Everyone experiences moments of weakness; we’ve eaten that brownie when we told ourselves we didn’t need it, yelled at our kids unnecessarily and lost our cool when we’ve tried our best not to. We don’t plan on these things happening, they just do. What is it that happens when our actual behavior fails to align with our desired behavior?
Self-regulation, or rather the lack of, is the culprit! The ability to monitor and manage our emotions, thoughts and behaviors has gone awry. Losing focus of our intention, our energy dives and we succumb to being reactive vs intentional. Summarizing it simply, these reactive states are us in fight or flight energy. The energy in these moments are a lot like the energy that we would have if we were about to have a physical altercation or if we were fleeing in fear.
And that’s the state that I was in on Day 4 of our 13 day bike ride. We’d been riding in the rain for most of the day. My butt hurt. My leg and hip were exhausted. At the end of our day of riding, I’d hobbled into camp depleted. Looking up at the sky, I figured we had just minutes to get camp set up before it started raining again. Irritated, I quickly began setting things up and in the process, when I accidentally stepped back and directly onto my buddy’s tent stake, I instantaneously plummeted to fight energy. Not generally one prone to swearing, I yelled in pain, and cursed, who the (blank) stakes a (blanking) tent that you’re going to be sleeping in all (blanking) night?
As I looked up at my buddy’s distraught and confused face, I knew his feelings were hurt and I was left speechless and embarrassed. I’d lost all self-regulation and, needless to say, was full throttle in behaving with fight energy.
The energy of flight isn’t a whole lot different. Let’s say that you awake in the morning to a pan of brownies sitting on the stove. You make a clear intention for yourself to not have one until dessert that evening. As soon as you set that intention, you find that you cannot stop thinking about the brownies. Add a couple of stressors to your day and you quickly find yourself in front of the brownies negotiating with your intention, and then giving in to temptation. The energy of flight is most often associated with fleeing from an emotion (stress, boredom, sadness, uncertainty, etc.).
Why does self-regulation matter? Consider these questions.
- Would you like to act with integrity?
- Is maintaining open and healthy communication with people important to you?
- Would you like to be able to calm yourself when your are upset or under stress?
- Is there value in being able to energize yourself, in a positive way, when you’re feeling down?
- Would you like to be flexible and adapt to new situations?
- Is taking control, of your energy and emotions, when things don’t go as planned important or of value to you?
- Would you like to be someone who sees good in others?
- Do you see value in behaving with intention?
- Would you like to be able to see the opportunities that exist amid challenges?
Self regulation is an important aspect of emotional intelligence. And, answering yes to the above questions means that you see the incredible value of emotional intelligence. In fact, emotional intelligence is so important to success in today’s volatile world, that those with sub-par skills are at a severe disadvantage in hiring and promotion. The good news is thatwe can improve our self-regulation capabilities and we can keep improving them so that when we’re at our most stressed, most depleted and most emotionally vulnerable, we can still behave with integrity and in alignment with our values!
For me, the plummet in my energy on Day 4 of our bike ride provided a great opportunity for me to reflect on my own self regulation work and to make things right with my riding buddy. After all, we still had 9 days to go…
If your emotional intelligence and self-regulation needs a little work, check out these three coaching “tune-ups”we’re currently offering and contact us today to start your plan.
Super Sized: Five Weeks to Mastering Portion Control in Your Life – Do you mindlessly fill your plate and then eat everthing that’s on it? When you dine out, do you have every intention of taking leftovers home, or do you find it impossible to leave food on your plate? Are you scared (yes, we say scared!) of not being full if you order that salad or become anxious when it’s fish night at home. We did. In fact, we realized that not only did we do all these things, we were conditioned to behave this way. This five week tune-up teaches you how to un-condition your fears and emotions about portion control and food, guides you through easy to implement goals, and then holds you accountable for reaching them.
Fitness Flounder: COVID and Your Workout Routine (or lack thereof) – Has your weekly fitness goals been thwarted because we’re in the midst of a pandemic? Maybe your gym is closed or maybe you’re uncertain about returning. Either way, we know that once that dreadful sedentary habit gets started, it’s super hard to break it. We’re here to help. Our five week, one-to-one coaching experience will have you energized and engaged in getting your fitness back on track.
Gone Wacky: Maintaining Self-Regulation in Quarantine – Do you dream about the days when you “got to go to work” but are currently trying to maintain your sanity amid dogs barking, kids playing, home schooling and deadlines? Well, you’re not alone and we’ve got you covered. This five week tune-up is specifically designed to help you self regulate your stress and emotions during these challenging times.
Self-regulation successes allow us to feel good about the things we do and the choices we make. Everyone has stress at one time or another and we understand that these times of social unrest, changing work environments, and migrating childcare demands are placing unusually high demands on our time and energy. Conscious Connections is dedicated to helping you be the best version of yourself even now!