Does emotion enable you?

As Leading Well practitioners we are constantly reflecting on and looking to improve our approach to enhancing both performance and well-being together.

In my own practice, I have been focusing particularly on becoming more at ease with the emotional realm and integrating all it has to offer for our development. I notice some practitioners almost go looking for emotion as a barometer, considering a heightened emotional coaching session a good session while others prefer to stick with more rational and instinctive conversations, consciously or unconsciously not honouring emotion at play.

There is a balance to strike, like riding the edge of the wave, and it is greatly served by fostering it within our selves. I now consider emotion a spiritual resource, with the following specific ten strengths. I invite you to read them slowly, consider your reactions, and to review your own relationship with emotion – is it one of enablement?

Ten Strengths of Emotion

1. Emotion is the essence of our experience of thriving.

2. Emotion is our most direct indicator of who we are and what our creative life-purpose is.

3. Emotion is the medium by which we navigate our instinctual and rational responses to guide our actions.

4. Emotion is complexity, it is both impulse (fuel) and habit (vehicle). As impulse it is what moves us in the present. As habit, it is the product of our inheritance, our life experience, and our choices.

5. Emotion is patterns of behaviour, common characteristics of interpretation, language, physiology, and results are observed in waves of arousal, affect and action.

6. Emotion is personal and social, unable to be separated, yet able to be owned simultaneously in the two realms of individual and collective responsibility.

7. Emotion is uniquely human, we make stories to express and to foster emotion in order to grow and protect the societal herd. All other mammals and animals express and act on their emotion, with wonderful purity, and they show little evidence of making meaning of emotion as we do.

8. Emotion is a prompt, our negative emotions of anger, shame, grief, fear and loneliness helpfully spur us to consider living in more satisfying ways.

9. Emotion is a spiritual resource, it is our greatest ally and often our most elusive friend, for all our breathing moments.

10. Emotion is an invitation, a starting point, to improve self-leadership.

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