How Negative Emotional Habits Obliterate Your True Potential In Life

They swim silently and unnoticeable in your sub-conscious mind until it is too late. They are the zzzzzzt limpet mines in your electrical system and like viruses that continually affect your hard drive making it virtually impossible for you to achieve your true performance potential in life.

Losers let life happen to them because emotionally, it is an easy way out. Winners make life happen for them because emotionally it might not pay off straight away but they know it will always pay off in the long run. Losing is an Emotional Habit and so is winning. Life then is the ultimate emotional experience.

Losers engage in pleasurable activities with no particular result in mind; instant gratification is their goal. Winners choose activities that will give them long term, positive results; delayed gratification, giving them the last and longest laugh.

Emotional Habits are formed through continuous, electrical impulse messages to our mind, which the sensory nerves carry from our hearing, touch, vision taste and smell to the data processing area of our brain over our lifetime, sometimes causing de-stabilising zzzzts to take place in our body's electrical (Energy) system.

The brain then makes a decision based on this information and immediately sends the working order through the motor nerves to the appropriate parts of the body demanding action. It should therefore come as no surprise that after the body responds to the same emotional and identical stimuli time after time, after 25 to 30 times an emotional habit is formed.

And here is the most interesting part. After a while, because of this continuous repetition, the message from the censoring nerve learns to jump over to the conditioning motor nerve without a conscious decision by the brain. Think about it. Only 25 to 30 repeats for an Emotional Habit to be formed and it becomes like a software program installed in the hard drive of your computer, your brain , your sub-conscious mind.

You don't think about it anymore. You just run the program.

The SAS/SBS and SEAL training is a journey in which Emotional Habits are either taught or over layered with new ones. You don't think about whether or not you should follow your instructor's directions, you just do it. In the beginning, most of us would resist listening and learning effectively and taking directions from our instructors. We would not openly rebel (we were not stupid) but our resistance showed up as we went through the (E) motions of the training activities. Some of us would over dramatize our pains and aches just trying to drag butt, and the instructors would have us do the activity or exercise over and over again. Repetition, repetition, repetition.

Very quickly though, we would learn that to drag butt would only aggravate our learning curve, so the smart and dedicated ones amongst us developed the Emotional Habits by always adhering to the rules whenever possible; by always putting out to the max, by being with our buddy wherever we went, by always running, never walking, by always being prepared, trying to keep our dry diving suits patched up, our thick woollen under suits dry for the never ending AWKWARD exercises as they called these, often midnight or early morning drills and by keeping our diving equipment and fire arms in A1 condition.

These AKWARD drills required us to find our way in the dark to our diving platforms or pontoons; silently dress in our woollen under suits and dry rubber diving suits in record time, and be ready for a 10 km flipper swim or a 2 hour closed circuit oxygen compass dive or a diving exercise on the Jackstay line on the bottom of the harbour in pitch dark and ice cold water.

Failure of one individual to develop these emotional habits would bring unwanted attention to the group and therefore immediately affected all of us on an emotional/mental as well as on a physical level.

Eventually that individual would be weeded out by the instructors and sent packing.

These habits developed into Emotional Habits over time. Compelling research now identifies Emotional Habits or Emotional Intelligence (El), rather than IQ, as responsible for 90% of our success both professionally and personally. Self-awareness, empathy, the ability to control our emotions, to LISTEN, to recognise the good in a bad situation and to work with others, are just some of the behaviours that successful individuals and organisations recognise and apply.

These key attributes have been definitively linked to the success and survival of individuals and to many organisations' executives, managers and employees, including successful SAS/SBS and SEAL graduates!

SAS/SBS and SEAL Training courses are a war of attrition and a contest of luck and commitment. And as luck is the residue of design, only over time and with much repetition, adversity and pain did we finally learn to LISTEN to our Instructors as though we had an antennae implanted between our ears.

We quickly learned the meaning of discipline. In other words, we were becoming highly trainable volunteers because of the deliberate overlaying of new Emotional Habits over the old ones, making us obey at the slightest command and direction.

When we allow unhealthy habits to be our guiding council in life, we give up control of our actions and find ourselves at the mercy of that blind giant in the subconscious level of our minds who calls all the shots without any concern for our wellbeing. We lose our Personal Power. However when we begin to deal with the attitudes and actions that emotionally bind us, we give ourselves permission to take control and build new Emotional Habit patterns that help us perform to our ultimate performance potential.

Short bursts of one, and two or three minute Energy Psychology mind-body exercise techniques should be part of everyone's daily battle, game plan or discipline. They are an effective way to help you instantly deal with self sabotaging thoughts and subsequent behaviours based on our own emotional interpretations of experiences gathered over a life time and help you overlay negative emotional habits with positive ones.

However, there is a critical difference between knowing something and learning how to make it a part of our every day battle, game plan or discipline. Just like in the SBS/SEAL training courses the secret is repetition, repetition, repetition.

Repetition creates an emotional habit; emotional habits become convictions and convictions control your actions and ultimately decide whether or not you will achieve your full performance potential in life.

Very few of us ever do. It's your call.

Johan Tonsbeek 58, Ex Dutch Royal Marines SBS Combat Frogman (Navy SEAL), qualified fitness instructor and Mind-Body Coach. The inventor of a "short burst" university tested exercise regime, the Boomerang GYM Author of Special Forces traits to Emotional Freedom book.

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