Ep #20: Emotional Strength Training

Emotional Strength TrainingOne thing I hear from my clients way too often is that they’re afraid of experiencing negative emotions. Now, that’s understandable on some level. Numbing negative emotion selectively may seem like a good idea, but it’s actually numbing your experience of positive emotion as well!

What we’re much better off doing is learning how to experience all emotion, and the physical and mental discomfort that comes along with them, so that we open ourselves up to the full human experience. And that’s where emotional strength training comes in.

Join me on the podcast this week to discover how you can train your brain to catch negative emotion early before it turns into negative thoughts, actions that you shouldn’t take, and results that you don’t want. I’ve got a daily practice for you that, while it sounds daunting, will open you up to levels of confidence you may never have thought possible.

I am so excited to offer you a podcast-only treat! I’ve created a five-day Unblock Your Confidence mini-course, and this is some of my best work. If you struggle with confidence and want to build more trust in yourself, stop caring about what other people think, get over your fear of failure, and start unblocking your confidence, you need to check it out. Click here to find out more!

What You’ll Learn:
  • Why your emotional strength takes the same level of training as your physical body.
  • How we have become a society of people who struggle to feel our feelings.
  • Why you can’t afford to neglect your emotional strength training.
  • What I mean when I say life is 50% positive and 50% negative.
  • How to allow ourselves to feel all emotion, good and bad, and not restrict our experience of either.
  • Why positive emotion can scare us just as much as negative emotion.
  • How to add emotional strength training into your daily routine.
Listen to the Full Episode:

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Full Episode Transcript:

You are listening to episode 20 of The Confident Coaches Podcast, the one where we hit the gym and do some emotional strength training.

Welcome to The Confident Coaches Podcast, a place for creating the self-confidence you need to do your best work as a life coach. If you want to bring more boldness, more resilience, and more joy to your work, this is the place for you. I’m your host, Amy Latta. Let’s dive in.

Hey, hey, my confident coaches. How are you all doing out there? I really hope you all are doing real good. Full disclosure, I recorded this episode a few weeks ago. I’m banking a couple of episodes right now. So, I truly am hoping that all is good in your neighborhood right now.

At the time of this recording, there’s kind of some crazy goings on around the world and I just want you to know that I’m sending out all of the good vibes, no matter where you are, no matter what you’ve got going on, we can handle anything that comes our way. Never forget to separate your Cs from your Ts; your circumstances from your thoughts.

What are the facts? What are the thoughts you have about those facts? See, all this stuff that we learn here on the podcast can apply to all areas of your life. And I also know that what I’m going to share with you today is one of my oldest concepts that I just recently put a name on and I can’t wait to share it with you because I guarantee it’s going to come super-in-handy for you right now.

But first, what are you doing right now? Speaking of right now, what are you doing right now? What if you paused this episode – yeah, I’m actually telling you to pause my voice for a moment – and took a moment to leave a review. Because did you know, I’m turning 46 on April 10th, and it is March 24th, so just two and a half weeks to be one of the first 100 reviewers of The Confident Coaches Podcast. That’s my goal, 100 reviews by April 10th for my birthday.

So, if you are listening right now, leave a review on Apple Podcasts, won’t you? Subscribe, rate, and review right on the Apple Podcasts app. You can do it all right there. And if you are an android listener, you can do it right in your web browser.

Now, speaking of reviews, you know, I read them on the podcast. I give my Confident Coaches listener shoutouts. So, today’s shoutout goes to GeminiChick. Whoever you are, GeminiChick on iTunes, let me know and I’ll update your shoutout on my Insta stories.

Anyway, GeminiChick wrote, “Amy walks you through ways to take action on your thoughts. So many motivational speakers, authors, and even coaches talk about managing your thoughts, but it’s unbelievably difficult to really understand how to take some of those steps on your own. That’s where Amy really stands out. She offers starting points on how to tweak your thoughts, understand your brain, and take actions leading to results. No more just say your affirmations. She tells you how to build those beliefs deep in your bones or brain and giving you strength to move forward.”

Thank you for this awesome review, GeminiChick, because your review really illustrates what I wanted to do, what I set out to do in this podcast to create confident life coaches everywhere. So, how to actually apply what we learn in order to feel more confident, and of course, sign more clients. Thank you for that review. It’s always great to hear that you are picking up what I am throwing down.

But I want to hear from you, my friend who may not have left a review. What kind of feedback would you leave for me? What would you like to hear about? Let me know and you just might get a shoutout on the podcast.

So, today, I want to talk to you about emotional strength training. What, she’s going to talk about emotions and working out at the same time? How dare you, right? I am. I’m going to talk about your feelings. I’m going to talk about working out. I’m going to put them together. And I really believe that what I describe here on this episode is my personal superpower. It’s one of my favorite things to spend coaching sessions with my clients on. It’s one of my favorite things to teach other people.

So, strength training, working out, and emotions might sound terrifying to you. But I am all in this and I’m going to take you along with me for this ride, okay?

So, I want to offer to you that feeling all the feels, feeling all of your feelings, this is just a skill. It’s just a muscle to build. And you may not be that strong at it now. But if you’re willing to work that muscle a little bit every day, you will become so strong at it, right?

So, feeling your feelings is just a skill that is not unlike muscle strength. The more you work it, the stronger it gets. It may not feel very comfortable in the beginning, but the more you do it, you know the practice of it will make your emotional muscles stronger. And that is what emotional strength training is all about.

So, back in episode three, I talked all about the importance of step number two in the five steps to creating self-confidence. And that is embracing discomfort and how we were not necessarily taught to feel our feelings when we were young. And we’ve become a society of people resisting our feelings, running away from our feelings, or reacting to our feelings, rather than actually experiencing our feelings.

You see that really subtle difference between reacting, running away from, resisting, and actually allowing ourselves to experience them. It’s like we are attempting to feel good all the time, which is actually making us feel so much worse because that’s not how life works.

Life is 50-50, my friends. Now, I first heard that phrase from my mentor Brooke. It’s been a couple of years since the first time I heard her say that, and I know when I looked it up recently, apparently this is not new. Like, for real. Life is 50-50 is another concept that lots of people talk about.

Isn’t it so crazy, that sounded so brand new the first time I heard Brooke. Thank goodness I learned this from Brooke. By the way, this is a perfect example of my regular listeners of the podcast – I don’t know, a couple weeks ago, a month ago – about how we worry about putting stuff out there that’s already been said and already been done so who are you to say it again?

Like, thank goodness I learned this from Brooke. Thank goodness she shared it. I’m not sure when I would have learned it, even though it’s already been out there in the world. Because the idea that life is 50-50, it’s apparently not new, even though that was relatively new news to me. And the idea behind life is 50-50 is that you can expect your life to be about half good and half bad on any given day.

You can expect positive stuff and you can expect negative stuff. Or rather, you can expect things to happen and you’re going to have positive thoughts and negative thoughts. You might get a huge tax refund one day and you might also get cut off on the highway later that day. You’re going to have a great wedding day, and you’re also going to have a day where maybe your beloved grandmother passes away.

Your life is going to be filled with circumstances that you’re going to have thoughts about that will create negative emotion and that will create positive emotion, like on any given day, you can expect good stuff, not so great stuff. That’s how life works.

Now, remember, all of these circumstances are, in fact, neutral. There are no positive circumstances or negative circumstances. There’s just our thoughts about them. And those thoughts are positive thoughts or negative thoughts.

Like, I think my wedding day was great and I feel very joyful when remembering it. but I loved my grandma and I think about how sad it is that she’s not here anymore and I feel grief when I think about that. The circumstances themselves are neutral and yet, those are the types of normal human responses I want to have.

I want to feel joy about my wedding day and I want to be able to grieve when my grandmother dies. That makes me a normal human being, right? So, life is 50-50 doesn’t necessarily mean that some events are specifically positive or negative. It’s just that it’s appropriate to have a life of positive and negative reactions.

That is what living a life is. And what happens is that when we argue with that, when we wish we only felt positive, that’s when we struggle. Now, that’s a Byron Katie-ism. So, Byron Katie is a thought leader in the life coaching world, and she has a quote that suffering is when we argue with reality.

Like, life happens. Arguing with it, wishing it were different, that’s when we experience suffering because we could choose to experience the emotions that our normal human brain reacts to life’s circumstances. We could just choose to be the normal human being that we are. We could become a fully feeling human being who is willing to feel the full spectrum of human emotion.

When I first became a coach, I dove into the work of Brené Brown. Like, come on, Brené, Brené is the best friend who doesn’t know me that I’ve ever had. Do you have one of those? Oh my god, she’s my best friend in the world, we just haven’t met yet. Yep, Brené is mine, in case you’re wondering. Hi, Brené, in case you’re out there in the world, I’m your best friend.

When I heard her talk about our willingness to feel vulnerable, she said this – and to this day I’m still like, it’s so good. “We cannot selectively numb emotions. When we numb the painful emotions, we also numb the positive emotions.” What?

First off, it blew my mind. But I immediately understood what she was saying. And that’s when I first created the emotional scale. So, I want you to imagine a scale, like a line on a board that goes form negative 10 on the left side with a zero in the center and a positive 10 on the right side.

Negative 10 is the most negative emotion you could imagine feeling, like grief or despair. Zero in the center, that would be neutral. There is neither positive nor negative feeling here. You’re just there, very neutral.

And that plus 10, that’s the most positive emotion you can imagine feeling, like joy or love. Now, emotions on the negative side tend to scare us because we never learned how to feel them. And clients tell me all the time that they’re afraid to experience sadness or grief because they’re afraid they’re going to drown in it. So, they just don’t go there.

But remember Brené’s quote, “We cannot selectively numb.” So, if you’re shutting down any negative emotion, say anything below a negative two for fear that you’re going to drown in that emotion, you’re also shutting down any positive emotion, say anything about positive two.

Like, on that emotional scale, I want you to imagine that all of the human emotions you can imagine are falling somewhere from that zero to negative 10 and that zero to positive 10, right?

So, if you’re shutting anything down from, say, negative two or negative three down, you’re also shutting positive two to positive three up. So, on this emotional scale, so many of us humans are walking around in this tight box from, like, negative two to positive two on that scale, not experiencing too much negative but also denying ourselves from experiencing too much positive.

And imagine, all us humans designed to feel the full range of human emotion walking around in these tight, strict emotion boxes. Like, no wonder we are a messed-up people. Do you have the visual where we’re just like, we don’t want to go too far on any one side so we’re walking around just in this tight tense box.

No wonder we are overdrinking and overeating and over Facebooking and over Netflixing, right? We are tightly bound. We weren’t designed to be that way. We were designed to feel all the emotions along that scale, yes, even the negative 10s and negative nines and negative eights and sevens and sixes.

And yes, absolutely, sometimes we’re just as intimidated by the positive side of that scale, particularly if we’re not practicing on the negative. Sometimes, intense joy and intense pleasure or intense love can also just as easily scare the crap out of us as that negative side can. Because we’re just so used to functioning in that very tight box.

And that is where emotional strength training comes in is our ability to loosen up that box. What if we were to let that box go? And this is some next level work from when I first outlined, way back in episode three, how to embrace discomfort.

It’s an important step in creating more self-confidence, learning to embrace discomfort and learning how to feel uncomfortable, knowing that you are willing to experience any emotion. If there’s no emotion you’re not willing to feel, there won’t be anything you aren’t willing to do. And that feels like some confidence mojo right there, right?

So, what if you were willing to expand that tight box? What if you decided you were willing to feel all the emotions on that emotional scale? So, think about all those offers you’ve been making these past couple of weeks. Maybe you’ve not been making them.

Making offers with confidence is what we talked about two weeks ago, and taking actions every day to add to your confidence accounts is what we talked about last week. And if you’ve not been taking those actions, even though all that work was lined up for you, this may be the missing piece. This might be the thing that helps you start moving forward again.

So, remember that we think over 50,000 thoughts a day. I mean, the number, it’s ridiculous. Every time I look it up, it’s a different number. It’s a lot, my friends. No matter how many it is, we are thinking tens of thousands of thoughts a day. And they are scrolling through your brain like a news scroll on the bottom of your screen.

Now, not all those thoughts are going to drop out of the news scroll and drop into creating a feeling in your body. And not all of those feelings are going to drop down to the next line and actually start driving your action.

And it’s possible not all of your actions are going to create the exact results in your life. You can interrupt at any place. Remember, that is the self-fulfilling prophecy model that we’ve got going on there; the thoughts creating the feelings, driving your actions, and creating your results. But you can interrupt that model at any time and pull that back up into the thought scroll and send it on out.

So, not all thoughts have to create a result, but all of your results can be traced back to a thought. So, our work is to be able to catch the thoughts or the feelings or the actions before they create a result that you don’t want. And what emotional strength training does is it makes it easier to learn to catch it on the emotion line, on the feeling line; catch those emotions that don’t serve you so that they don’t create the result that you want.

So, let us add some emotional strength training your routine, and here’s how we’re going to do it. So, in episode three, I offered this exercise that I’m about to share with you for when you’re thinking negative thoughts about yourself. Maybe negative thoughts about your ability to coach, your ability to schedule consult calls, your ability to do Facebook lives, your ability to sign clients, your ability to effectively communicate what you have to offer people.

We’ve got all kinds of crappy thoughts that we’ve got going on. And when I shared this exercise with you, it was to help you experience the uncomfortable emotion that comes with all of that negative thinking.

But in this episode, we’re going to do the same practice, but the way we implement it is going to be different. I’m going to invite you to check in with yourself throughout the day, every day, at least for the next week. Maybe set an alarm for a few times a day if you need something to remind you, but at least maybe once in the morning, lunch, the afternoon, evening, a couple of times a day to check in with your emotions.

Remember that thoughts are the language of the brain, and emotions are the language of the body. And emotions are just energy in motion. Feeling your feelings is just experiencing the sensations of your emotions; the vibrations that you feel in your body when you are willing to stop for a moment and check in with what’s going on.

So, when you’re checking in with your emotions, you’re going to get out of your head because don’t we all sped to much damn time there anyway? Yeah, get the hell out of your head and check in with your body. And how are you feeling?

I want you to focus in on the sensations in your body. Where is it centered in your body? Your head? Your neck or your throat? Your chest or your shoulders? Maybe your diaphragm or maybe lower into your stomach?

Put your hand where you feel whatever it is you’re feeling in this moment. is that sensation fast or slow? Is it hard or soft? Is it light or heavy? Does it have sound, movement, texture, color? Really describe it in a way that you would describe it to a small child or maybe an alien; somebody that doesn’t understand emotions.

And while you are describing it and really feeling the sensation of it, I want you to ask yourself, do you believe that you’re safe while you’re experiencing this sensation? What asking that question does is it teaches your brain that you can actually handle feeling any feeling on that emotional scale, that you are capable of feeling from negative 10 to positive 10, that you are capable of living a life that is 50-50 and you’re teaching your brain that feelings can’t hurt us.

And then, if you could put one word on the emotion that you’re feeling, what would you call it? Connect the name of that emotion with the sensation of it in your body. And that’s where you are teaching your brain what the sensation feels like and the name of the emotion that you would assign to it. And the more that you do this, your brain becomes more familiar with the sensation and the name so that it’s easier to catch in the future.

Again, you may not always be aware of the thoughts that you’re having that are causing the crappy feelings. But you may be able to catch that feeling the more you practice feeling those variety of emotions. They’ll be easier to notice in the future so that maybe not so many negative actions have to be coming from your negative emotions.

You’re going to get very well-practiced in experiencing them, which will make them easier to catch in the future. The more you practice emotional strength training, the easier it is to identify the feelings you’re experiencing that are driving your actions.

So, you may not know you’re thinking a crappy thought, but you’ll be able to identify that feeling better and it will become so much easier to pull that thought up and throw it back into your news scroll, throw it back up into your thought scroll that’s going on in your head.

So, emotional strength training has two huge benefits. It allows you to experience the 50-50 of life, and it also helps you catch crappy thoughts before they create crappy results.

Alright, my friends, do you see why this is something you want to get so much better at? Two huge benefits for you that will do nothing but make you feel amazing in the long run. So, that is your work, my friends.

If you’re listening to me out there, anybody that was like, “I really don’t want to practice this,” this could be the missing piece between taking all that action and getting the result that you want. So, add emotional strength training to your routine. Check in with your body a few times a day. Practice feeling positive emotions. Practice feeling negative emotions. They are all part of that human experience. Get that full range from negative 10 to positive 10.

Start to learn the difference of how different emotions physically feel inside your body so you can more easily identify them in the future. Open up that tight box and feel like the fully emoting human you were made to be because. Honestly, for real my friends, nothing feels more confident AF as knowing you can handle any emotion that comes your way, alright? Alright, until next week, my friends.

Friends, I am so excited to offer you a podcast-only treat. I am sharing with you the five-day Unblock Your Confidence mini course. It is only available to The Confident Coaches Podcast listeners and the only way to get your hands on it is right here. Why do you need this course?

Well, in this five-day mini course, you will learn why it seems like you struggle with confidence when others don’t, how to build trust in yourself, how to get over your fear of failure, how to stop caring so damn much what other people think, and the best thing you can do to unblock your confidence today.

All of that in just five days. This is some of my best work waiting for you. Visit www.amylatta.com/unblockconfidence to get yours. Again, that’s www.amylatta.com/unblockconfidence. Go now and get started today.  

Thanks so much for listening to The Confident Coaches Podcast. I invite you to learn more. Come visit me at www.amylatta.com and until next week, let’s go do epic stuff.

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Hi, I’m Amy.

For years, I took a ton of action to sign clients.

I learned to create self-confidence and powerfully believe in myself first, and then built a multiple six-figure coaching business.

And I can help you do it, too.

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