The emotional yo-yo

In all my writing and teaching, the emotional component is acknowledged to control your ability to leverage mental and physical skills.   If you are feeling confident, you can have a coach scream and yell at you, call you a sissy or worse, and it just makes you mad and makes it easier to tap deeper wells of energy. But if your internal demons AGREE with that coach?  Sheesh. Disaster.


Over on the Revolutionary Writing board, students are taught to delve into their emotions, develop their world view, learn to express it courageously and honestly embedded in a structure of effective dramatic writing so that it represents your view of humanity or reality.  Do this properly, and the “politics” or “philosophy” is secondary to solid story telling, and bingo. But the ability to do the work over time, to trust your emotions and perceptions, to develop your own position despite the winds of encouragement or disapproval that WILL try to blow you down and away once you stand up and declare yourself…that is tough.

We use a special annotated version of THINK AND GROW RICH, which is the grandpappy of all self-help books.  It contains countless ideas and perspectives to clarify and emotionalize your goals, then strategies to improve performance, team-build, and learn to sell your personal services or products to your community.  But brothers and sisters, if there is any part of you that is frightened by the concept of success, repelled by the notion of wealth, believes that money is evil, thinks you cannot achieve unless you have cultural agreement or the entire world supports you…you WILL be turned off by a book that is so steadfastly positive. That, in essence, BELIEVES IN YOU MORE THAN YOU BELIEVE IN YOURSELF.

Your ego, threatened by its contents, will find ANY way to turn you off.  It must, or you will begin to experience a new reality, and your old self-concept will suffer and shatter.  A typical tool the ego uses is to take offense at something, refusing to “read between the lines” of a book written almost a century ago, railing against its regressive politics, inaccurate scientific theories, quaint phrasing, or lack of minority or female role models.

We had a student speaking to this, who reacted strongly to an anecdote where Napoleon Hill used a hyper “you can do it!” example that the student actually found offensive.  I explained my own point of view, and got back the following comment I found perceptive and honest.  After first admitting that she deals with depression she went on:

“There’s a fine line between compassionate support and actively detrimental words in depression, so sometimes I have to come back to something and read it later — or many times later. Someone can say something along the lines of “Get up and get moving!” to me when I’m deeply depressed and I’ll interpret it as condescending, unsupportive and clueless. Someone can say the EXACT SAME WORDS to me as I’m recovering, starting to live again, or in a great mood, and I’ll interpret it as either a) not really helpful, but the best support person can offer or b) a friendly supportive hand up or even c) a funny joke.”

That is accurate and honest and useful, IMO.  If you can begin to separate yourself from your emotional responses, you can function despite the storms.  Not swept along by either the “ups” or the “downs” but merely doing, day by day, what you need to do to bring your righteous dreams and goals into existence.

I believe this is a worthy goal.  What about you?







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