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Process Emotionally, Comprehend Intellectually

David Sherry
3 min read
Process Emotionally, Comprehend Intellectually

Most founders I meet with have a high-performance style of working.

They’ve gotten by revving up their mental power and pushing through difficulty.

But when failure hits, they find it tough to integrate this new data into their narrative of their life and story.

They numb or blind themselves from the thoughts and behaviors that create an outcome that they don’t want.

And at this moment,  the inclination is to rev up again and power through.

This only creates more blocks, and instead of rebuilding confidence, it can drain confidence and momentum until they hit some type of bottom.

This is usually when we get in touch.

The reason behind this difficulty comes from a paradox that is difficult to see.

What got them here won’t get them there.

More specifically, in my experience, they are trying to intellectually comprehend what they need to process emotionally.

When you’re used to digesting and working with information, the inclination is to seek more of it.

More blogs…More books…More conferences…

More conversations with random people in your network to try and problem solve.

More solutions to the pain that is slowing building up and keeping you from momentum.

This takes you farther away from your own feelings and intuition and can lead to feeling lost.

When we can properly process difficulty on an emotional level, we can work through a failure or setback and reinvent ourselves to the next success.

The bigger the failure, the more important this is.

The less we emotionally process, the harder our “rock bottom” will be, and the longer we can stay there.

This costs time, money, effort, confidence...

I’ve seen it in others, and experienced it myself.

So how do you process a setback emotionally instead of racing forward intellectually?

Ha, I bet you were looking for an immediate intellectual fix right there, weren’t you?

I’ll give in to that, just a bit here, but just know that this is something that you work through and that you experience for yourself, not just comprehend on a mental level. If you want to speak more about this, my email/dm's are open.

Here are some ideas for how to experience this…

1. Sit with what you're feeling and reject the impulse to digest information as a fix.

The faster you reach for something new, the faster you cover up what is going on. Numbing yourself from what is there only pulls you farther from reality, farther from information that your body/intuition has for you to overcome a dilemma.

2. Let emotion wave wash over you like a wave.

After a failure (of any magnitude), if you don’t reach for the next intellectual soothe,  you can sit still and see what’s really going on. The dust can settle, and you can get a true sense of what is leading you to feel the way you feel about a failure.

3. Pick up and use information from both emotion and intellect.

Over time, you can begin to integrate both of these together, the intellectual and the emotional, in a way that gives you double the experience and double the capacity to deal with what is going on for you.

You’ll begin to note what is truly something difficult and what only appears to be difficult.

You can use both as a guide and know how to dial one or the other up appropriately base on what's needed.

As an example: the fear of something in the future can be incredibly stressful.

However, this fear has no bearing on my current reality; it’s just an assumption about the future. Feeling this and sensing what the stress is related to... I can reset in a way that further integrates this “threat” for what it is and refocus now on what I can control.

This process is surprisingly common and takes up a surprising amount of mental bandwidth of leaders and founders.

I've learned over time is how much more information I have on the level of emotion and how useful it is for processing current and past failures and difficulties (as well as present success!).

There is a whole other toolkit available at your disposal if you can learn to tap further into what is there...

FailureStarting From Scratch