How to lose the fear of feeling bad: My take on emotional intelligence
The other day I read this passage:
You have comfort. You don’t have luxury. And don’t tell me that money plays a part. The luxury I advocate has nothing to do with money. It cannot be bought. It is the reward of those who have no fear of discomfort.
Jean Cocteau. Poet, novelist, playwright, critic, and French filmmaker.
And the last sentence caught my attention. The “reward of those who have no fear of discomfort.” Because that is what I try to accomplish with the people who work with me: for them to lose the fear of discomfort. Or, more specifically, of “uncomfortable emotions.”
Rage or anger,
Or even fear.
They are incorrectly called “negative” emotions. I disagree. They are unpleasant, yes. Uncomfortable. But not negative. There are no negative emotions. All emotions are messages. Messages that point out to you whether you’re approaching or moving away from who you are and what you want. Pleasant emotions (happiness, for example) point out to you that you’re on the right track. Uncomfortable emotions are pointing out to you that you have something to learn: about yourself, about what you want, about your world. Understanding this and the specific message that every emotion wants to show you is what I call emotional intelligence.
And these emotions are going to arise in you all the time in your life. For one reason or another. And, if you can’t decipher the message that they’re trying to convey to you, they will show up in your life for the same reason time after time. Until you decipher their message.
And maybe you don’t know that they show up for the same reason, because you don’t know exactly why they show up. But you know by intuition because:
You’ve felt this way at various points in your life, or
The same situations repeat themselves with your partners or in your work, or
A certain person causes those emotions in you again and again.
But, ultimately, it doesn’t matter if it is for the same reason or for a different one. The important thing is to learn how to decipher the message from your emotions.
And that is where my work begins.
Because emotions are and always are going to be part of your life. And they’re not bad. But sometimes we’re afraid, because they are uncomfortable.
So the first thing is to turn that fear into curiosity (or even enthusiasm) about knowing what they’re trying to tell us.
And believe me, once you’re able to see the message from your emotions, the fear disappears. And you like knowing more about yourself. You’re still having a bad time when you have guilt, or sadness, or anger, but the intensity is lower. And the duration as well because you know how to get away, what you have to do to get back on the right path.
It is the reward for those who lose the fear of (emotional) discomfort.