This feeling stuff isn’t natural for many of us. But if your most important job is to manage you, it’s time to raise your game. Otherwise, you will be susceptible to a brain hijack. Don’t believe the lie that you can’t learn to recognize your feelings. You didn’t get to where you are by being a bad learner. You won’t be the kind of leader we need you to be by believing that lie.
Every day, especially in this crisis, provides countless opportunities to raise your awareness of your emotional reactions and their effect on your brain. Here’s how you can use today to raise your game.
Choose something you do many times a day as an awareness prompt. I’ve heard of people using every time they take a drink, use the bathroom, or hear the calendar alert on their computer remind them of an upcoming meeting. If none of those work, set a recurring timer on your phone.
Stop for 15 seconds each time you experience this prompt. Ask yourself, “What one word describes how I’m feeling right now?” Consult thisFeeling Word Cheat Sheet if, like me, you have very few feelings words to describe your tiny little feelings.
Write down the one word that best describes your emotion in that moment. Your choice on how you record it: old-fashioned paper or a note in your phone.
Once per day, quickly look back at the one-word feelings for that day. Note any trends or triggers for those feelings.
Rinse and repeat tomorrow. And the next day. And the next day. Make it a goal to do this for seven continuous days. Make it part of your Game Plan for the Crisis.
You’re on your way to preventing your brain from being hijacked. You’re better prepared to do your most important job, to manage yourself.