After the initial shock and stress of the pandemic, it is time for us leaders to start engaging fully with the post-pandemic world—for there are tougher and hitherto unprecedented challenges on the near horizon. They cannot be ignored. The planet, and her people, cannot wait.
This is a powerful tool to defuse stubborn stress or worries that we might feel, and the one that we use last if others have still left us feeling pre-occupied, stuck or holding some other form of concern / stress. Given half a chance, difficult emotions can easily gain control of a situation and dominate it. Which isn’t very useful if we really want to keep our project or job in good shape.
The ‘Defuse It’ tool allows us to maintain an energised and positive focus on the important things in our working lives – even if we are feeling down. The tool works so well because our minds are made up of different parts – for example parts that are observing an argument whilst another part talks, shouts or listens.
So in any given situation, no matter how sad, upset, annoyed, irritated or stressed we are, the parts that need to focus can get on with their job whilst the part that is upset, stressed or annoyed can be left to be until we have the time and space to deal with it effectively.
When we have a bit more space, we can come back to those more challenging feelings, when we can dedicate some quality time to really dissolving them. This last point is key and we can not overstress how important it is. We must set aside some time to investigate the source of persistent emotional challenges.
We all encounter ‘negative’ emotions – those emotions that don’t feel great; interrupt our happiness; restrict us from feeling free and so on. When faced with such a stubborn feeling of being upset, hurt, angered, irritated or even depressed we have essentially three choices:
1) Ignore it or suppress it – but it will almost inevitably come back later – perhaps not consciously but as backache or a headache or worse. Even if it doesn’t come back immediately we might start to notice we get the same feeling in certain situations and have done so for years. This may well be a clue that we have some limiting beliefs or mental habits that are no longer helping us.
2) Become it, indulge in the feeling and ‘act it out’ – this is usually the easiest path because we get to indulge in tantrums, melodramas and the like (no matter how cleverly we have designed those dramas to look like it isn’t our fault). Doing this usually causes a lot of bother as we upset others and then we go round and around in circles… which can be very frustrating, draining and boring for everyone involved, and can ultimately lead to serious threats to the health of any working relationship.
3) Treat our emotions as neither good nor bad and understand them – here we look at our feelings as information that can help us grow, help us progress and reach our full potential. With this option, treat emotions like a GPS or Satellite Navigation System for the heart and mind, showing us the way to more power, peace and positivity.
So with the third option, when we let our emotions be – neither becoming them or resisting them – we can observe them as part of us but not the whole of us. We recognise them as valid, but also that we are more than our emotions, much more – in this way we defuse their energy, which allows them to carry on being a positive force in our lives. When we learn to defuse our anger we can still responsibly investigate where the feeling is coming from.
Sometimes it might take weeks, months or years to fully explore the emotions (it is often a bit of a detective job, full of clues to follow) but by defusing it we allow ourselves to carry on being great people whilst we ‘process’ whatever it is that is bothering us inside. The ‘Defuse It’ coaching tool works by allowing the part of us that is feeling stressed to be respected for feeling that way – if we don’t respect that part of ourselves, it will put up a fight and we’ll end up being a lot more irritated or stressed than before – but doesn’t let it take over. In other words, we get to harness our emotions, so that we can learn from them, and use them, rather than letting them rule us.
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