Pat Katz Pat Katz




PAUSE – 13.11 – What’s The Meaning Behind The Feelings?

Reflection: Partner a fast pace with huge expectations and minimal down time, and you’ve got all the necessary ingredients for a big old vat of ‘sweet’n’sour stress soup’.

Like steam off a stockpot, emotions will run high – guaranteed! The challenge is to know how to deal with them without getting burned.

This is where EI – Emotional Intelligence – comes into play. If it’s been a while since you were introduced to EI, or are meeting the concept for the first time, here’s a short refresher.

EI is based on Awareness and Management of feelings – within ourselves and between ourselves and others.

On the inside, how aware of you of your own emotional states, and how skilled are you in controlling your responses and managing your own reactions to events?

On the outside, how attuned are you to the emotional states of others, and how skilled are you in managing those relationships with others when feelings run high?

At the core of EI in action is the ability to tune in and name the emotions and also consider what needs they might signal.


Action: I’ve been thinking about the whole business of interpretation and wondering how we might use emotions and our insights about them as a way to guide what we do next.

Here’s an attempt to interpret the underlying meaning of a few of the emotions likely to cross our paths and minds.

I’d be interested in your take on the meanings tagged to these emotions, based on your experience. Agree? Disagree? Other options?

  • Excited or delighted? There’s probably something awesome at the root of the experience that we might want to savor or repeat.
  • Frustrated or stressed? That’s a good indicator that we had expectations for outcomes that were thwarted.
  • Angry or disgusted? Whatever occurred likely offended one or more of the values we hold to be most important.
  • Worried or fearful? Chances are good we are facing the potential loss (real or imagined) of something important to us.
  • Envious or jealous? Could be an indicator of something we aspire to as a goal for ourselves.
  • Stuck or discouraged? This might suggest a frustrating life lesson we haven’t yet mastered, being presented for us to consider yet again.

Try tuning in to the emotions that surface in your life this week. Pause to look a bit deeper and explore the meaning attached to the strongest feelings. See what those insights suggest by way of next steps.


Quotes Of The Week: Feelings are much like waves, we can’t stop them from coming but we can choose which one to surf. – Jonatan Mårtensson

Many of our fears are tissue-paper-thin, and a single courageous step would carry us clear through them. – Brendan Francis

Fear is faith that it won’t work out. – Sister Mary Tricky


Resource Of The Week: Check out this helpful article on Emotional Triggers by Dr. Marcia Reynolds.


Readers Write: In response to last week’s message, Imagine The Possibilities, Pause reader JS writes: Thanks for your continuing wisdom. In respect to your message, it’s a great reminder that it’s what we choose to see more so than what is necessarily there.

This reminds me of a tiny gem that I have taped to my computer in my office where I can see it every day: “Every life has its dark and cheerful hours. Happiness comes from choosing which to remember.” Author Unknown. Isn’t life grand?

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