PA Branding Part 4.4 – Powerful positioning requires you to dig deep
In this last part on executing your positioning and branding plans I want to share with you a surprising and a truly revolutionary discovery. It’s pretty contra-intuitive, because it’s about embracing negative emotions!
It, naturally, goes against everything we know. When it comes to motivating yourself the general advice is: Think Positive Thoughts! You need to be positive, convincing and inspiring while fighting for your recognition and promoting your Personal Awesomeness branding. But as the saying goes: What you resist, persists! And having a bunch of suppressed negative emotions about yourself or others won’t be beneficial for your confidence. No hocus-pocus there.
So, let’s start with what psycho-analytics say about these gloomy negative emotions.
First of all, it’s YOU who labels them as ‘negative’, a very important concept to understand. Those emotions are there for a reason. You won’t grow or succeed without them. The basics are found in the ancient wisdom of Tao. Stick with me for a second:
Imagine that everything is white. How would you then know what ‘white’ is? There has to be black (or any other color) in order for white to exist as such. Accordingly, problems have to exist in order to know when you are happy and, most importantly, when to appreciate moments when you are problem-free.
This is a powerful concept to understand. The big wisdom of life, you might say. In it lies the truth of a ‘pure balance’ theory. It basically means, that to have a balance there needs to be as many good as bad on the scale called your life. If you will attract, experience or focus more on any of those two extremes – you will be misbalanced and life will have the marching orders to bring back the balance, whether you like it or not.
Yes, very deep and profound. And No, you don’t really need to believe in it. Just understand the concept of a ‘bad’ label and its less than fortunate branding as a negative and unwanted element that we humans give it. In reality: it just IS! We don’t particularly like it so we call it ‘bad’ and try to avoid it simply because we don’t like the consequences of it. If you will just perceive it as IS, you will not be so much touched or even bothered by it. You will just deal with it and get back ‘in balance’ in no time. This is the profound control that YOU have in life. The choice of your actions is up to you…
Back to psycho-analytics.
7 Negative Emotions
There are 7 ‘negative’ emotions that we deal with: Sadness, Pessimism, Guilt, Anxiety, Mindlessness, Anger, and Jealousy. The amazing thing about them, is that they all make us GOOD in very particular areas of our behavior! When I first read about it, I was truly stunned, and merely because there is no way you can argue with it. A lot is written about this theme and here is one such amazing article (and books mentioned): http://elitedaily.com/life/negative-emotions-good-for-you/881761/
This switch of a vantage point of looking at negative emotions is truly mindset changing. Don’t know how about you, but I was instantly a lot more confident in my own abilities. Especially, understanding the role of those emotions in my life and the possibilities of alternative execution made the biggest impact. Everything has a reason! In the midst of our crazy whirlwind lives, specifically in our profession of being 24/7 Assisting Professionals, we just don’t see it this way. And this brings me to the next point…
Why do we have this tendency to avoid or suppress negative emotions?
Looking at human behavioral psychology, one such reason is because we tend to draw fast conclusions based on coincidental connections. We are illogical like that. And the worst part, is that we tend to stick to those irrational beliefs even if they are against facts. The ‘false’ conclusions seem to fit us. These coincidental connections make sense to us. (Situation: My boss looked irritated when I handed him the report. Conclusion: He must dislike me or disapprove of the way I make it).
Additionally, our ‘wrong’ conclusions fit us on more deeper levels, supposedly benefitting us in the long run. That’s why we keep those beliefs in place and don’t question or battle them. It has something to do with our comfort zone, of us being the kings of our present (and likely less than perfect) castles. The official terminology for this phenomenon is Secondary Gain. (Gain: I hate my boss for it, he won’t ever promote me and so I don’t need to work hard for him. I think I will take the afternoon off and relax.)
The easiest example of secondary gain are the people who ‘like’ being sick. Not consciously, of course. Who likes that?! But on some level they love it, just because they get more attention if they are!
If you look closely at human behavior you will find tons of examples of us thriving on secondary gain situations. On the outside we are unsatisfied and unhappy. But we sustain those situations, against all odds, because there is something beneficial for us in the end… deep down and on the unconscious level. It’s our life support we don’t even know exists. Sad, but true…
Think anything like, staying in an unhappy relationship, just not to be alone. Or staying in a dead-end job, just because you are senior there. Even keep on eating the entire Ben & Jerry’s bucket, just because it makes you feel so good and fussy for a second. We know it’s not good for us, but we cannot clearly define why we can’t move past it.
If you do know the big WHY and you are motivated to change – you will!
Although, there are 2 things that usually don’t support us: cluelessness of the right direction, followed by a lack of convincing motivation. These are huge topics and I will try to be of help to you on how to deal with them in the coming articles. For now, just know there are usually more reasons to why you are not happy or not satisfied– the obvious ones and the unconscious ones!
So, bringing it all together, there is a HUGE OPPORTUNITY for us here.
If you can focus on the supporting effects of your ‘negative’ emotions AND you can define the secondary gain you are so carefully preserving – you will be well on your way to become a greatly branded professional.
Don’t be surprised by any negative emotion, don’t become its victim. Know yourself and turn the events around by acting on behalf of those feelings. Everything has a purpose.
Positive effects of our negative emotions
When the ‘bleep’ hits the fan, be aware of your emotions, don’t suppress them and find fitting actions that correspond with their flipside qualities:
EMOTION has its own FLIPSIDE quality, so act ACCORDINGLY
Sadness -> Attention to detail = Lose yourself in a demanding project
Pessimism -> Get ready for action = Get on with something you kept ‘on hold’
Guilt -> Moral clarity = Resolve socially sensitive situations
Anxiety -> Problem solving = Deal with complicated tasks
Mindlessness -> Creativity boost = Plan how to achieve future big goals fast & easy
Anger -> Determined & Thorough understanding = Fix difficult relationships & conflict
Jealousy -> Motivation & Inspiration = Overdeliver and overperform
Logically, results of those actions will power UP your Professional Positioning, no questions asked!
Let me repeat myself, it’s the self-mastery that will make you stronger from within. And there, on the inside, lies the core of your awesomeness. Nobody is perfect and it’s when we grow that our true nature and greatness show and shine.
Remember, our personality is NOT a given. It’s a process. So the question you need to ask is not ‘Who am I?’, ask yourself instead ‘Who do I want to become?’. It’s YOU who decides that and the one who makes it happen. Do so unconsciously, and you will become a victim of your circumstances, following what others make you be. Choose to do so consciously, and you will be driven by your inner qualities and powers. Your branding is what YOU decide it to be. Make that choice bravely and act on it fearlessly!
One more thing for you to consider:
Dealing with your own less positive qualities is what makes life good. You will become resourceful and curios about the possibilities. Once you start to grow, you will fall in love with the process and you will be willing to dig up more things to work on. To grow up – you need to dig deep! Happy digging….
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