How much do you think your emotions are involved in driving your performance?
Emotions are a fundamental part of everything that we do. How (and what) you are feeling and the emotions that you are experiencing will be due a whole host of factors and will drive how you behave. These emotions will be influenced by what is happening in your life, what is happening around you, the influences that other people are having on you, your interest in what is occurring, your experiences, etc. etc.
Whatever emotions you are currently experiencing, they are going to change over the next few seconds in minute, unrecognizable ways or they may lurch into a completely recognizable emotion.
These changes in emotions are ongoing influenced by your personality, your psychological state, your physiology and many other factors that affect the internal mechanisms of your body. If you are feeling unwell, if you are thirsty or you need the toilet there will be an emotional component in how you choose to respond.
Your emotions can be influenced by how you are responding to your immediate environment, to other people – what they say and do, and to many other external factors that affect you. For example, you will experience an emotional response if it is too cold or too hot or if people are interrupting you or are making too much noise.
So your internal state of mind is being influenced all the time. Your brain does an extremely good job. It works to make sense of everything by filtering out most of the information, so that you only become consciously aware of anything that is relevant.
Your emotions are able to help you to make better, more informed choices. They signal to you that you need to take action and can provide the motivation and impulse for you to take this action. Emotions are involved in controlling your learning.
There is no general taxonomy of emotions. Due to the subjective nature of each emotion they are difficult to describe and define as your emotional response to a situation will be different to mine. Sometimes these emotions cannot be rationalized – you may feel an emotion just because you do!
Your emotions blend together and are in constant flux. So if you concentrate for too long on one particular emotion and how it makes you feel it will change into something different.
Your behavior is a direct response to your emotional state although if the emotion can be felt without the corresponding behavior then that behavior is not essential to the emotion.
Try working with emotions by reflecting on them and monitoring them then blend them in with your thinking. Stay open to feelings identifying how you feel and how others are feeling.
Detecting real emotions as opposed to fake emotion is a good start. Look how your emotions are affected by good drama, by music and by art and what these changes mean for you.
Recognize what events are likely to trigger emotional responses and how they combine into complex blends that progress change over time. Your understanding of emotions can be improved by providing a rich emotional vocabulary for greater precision in describing feelings and blends of feelings.
Working with emotions is not easy. Understanding yourself and how you work with your emotions is the key to better self management and how this affects your performance.