can make a mistake because of how I feel in the moment. Despite knowing better, my emotions can put me back doing things that I have learned in the past do not work. I have talked in the past of the impact of emotions on our decisions and on our actions but what is the smartest thing to do in order to stop you from causing yourself the same grief over and over again?

There are basically two choices you have. These are what I call EMOTIONAL SHIFT or BEHAVIOURAL SHIFT. An emotional shift is when you change how you feel and the new feeling promotes a more useful behaviour. A behavioural shift is when you change what you do regardless of how you feel at that moment. Let’s say you do not feel like exercising. You can motivate yourself to feel like it or you can exercise despite not feeling like it.

Now, much of NLP and related disciplines talk about how you can create an emotional shift by using self-talk strategies, changing your thoughts and where your focus lies. Often, the key is to focus on what you want to achieve and that will help you. In terms of behavioural shifts however, what are the keys to getting that right?

First, the key is to be clear on what behaviour is the most effective and useful given the situation or circumstance. You can understand this by considering another situation like this one where you are thinking more intelligently and asking what you would do in that situation. Once you identify what you would do in that situation you now have a clear behaviour that you can implement.

Second, it is a smart idea to build best practice plans to implement whenever you find yourself emotionally impacted. For example, most of the negative feelings we feel are predictable. We learn that the same kind of situations we have struggled with in the past we probably will struggle with in the future too unless we learn to do something different. So, when you pay attention to these challenging situations, it is a good idea to have a game plan that you can use.

Take the recent Conor McGregor Nate Diaz MMA fight. There was a lot of emotional involvement invested by both fighters in it. But when it came to the actual fight, they both executed their plans and avoided allowing themselves to get drawn into making an emotional mistake. They prepared and considered what behaviour they were going to implement and they did it when it mattered. In particular, Conor was patient despite all of the egotistical and emotional issues at play and he emerged victorious.

In order for us all to emerge victorious from our own battles, we need to follow suit. This means understanding the challenging situations ahead of time and creating an intelligent, strategic plan and following it to the letter even when we do not feel like it. This is the ultimate recipe for success and will make the biggest difference.


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