5 Things Emotionally Stable People Don’t Do
Recently, I received an email (creatively) titled “Emotionally Stable People Don’t Do This” from a reader named Karl.
In it, he describes a rather chaotic emotional roller coaster that he’s been on for the past few years, personally and professionally. He wrapped up his email with this:
“Truly, I love your book and blog. Both have helped me get through some seriously tough times. But even though I’ve made progress, I often struggle with my emotions. I persistently let every little problem get the best of me. So I was wondering, what do emotionally stable people NOT do? I’m asking because, even though I’ve made progress, I know I’m still holding on to old habits that are holding me back. I need some reminders of what NOT to do!”
There are a million ways to answer Karl’s question (especially as it relates to his unique life situation).
But since emotional stability is something all of us struggle with at times, I figured I’d take a stab at answering his question in a general sense, for all of us.
Here’s what emotionally stable people don’t do:
1. They don’t take other people’s behavior personally.
It’s easy to feel unloved and unwanted when people aren’t able to communicate and connect with you in the way you expect. And it’s so hard not to internalize that disconnection as a reflection on your worth.
But the truth is, the way other people behave and function is not about you.
Most people are so caught up in their own problems, responsibilities and struggles, that the thought of asking you how you’re doing doesn’t even cross their mind.
They aren’t being mean or uncaring – they’re just busy and a bit self-centered at times and that’s okay. It’s not evidence of some fundamental flaw on your part. It doesn’t make you unlovable or unworthy. It just means that some people aren’t very good at looking beyond their own egocentric bubble.
But the fact that you are – that despite the darkness you feel, you have the ability to share your love and light with others – is an incredible strength.
2. They don’t just react – they respond mindfully.
A reaction is a hot, thoughtless, in-the-moment burst of emotion that’s usually driven by our ego (we’re more likely to react when we’re disconnected from our rational mind).
It might last just a split second before our intuition kicks in and offers some perspective, or it might take over to the point that we act on it.
When we feel angry or flustered after dealing with a situation or person, that’s a sign we’ve reacted rather than responded mindfully.
Responding mindfully will leave you feeling like you handled things with integrity and poise.
3. They don’t get stuck thinking the world is ending.
Sometimes the darkest times can bring you to the brightest places. Your most painful struggles can grant you the greatest growth and the most heartbreaking losses of relationships can make room for the most wonderful people.
What seems like a curse at the moment can actually be a blessing in disguise.
What seems like the end of the road is actually just the realization that you are meant to travel a different path.
No matter how difficult things seem, there’s always hope. And no matter how powerless you feel or how horrible things seem, you can’t give up.
You have to keep going. Even when it’s scary, even when all your strength seems gone, you have to keep picking yourself back up and moving forward, because whatever you’re battling in the moment, it will pass, and you will make it through.
You’ve made it this far, and you’ve felt this way before.
Think about it. Remember that time a while back when you thought the world was ending? It didn’t. And it isn’t ending this time either.
Need more powerful mindset shift strategies like this?
4. They don’t tie their present emotions to past negativity.
When we’re in the ‘here and now,’ it’s much easier to cope with emotions and see them as just that: emotions.
If we get caught up obsessing over the past, emotions and situations can take on new (and untrue) meanings as they become attached to stories.
For example, imagine you just got turned down for a new job.
Naturally you’re disappointed. But if you’re not present with that emotion, and instead try to act like a tough girl or guy by burying it, the mind delves back into your past for all the other times you’ve felt that way.
Now you feel like a failure and you start to carry a feeling of unworthiness into every future job interview.
When we stay present, we’re empowered to start fresh every moment and we can see every situation with a sharpened perspective, which allows us to grow beyond the negative emotions (and outcomes) standing in our way.
5. They don’t spew hate at themselves.
When you catch yourself drowning in self-hate, you must remind yourself that you were not born feeling this way.
At some point in the past some person or experience sent you the message that something is wrong with you, and you internalized this lie and accepted it as your truth.
But that lie isn’t yours to carry, and those judgments aren’t about you.
In the same way you learned to think negatively of yourself, you can learn to think new, positive, and self-loving thoughts.
You can learn to challenge those false beliefs, strip away their power, and reclaim your self-respect.
It won’t be easy, and it won’t transpire overnight.
But it is possible. And it begins when you decide that there has to be a better way to live, and that you deserve to discover it.
And of course, if you’re struggling with any of these points, remember that you are not alone.
We are all in this together.
Many of us are right there with you, working hard to feel better, think more clearly, and keep our lives on track.
This is precisely why Marc and I wrote our book 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.
The book is filled with short, concise tips on how to do just that. And believe it or not, Marc and I are always re-visiting and re-reading our OWN material, just to center our minds on these positive principles.
If you’re interested in following along with us and making positive changes in your life this month, or if you simply want to read (or listen) our book at your leisure, I’m going to extend an unbeatable bonus offer to you.