Letting go of anger and fear with the Sedona method

When a burdensome thought wears you down

letting go anger and worry sedona method Martha is retired. She has trouble walking so that she hardly leaves the house anymore. She feels trapped even though she has an apartment in the middle of a capital city. Her neighbor is home all day too. The problem is that, according to Martha, he makes a lot of noise. In the beginning, Martha was able to ignore the noise. She would just turn the radio on or go to another room. Over time, the noise started taking over. Soon, the sound was the only thing Martha could focus on and the anger was starting to eat her up. Being angry has become the dominant mood. How do you deal with anger, compulsive thinking or fear? Did you know that there is a simple way to change your emotion?

The art of letting go and the Sedona method

A lot of people have problems letting go of things. May it be anger or fear. That is a returning "theme" I see with a lot of clients. For a few years now, I use the Sedona method with so much success that I am sharing the simple trick that will help you to let go of thoughts that you do not serve you.

What is the Sedona method?

lester levenson The Sedona method is a very simple 4-question release technique developed by Lester Levenson. The physicist from New Jersey,  who lived from 1909 to 2009 developed his simple but powerful formula for happiness in 1952. It has been adopted by many leading coaching experts. Four simple questions:
  • Can you accept the emotion at this moment?
  • Could you let go of the emotion just for now?
  • Would you let go of the emotion?
  • When?

Let me explain in more detail:

Why not try it right now or the next time you are angry, afraid or cannot stop thinking about something compulsively?

How the Sedona release technique works

Close your eyes, travel within and think about the person, situation or thing that frustrates you at the moment. Feel the emotion caused by that "thing."

1. Can you accept the emotion at this moment?

You cannot win a war against your own brain. Therefore, suppressing your emotion, fight it or pretend it does not exist will not work in the long term. Most of the time, the unpleasant emotion only grows stronger. Back to our question: It doesn't matter how you respond. What matter is that you are honest with yourself. Answer spontaneously without thinking about your answer or trying to find the "right" answer. Perhaps the emotion is so strong that you have to accept it. Or it's a physical pain and you know that you have to endure it. But you can also decide to refuse to accept the emotion. It's up to you.

2. Could you let go of the emotion - just for a moment?

This question is tricky. You are not being told to let go of the emotion. The freedom of choice is yours in theory. In practice, we often do not have a choice. As before, it doesn't matter how you answer. Just spontaneous. Without thinking. The point is that you dig inside and experience the emotion. Often, we're content with symbolism or constructs like "I am angry." Or "I am stressed." But there is more to it. Please focus on the physical reactions. Do you feel pressure on your shoulder? Is your face getting hot? It's easier to let go of concrete physical sensations than diffuse words like "stress", "fear", or "anger." Many of us are able to let go but you are not always aware of it. Imagine you feel afraid and your kid runs into the room because he feels down and has a bloody nose. Where is the fear now? Or imagine you are fighting with your partner and the phone rings. Most people will answer it with a totally normal voice. It might change back to the "anger voice" as soon as they hung up, but the fact of the matter is that they ARE able to let go. It's easier if we do not force ourselves. That makes the indirect question "Could you..." so powerful. The question represents merely a hint and that does not cause aversion or pressure.

3. Would you let go of the emotion?

Answer honestly and spontaneously again. The question is not about your ability to let go. It's about your willingness. You might cover up another emotion or fear and learn about yourself that you are not willing to let go. Or you discover why you held on to an emotion that did not serve you for so long. And now to the fourth and last question:

When? When would you let go?

Change does not happen if we are not brutally honest with ourselves. Ask yourself the question. As before, it does not matter what you reply. There is no right or wrong. Now? Tomorrow? Never? This question helps you to the here and now and you will get a sense that change is possible. You can break the pattern. You can let go. When would you like to let go? If you reply with something like "the day after tomorrow" or "when I have time" you have already agreed that you would like to let go AND that you can. You will probably already feel a difference if you did not just read this article but went through the process of the four questions. The best is to ask yourself these four questions again and again.

The Sedona method is not limited to emotions

You can use the method also to let go of unpleasant thoughts, limiting beliefs, nasty habits and besetting fantasies. It works because thoughts, beliefs and even fantasies are connected to emotions as well. [tcb-script src="https://aurorasa.cdn.vooplayer.com/assets/vooplayer.js"][/tcb-script]

Why is this simple method so powerful?

The questions connect you to your inner self. The characteristic of a problematic situation is that we're not grounded but kept the hostage of our brain. Compulsive thinking, worst-case scenarios etc. (Related article: "The default mode network and why it matters to you") Often we are not aware what causes a certain emotion and this is where the Sedona method is gold. It helps to get a distance to the problem or emotion. To look at it unbiased from afar. That might sound like an oxymoron (how can you connect to your inner self and at the same time have more distance?) The difference is that the question forces you in the here and now. Is there anything I can help you with? Why not book a session right now?

Is there anything I can help you with?

Why not book a session right now?

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A short story about seeing

  The students had watched the master for a while before one was curious to know which form of meditation he practices every morning in his garden. The master replied: "When I look carefully, I see the cherry tree in full bloom" One of the students asked: "But why does one have to look carefully to see the cherry tree? The vibrant color of the beautiful blossoms are hard to overlook" The master smiled and answered: "So that I really see the cherry tree and not my idea of it." This short story is loosely based on a story by Anthony de Mello. Anthony de Mello was a Jesuit priest, public speaker, author and psychotherapist known for his storytelling (among many others.)  

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Ode to an underrated trait: Self-Will

self-will the underrated trait

On self-will, stubbornness and being opinionated

Self-will and being opinionated are brothers in a way. Recently, I saw a post by a thought leader I respect very much. It spoke against being opinionated and implied that opinionated people might be inflexible and closed-minded. Unable to listen. Unwilling to change. It was the first time I did not fully agree with something written by this incredible leader I hold in the highest regards. If you know me, you know I am opinionated and have a strong sense of self-will. Therefore, I belong to the group targeted by this post and that’s not something you can just ignore. Because I value this person and his teachings a lot, I sat back and reflected long and hard on his arguments and statements. Should I change? Should I change my training material?
  • Does having an opinion make me unable to listen?
  • Is my self-will egoistic?
  • Is my mind closed when I formed an opinion about something?
  • Is having a point of view a sign of ignorance?
Being agreeable is an instinct. Therefore, I wondered for a minute if I should share my conclusion. Then again, if you are a regular visitor to my article section or even a subscriber to my newsletter or client, you are here because you know who I am. You know what I stand for and what makes me tick.

Self-will and other virtues

There are a lot of virtues people aim to possess. But first: Let me give you the translation of the German word for stubbornness: (Eigensinn) “own sense.” Something that has its own sense. Someone stubborn follows their own sense. As opposed to what? Here are a few virtues I found listed on a homepage about good parenting:
  • Being on time
  • Humbleness
  • Honour
  • Excellence
These are not bad traits per se. What they do have in common, though, is that they have been invented to make us followers. Easy to control. Follow the laws, the rules of society and other people (for instance, a manager.) Self-will is the only virtue that is about following ourselves. “Own sense.” I know that own sense is not a word and I hope you’ll forgive me for using it. This article is not a call for a revolution or becoming anti-social. Revolution is war and I stand for happiness. A society can only work if everyone accepts and fulfills their role. But that does not mean thinking for yourself and being aware that you accept a role is a bad thing. Every virtue turns into a negative in an extreme. The person who is good with money vs the cheap person, for instance.
The world is not a talking shop. Decisions have to be made.
Alfred Herrhausen

Why do stubbornness, self-will, and opinion have a bad reputation?

If you look at the history of the world, all impactful change-makers (for the better or worse) were stubborn (self-willed) and opinionated. Just think of Mandela, Socrates – or if you are religious Jesus Christ. Once someone achieved success, we’re willing to call it "visionary", “charismatic”, “a lot of personality”, “individualist.” But until then, we consider self-will a character flaw. We group people into followers and leaders. Followers do not follow their “own sense”, they fulfill someone else’s vision. Our economic system would crash if everyone would think for themselves, ask questions and only do what made sense to them and served their growth. It can only work because most people follow orders. Explaining, influencing is much more exhausting than just giving orders. It’s understandable that the very teachers who tell us about the heroes, the self-willed people of ancient times, teach us to be compliant.

Self-will and egoism

Self-will, following your own sense, is egoistic. (It's a word now, I said it five times!) Egoistic in the good sense, not in the greedy or ruthless way. Every creature (besides humans and the pets they tame) follows their growth instinct to become the best version of themselves. They follow an inner law. Or we could say: calling. Every creature, every thing follows its calling. The inner voice that leads them to do what’s the best growth strategy for them. People and many other creatures also have the need for closeness, ergo the herd instinct. It’s also shared protection. While the compromises one must make to be a part of a herd are not endangering our health and happiness, the sacrifices, for instance, a fabric worker in the assembly line at Apple’s partner in China has to make are endangering his health and limit his growth. Can you imagine a herd of 100 animals where 2 animals get 90% of the food and all others have to chew on a few leftovers? Perhaps even toxic? But that is how our trickle down economy works. It cannot work if everyone follows their growth instinct. Our current model is based on exploitation and can only work if the vast majority of people are obedient. The more unnatural we live, the higher the suicide, depression, drug abuse rates. Not everyone who gives you orders has your best interest in mind. Without self-will, you will neither become the best version of yourself nor have a lot of success and happiness in your life. Everyone has an agenda. I repeat. Every. One. Has an agenda. And the agenda is always selfish. Not just people who want to exploit you for their personal gain wrongfully advice you to let go of your own self. We assess situations coming from what we know. People share advice from their biased point of view. Biased by their upbringing, intellectual capabilities, learned skills, what they expect from us. Everyone's ability to predict is compromised by the pain they suffered and by what we observed. We're not aware of it, but it's all parked in the long-term storage of our mirror neurons. People have more or less selfish agendas. Everyone has one. The point is:
  • You have to think for yourself to make educated decisions
  • To become your best/happiest, you have to have self-will
  • Emotional intelligence helps you to understand someone’s agenda
  • Following your own sense is your very responsibility and protects your core

Last words

  • Every virtue turns into a negative in the extreme
  • Having an opinion means you thought about something. It does not imply you’re not open to listen and change your opinion
  • The world needs more people who think for themselves and who stand for something
  • Opinionated people with self-will are harder to manipulate
  • The biggest change-makers in the history of the world were stubborn
  • People with emotional intelligence have a strong self-will
  • We have to understand someone’s agenda to decide if they will harm us or support our growth
  • Dr. Mark Goulston and I can help you to understand everyone's agenda and achieve your full growth potential. We help individuals and teams to become more influential.

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Personal Development Coaching BS: Signs your Coach is incompetent

Today I received one of these invites again: “Join the biggest list building event of the year.” Hundreds of personal development coaching people group together to collect as many email addresses as they can. While it is understandable that we want the chance to speak to YOU, it should always be done in style. And with style, I mean: from the point of a Coach who wants to help people – not from the point of a marketing ninja who wants to sell as many products as possible.

Coach or Marketing expert?

Every coach can tell you that this event doesn’t have any benefit for participants. It works as follows: all of the hundreds of Coaches who participate in the event promote it. Every Coach offers a freebie. To access the freebie you have to sign up for his newsletter. I believe that our job is not to exploit the weaknesses of people. Obviously, as it’s human nature, people will sign up to as many freebies as they can. They will store all of the files on their computer, perhaps briefly open one or two, but not gain knowledge. It doesn’t matter how good or bad the free content is – if we collect information instead of learning skills we will not benefit from it. When it comes to establishing a relationship with a potential client, I can hardly think of worse scenario than someone who just signed up for 60 newsletters. This and a few other things that bugged me caused me to write this article about personal development coaching BS for you. So here it goes: personal-development-coaching-bullshit-signs-your-coach-is-incompetent-768x384

Signs your coach might be incompetent

Email bombs

As soon as you signed up for a newsletter or purchased a training, you start to receive one email after the next. Each email promotes a wonderful training from “friends” of your Coach. While there is nothing wrong with recommending a good training of a partner or friend, it all has to be done in moderation, in good taste, and with nothing but the client’s best in mind. The art is not to provide good information. Everyone already has great books on their bookshelves. The art and our legitimization to exist is to help people to turn information into knowledge and knowledge into skills. As Coaches, we know that it takes about nine weeks to implement new habits. That is approximately how long it takes for the brain to remove neural pathways that do not serve us and form new ones. The biggest challenge in personal development coaching is to help people to stay motivated and keep training and repeating until they have mastered a skill. If we try to sell clients training after training before they achieved the goals from the first one, we either don’t know what we’re doing or we don’t care that we are doing it wrong. Let’s suppose that these Coaches have attended all of the training they recommend to their subscribers and clients. Everything else would be shady.

Unrealistic promises

A Coach cannot promise more or less than that his personal development coaching material is suited to give you the results you’re looking for. He cannot promise you will achieve the results. If you burn the training material or refuse to even communicate with your coach, you will not achieve your goal. Therefore, a good Coach will not guarantee any results.

More marketing than substance

It’s certainly a wonderful thing if you are able to write great email copy. Heck, I wish my own emails were better. What they are, though, is they are authentic and my aim is to provide value to my subscribers. There is a certain type of Coach who is more focused on selling and marketing than helping. They have perfect copies with all of the words proven to influence a person to buy. Ohhhhh and if you click, you’ll enter the perfect “funnel.” A funnel optimized to get you to buy — no matter if you need the service or not. They make
  • unrealistic claims (you become Clint Eastwood in 2 weeks),
  • create a false sense of urgency (ONLY today) or,
  • mark regular parts of their training as time-limited gifts.
There is no doubt that this works. Surprisingly, it even works in Webinar REPLAYS. What I question is if a good Coach should resort to trickery and manipulation. We all depend on income from our clients. Selling your services and products is perfectly alright. But the question is how you do it. I believe trust is the most important factor in a client/coach relationship. What you tell your potential client about your offer should be the truth. The alternative is focusing on growing your list and pushing out one offer from ... friends after the other. And finding more friends all the time who push out emails with your offers. No need for quibbling ... I'd hire such a Coach as an email marketing specialist any time of the day.

Personal Development Coaching too cheap

Good Coaches will not ruin themselves. While it could be just temporary desperation, if coaching is offered at a very low rate you might want to be extra careful. The hourly rate might sound very attractive, but there are a lot of costs involved with creating, maintaining and offering good coaching / self-coaching products. A Coach might just have a few clients per week. A lot of time is taken up by admin, finding those clients, service and many other tasks.

Holistic view

If your personal development coach is only focused on your professional environment, he might not be the right one for you. In nearly all cases, factors from the personal lives of clients play a part in making the desired changes. A perfect example of a wonderful and highly capable business coach is Dr. Mark Goulston.

Short sessions

Your personal development coaching partner only offers 20 or 30-minute sessions, it might be time to look for a new one. The same applies if you cannot reach him/her in person and are just dealing with ZenDesk support people. A Coach cannot be expected to offer free consultation or be available right way, but he should be reachable for his clients.

He can do everything

A personal development coach can cover a lot but not everything. Especially not everything we are being asked for by people seeking help. A good coach knows his limits and will refer you to appropriate specialists (i.e. therapists, lawyers, doctors, relationship coaches.) If your coach can “do it all” you might have reason to worry.

Personal Development Coaching BS

They take ownership of your problem. A good coach is not trying to create dependency. He is also not telling you what to do. He provides you with tools that allow you to solve your problems and he asks questions and provides information that allows you to see just where you need to go to realize your vision. While a good coach certainly gives concrete advice and makes you aware of habits that might stand in your way, a good coach would never say: “I am going to solve your problem.” Coaching is not therapy and should have a concrete goal and timeline.


There are good Coaches around and there are bad ones out there. That someone is good at marketing does not necessarily imply he is bad at coaching. That someone is great at marketing does not make him a competent Coach. You are well advised to look for personal development coaching where the goal is your success and not to sell as many products as he can. Ask yourself: Is your Coach focused on helping you to make the most out of your coaching/self-coaching program and helping you to turn knowledge into skills? If a personal development coach tries to trick or manipulate you rather than influence you, run. Did you know that emotional intelligence keeps you from falling into these lizard-brain traps? Someone with a high EQ is much harder to manipulate (; You might be interested in:  Can mindfulness change your brain? Emotional Intelligence - Understanding Emotions  

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How to avoid fighting on Christmas


Do we lose all Empathy around Christmas?

Martha is looking forward to the holidays. Every year, she starts to prepare early. From the finest decorations to recipes that tickle your taste buds in the most delightful way: Martha takes Christmas seriously. 

What she loves most is that it's the only time of the year when the whole family gets together. Even her parents fly in from Florida. 

She looks forward to her favorite holiday every year. Sadly, also every year what is supposed to be the festival of love turns into a huge fight. 

Last year was extremely bad: 

  • Martha was mad at everyone. She prepared for weeks and spent 2.5 days in the kitchen but nobody, really NOBODY, appreciated her hard work. Instead, everyone was complaining

  • Maurice, Martha's son, didn't hide how much he hated the whole thing. He was the only one of his friends who was forced to stay at home. All the others met for possibly the greatest party of the year. Nobody likes to be blackmailed. (In Martha's defense: she had no other choice than threatening that she wouldn't buy Maurice the car she promised for his 18th birthday)

  • Erin was crying for hours. She wanted a PlayStation. But her uncool parents bought an Xbox. An Xbox 360. Where did they even find it? In the "free stuff" section of Craigslist?

  • Martha's parents were seriously unhappy. They are not the youngest and traveling is exhausting. They came all the way from Florida to spend quality time with their daughter and grandchildren. The grandchildren were in a devilish mood while her daughter spent all of the time in the kitchen. They were stuck with Bill whom they never liked. Who`s Bill?

  • Bill, Martha's husband, has had it with Christmas. All he wants is a bit of silence and peace. Week-in, week-out he rushes from meeting to meeting and the last thing he wants to do in the little time he has to himself is entertaining grumpy in-laws, juggle ill-tempered kids and listen to horrible Christmas music

Would you like more Christmas music? Follow the link at the end of the post and order your free album with Christmas songs. 

around Christmas

Why do we argue and fight on holidays?

Not just around Christmas, but also on vacations and other holidays: Often what is supposed to be a wonderful time turns into a stressful event. 

Some of the nicest people I know turn into selfish monster who want to force their idea of an ideal vacation/holiday onto others. 


There are several reasons that lead to this, for instance:

  • Overblown expectations
  • We're not used to spend so much time together

How to avoid fighting on holidays

The most important tip: Stay emphatic. Just like the rest of the year. Also:

  1. Don't expect too much. You will not get along better with people than the rest of the year

  2. Try not to force your idea of a perfect Christmas onto others. Everyone should be able to contribute their ideas and who doesn't want to participate shouldn't be forced to

  3. Avoid fundamental debates. It's unlikely that you will find consent about a topic you disagreed on all year long at the Christmas table

  4.  If possible, split the work. Everyone could contribute and be responsible for a part of the Christmas festival

  5. Don't force people to spend hours and hours together if they don't want to. It will only lead to arguments

  6. Don't force them to do things they hate. For example: if your kids don't want to sing Christmas songs - don't make them

  7. Don't overdo it. It doesn't have to be a 6-course menu. Consider preparing something festive but simple so that you are not already stressed out when it begins

  8. Gifts are supposed to make people happy. If someone doesn't like their present, they should be allowed to say so. Keep in mind: It's not a rejection of your person

Procrastination around Christmas

An interesting phenomenon is procrastination around the Christmas. Are you interested in some effective tips how to eliminate it? 

I wrote an article for you about this last year and, if you prefer, you can also listen to the audio edition. 

Article: Killing time around Christmas

Last but not least (unless you ... like me ... dislike Christmas songs): You can order your free Christmas album HERE: Christmas Special: Free Album

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Christmas Special: Free Album

Aurorasa Coaching Christmas Special   This year's Christmas special is a full album. It's available to current and new subscribers until December 24. Your password is: ThankYou Because I am grateful to all of you. As always: Without you, there would be no me. Christmas-Special-Tracklist

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Emotional Intelligence: Understanding Emotions

Understanding emotions and everything related to emotion is often confused for "overly emotional" or even weakness. I invite you to learn why knowledge of emotions is a powerful success- and happiness skill.


emotional intelligence understanding emotions

Understanding Emotions

People with a high EQ can understand their emotions, the sources of their emotions (and those of others) and they are in control of their actions and reactions.

Let's look at the fascinating topic "emotions" a little closer.

Many people find it hard to share their emotions with others, express or even feel them.

Most of us still have the idea that emotions are hindering an effective decision-making process and rational thinking. If rational thinking is even possible could be an interesting topic for a separate article.

It is changing but as of today women and children are still seen as more emotional creatures than men. Men stand for rationality. Both genders share this bias.

Fact is: People make emotional decisions for rational reasons. All people.

Three unique components involved in the complex psychological states (emotions) are:

  • subjective experience
  • behavioral (expressive) response
  • physiological response

Additional complication

Besides bias that still exists, the amount of information we exchange and have to process is thriving. Our ability to feel, experience and exchange emotions (emotional competence) cannot cope with that.

The typical social media user might "like" and "share" information about a mass shooting, funny joke, a dead dog, and animal cruelty during two minutes.

We get sick if we do not pay enough attention to the emotional aspects of our existence. That's simple to understand if you consider the tight relation between emotions and the 4 proven basic needs:

Or ... I should say psychological needs as I am not talking about air, food, shelter, and water.

The need for

  • love and belonging
  • freedom and autonomy
  • power
  • fun (well-being)

Every psychosomatic problem can be interpreted as an emotional problem.

Examples are depression, anxiety, stress, chronic pain, addiction ...

If we want to satisfy our need for love and closeness - or isolate ourselves and deny the need - this is accompanied by emotions.

We experience emotional reactions when others are interested in us or aggressive towards us.

When we are self-aware and assess our strengths and weaknesses it triggers emotions.

Various types of Emotions

Psychologist Paul Ekman suggested in 1972 that there are 6 universal basic emotions. In 1999, he expanded the list (after happiness):

  • anger
  • fear
  • disgust
  • surprise
  • sadness
  • happiness (my favorite one)
  • excitement
  • embarrassment
  • contempt
  • pride
  • shame
  • amusement
  • satisfaction

Robert Plutchik introduced another kind of classification system, the wheel emotions. This model shows how various emotions can be combined or mixed. Example: anticipation and happiness combined = excitement.

plutchik wheel of emotions


"Emotion" (as opposed to feeling) includes a blueprint for action (i.e. "I won't put up with that). Experience, evaluation, and readiness for action are one.

Experiencing emotions consciously

If we experience emotions consciously we lessen it. That means that the duration of emotions is limited. Strong emotions decrease faster.

Self-awareness (and feeling alive) requires that you allow emotions and experience them consciously.

We must accept that we cannot conserve positive emotions and can at the same time hope we will overcome negative emotions:

  • anger fades
  • fear vanishes
  • emotional pain lessens

Suppressing emotions "conserves" them. Even centuries later, they can break out with unabated force.

Past emotions leave marks (what I refer to as "brain scars"). They leave engrams in our brain. The younger we were when we experienced a situation that triggered a strong emotional reaction the less we remember the precise content.

We will remember the affective part of the situation.

Emotional Intelligence and your emotions

When we suffer painful experiences and hurtful emotions, the brain will try to make sure that a similar situation cannot repeat itself. The goal of our brain is to make sure of our survival. It is not essential to our survival that we have a flourishing career or a luxurious life.

It will form a neural pathway to the so-called lizard brain, the part that controls the "fight or flight" reaction. In consequence, we cannot make an intellectual decision as soon as something reminds our brain of a past situation.

Imagine you are looking at a cage with a tiger and the tiger jumps towards you. You would back off and you would not have the chance to decide how you want to react.

If you could think about it you would stay still as you know the cage holds the tiger or you would be yogurt already.

This fabulous survival instinct and the brain's ability to form neural pathways that allow us to flee (or fight) a dangerous situation without wasting time is at the same time what makes our lives most difficult.

Because it is not limited to physical danger. A tiger who jumps you because he wants to eat you will probably make for a bad day every time.

That one of your projects failed, the person you had to fire created a horrible scene (or you've been fired or cheated on) will not necessarily repeat itself. Each situation is new and individual.

By reacting to past negative events, our behavior will subconsciously change and in consequence likely lead to the same negative outcome as before. We create self-fulfilling prophecies.

Intellectual decisions (higher thinking) take place in the rational brain (creative brain.)

three brains neocortex reptilian mammalian

You might know of people who repeat painful experiences several times. Whenever someone says "I didn't mean it", you know what happened. Or when you hear: "Why does this or that always happen to me?"

The only way to gain back control over your actions once the brain has formed a neural pathway to the lizard brain is to retrain it. It's a process that takes a few months but comes with a lifelong reward.

Just imagine: The old saying we are our biggest problem will not apply to you any longer.

Emotion and communication

By expressing our emotions we send communicative signals to our surroundings. Our emotional expression is the basis for the perception of our conversation partners and the surrounding people.

They form their beliefs about us not just based on our spoken words.

We express our emotion by the tone of our voice, facial expression, body language, and gestures.

Those signals will inform others about our intentions and desires.

Effective communication of emotions is the prerequisite for being able to understand and be understood.

To do that, we have to understand and be in control of them and have the ability to understand those of others (empathy.)

If we are not, it will lead to conflicts, misunderstandings, lack of ability to persuade and ultimately stress and self-limiting behavior.

In social contacts, business meetings and relationships we constantly navigate the right amount of closeness and distance. Activity and passivity. This happens on a subconscious level in which "mini signals" play a huge part.

We subconsciously pick up "mini signals". If we sense, for instance, anger from the ancient past about something that went wrong back then, we will react to it.

It could look like that: You propose a project. Something your prospect says or does reminds you of that time when you've been rejected. Without being aware of it, for the instance of a second, you send mini-signals that your prospect picks up.

Based on the old emotion your conversation partner picks up he turns you down. He will argue his emotional decision with rational arguments.

Perhaps you will think that once more your instinct was right.

People should never listen to what they believe to be their instinct unless they have had emotional intelligence training. It is hard to tell instinct from protective signals the brain sends.

Allowing emotions

If we allow ourselves to feel emotions, it provides a certain feeling of liveliness that enables us to enjoy positive emotions to their fullest and endure negative ones.

As you have learned before, we cannot run away from negative emotions. They will hunt us down at some point and potentially limit our success and level of happiness.

For some reason (and I could not scientifically explain that) it seems possible to avoid positive emotions - but not negative ones.

Suppressing emotions takes away from the feeling of liveliness and will lead to compensatory or extreme behavior in some form. Or depression.

We also cannot suppress our basic needs. If we deny them, it will lead to problems.

And that also applies to the inability of self-reflection. We lose ourselves a bit if we cannot understand ourselves.

The ability to express yourself emotionally is the prerequisite for positive social contacts. When you lack the ability, you will have less constructive arguments and less positive relationships.

You will also get less of what you want because you will not send a congruent message of what it is you want.

Positive social interaction

If you cannot express your emotions effectively, the other person will not share theirs - robbing you of the ability to understand them.

You are less likely to create trust and and connection and the other person might even keep their distance and decide that they don't like you.

One way emotional intelligence training can support you is helping you to

  • understand your own emotions
  • be in control of your emotions and therefore actions and reactions
  • effectively communicate your emotions
  • understand the emotions and agenda of others
  • be able to influence others

Isn't that fabulous? With a little bit of effort, we can learn how to deal more effectively with all of the tigers we meet in business and in life.


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Interview with Chris Shea LifesJourney

aurorasa sima interview chris shea   Recently, Chris Shea, founder of Lifesjourney, invited me for an interview. Chris was interested in learning more about my Emotional Intelligence Training and during our pleasant conversation, we realized that we share a common interest: Helping people to implement mindfulness into their lives. You can listen to the podcast here:

Libsyn:  Anchor.fm
I also recommend that you check out Lifesjourney's offering.

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Interview with Dr. Mark Goulston – Unconditional

You will hear more from me about the incredible Dr. Mark Goulston. Today, I had an interview with him that I consider so valuable that I want to share the goodness with you right away.   Interview with Dr. Mark Goulston - Unconditional

Podcast Episode with Dr. Mark Goulston

This week's episode is crowned by the incredible Dr. Mark Goulston. Be prepared: He will tickle your brain and touch your heart. He will share stories that will make most people want to act on the nuggets of wisdom and implement them into their lives. As a best-selling author, business consultant, psychiatrist, social skills expert, his mission is: Helping the world heal - one conversation at a time. In this 1 hour episode, we speak about - Why people are angry and how to deal with them - Dealing with pain and managing your own hurt - An unexpected client - Why he receives letters from inmates and much more. As valuable are the topics we did not speak about but that Mark displayed during this interview: - True vulnerability - The power of gratitude - Depression & Co are nothing to be ashamed of Mark is a contributor to so many publications from Harvard Business Review, Business Insider, Huffington Post, Psychology Today to Fast Company that it would be difficult to list them all. He has appeared on CNN, The Phil Donahue Show, The Today Show and Oprah. After listening to this, you will probably want to learn more about and from Dr. Mark Goulston. His books on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2wrqlLs Websites: http://markgoulston.com https://www.bizjournals.com/bizjournals/bio/34052/Dr.+Mark+Goulston The prison letter series we referred to: On Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/prison-letters-with-dr-mark-goulston/id1265298229?mt=2 On Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/great-love-media/prison-letters-with-dr-mark-goulston On Player.fm: https://player.fm/series/prison-letters-with-dr-mark-goulston  

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How to make a difficult decision


Very difficult decisions

Sometimes we are at a crossroad in our life where we have to make a difficult decision.

  • Should I start my own business or stay where I am?
  • Do I want a baby or focus on my career?
  • Should I cut the salary of all employees or fire 10 people?
  • Do I stay in my unhappy relationship for the kids?

Did you know that there is a simple hack to make difficult decisions easy?

How to make difficult decisions easy

Let's start with the why:

Why are some decisions difficult to make?

The answer is simple. Difficult decisions are difficult because no alternative seems better than the other.

Perhaps one alternative offers security while the other holds the opportunity for a larger gain. Or you have to decide if you want to trade security for freedom.

Option A might mean you will miss something now while option B could mean you will miss something later on for the rest of your life. Maybe one decision will make you unhappy while the alternative will make others unhappy.

One decision would make shareholders happy but your employees would hate you while the alternative makes everyone like you but you might not hit your target.

Think about it: when was the last time you had a hard time deciding? Maybe you have to decide right now and you can't decide which way to go.

Is it because none of the options seem better than the other? Or because you will have to trade one thing important to you for another?  Perhaps there just is no better alternative.

Let me share with you the simple trick I use to make difficult life decisions easy.

I will say upfront that it does not help with small decisions. While I have no trouble making important life decisions quickly, I still might take 5 minutes to decide which toppings I want on my pizza.

Our hack is: We change the question.


What person do I want to be?

Instead of asking: "Which decision is the better one?" we will ask: "What person do I want to be?"

You're not depending on making the best decision anymore. You can stop making a rational pro and contra list. Just throw it away!

Now you are deciding which reason for deciding matters more to you.

Is that scary? Maybe.

Because it also means we accept accountability for our decisions. It means that we take full control of our life. Not society, norms, our partner, our boss, our shareholders - we decide.

With accountability comes the opportunity to create the life you truly want. And to feel free and powerful because you make decisions are in line with your values, beliefs, and goals.

How to find your reason

How can you find out which reason matters the most to you? Simple. Look at your dreams and values.

Check your options:.

  • How will my life change?
  • Do I want to be the person?
  • Is it in line with my value system?

Suddenly you find that one option is better than the other.

Maybe the option in line with your "reason" is the scarier one.

So what?

Do you prefer to listen to the audio version of this article? Just go HERE

Related articles: 

8 Hacks for more Confidence


The Power of Anyway


Hooray to Mediocrity


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