Tony Robbins taught me that people fail to succeed at a goal NOT because of a lack of resources, but because of a lack of resourcefulness. In other words, if you failed to achieve a goal, you can’t blame a lack of money/funding, tools, human resources, intellect, time, technology, etc, etc. The only thing you can blame is your lack of resourcefulness.
So, if that’s the case, how do we become more resourceful? The Tony Robbins answer is you become resourceful through a mastery of “emotional fitness.” What is emotional fitness? It’s the ability to drive your thoughts and thus emotions to achieve a positive state, instead of letting circumstances or people drive them. In essence, emotional fitness is your ability to stay focused on a goal by dictating your emotional state.
Have you ever been minding your own business, feeling perfectly content, going through your day, when BAM!, something hits you from out of the blue and puts you in a bad mood? As a mother of 3 children and owner of 2 businesses, this has certainly happened to me and I can’t blame it on PMS. Like the Sunday night my 12-year old son tells me he needs a poster board to finish his school project due Monday morning. Or the $475 doctor’s bill to put a splint on a finger you could have done yourself for free.
These are life examples, but the same kinds of things will happen in business. Every business. In fact, as a business owner, you are likely to encounter them even more than the average Joe Schmo. The key to success is to not let these incidents take you out or take you off focus. Emotional fitness allows you to not let fear dictate your thoughts, emotions and actions.
How does one achieve emotional fitness? It’s so simple – by exercising your mental muscle, moment by moment. You achieve emotional fitness by noticing your emotional state and doing something about it if it’s below a certain level. What level? You know. You can take your temperature at any time and know if you are in a good emotional state or a bad one. There are certainly degrees of good and bad, but you can always tell if it’s a good state or a bad state. Are you happy, excited, grateful, content, peaceful, or giddy? That’s a positive state. Are you frustrated, angry, sad, overwhelmed, tired, grumpy, or dejected? That’s a negative emotional state.
When you notice you are in a negative emotional state, one way to shift your state into the positive is to ask yourself the question “what am I focused on?” It’s likely you are focused on the past or the future and telling a story that is not consistent with what you want. Even if the story you are telling yourself is true, you have the ability to shift your state into the positive by finding something good from it.
The other way to shift out of a negative emotional state is to change your focus completely. Just drop it. Or as Elsa from Frozen sings so elegantly and relentlessly, “Let it go. Let it gooooooo!”
Achieving emotional fitness is super simple, but not necessarily easy. If it were easy, everyone would do it. It comes down your ability to stay present as often as possible so you can clean up a negative emotional state as early as possible.