Home Bookstore A Sample Chapter of Outsmart Your Brain: How To Make Success Feel Easy – by Dr. Marcia Reynolds

A Sample Chapter of Outsmart Your Brain: How To Make Success Feel Easy – by Dr. Marcia Reynolds

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Common Sense, But Not
Common Practice

If mastering our own emotional states and learning how to factor the emotional needs of others into our conversations are so important, why are emotions not talked about, not even allowed, in the workplace?

We grow up in cultures that dismiss the need to understand emotions. Individual technical achievement is emphasized in schools and is used as the basis for promotions at work. Emotions do not show up in the language of report cards and performance reviews except for when they are hidden in comments such as “she has a poor attitude” and “he demonstrates low morale.”

As a result, not only are we poorly trained in getting along with others, but our focus on the technical and intellectual sides of work may actually hinder success by limiting our perception of options and creative ideas.

The real travesty is that we once had immediate access to our emotional states. When we were young, we knew what we felt and what we wanted. In fact, babies seem to have a great curiosity for learning what makes them happy and sad. Toddlers are particularly sensitive to the feelings of others.

However, as we grow up, we are taught to deny this intelligence. We are cautioned by our parents and teachers to be practical. We learn from our peers that when we show love and compassion, we could end up feeling rejected, humiliated and sad. We begin to distrust the messages we get from the emotional centers of our brain. Soon we are adept at ignoring these messages altogether.

Now, as adults, when we go to work:

1. We don’t heed what our “gut” tells us to do.

2. We are careful not to let our hearts rule our minds.

3. We strive to keep a “stiff upper lip” because displays of emotions make us look weak.

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