Naming Emotions and Choosing to Overcome
Choice: One of the most powerful aspects of life.
I took part in a team building activity recently. You’ve likely heard of it. It was the trust fall. We had to stand in front of our partner and fall backwards, trusting that they would catch us. Understandably so, emotions, screams and nerves were evident in our team as we took part in the activity. Afterwards we named our emotions.
The naming of our emotions out loud is powerful.
Here’s why: If we’re honest with ourselves, how many emotions do we have throughout our day(s) that we actually address head on?
How many of those emotions do you allow to stay in the depths of who you are, only to be wrestled with and overthought to to the extent that it becomes a permanent part of who you are?
Saying the emotion out loud brings clarity. It either sheds the light on it so that you can then work through it with whomever you shared it with. Or, you see the fallacy in it.
Here’s the reality though: Naming it takes risks, because you expose yourself to others. We have such a pressure to appear strong in our society, as if we don’t have struggles in life. The real goal we should be working towards is naming those struggles, exposing our realities, so then we can overcome them. Because it is through that process that we become stronger.
Naming the emotion was step 1.
Step 2: Choose to overcome it.
In our trust fall, I had a tad amount of nervousness, but I immediately made a choice. “I’m going to remain calm and not get caught up in the emotion,” is what I said to myself. I put myself in that mindset. Does that deny the emotion? Absolutely not. It simply denied it’s ability to control me.
And, the trust fall was an activity that was much easier to embrace.
You see, it’s in those moments we are made–those moments when we’re feeling emotions (which is completely human and should be validated), we name them, and we overcome them by choice.
It is as easy as that? No, it takes practice. And, there are some emotions that will necessitate a deep reflection as to the “why” of that emotion. But, having that ability to pause in the moment, name the emotion and put it in its rightful place in your life are powerful steps to take.
What emotions have you kept hidden that you need to name? What choices do you need to make about those emotions that will allow you to overcome them?