How To Be A Badass In Business And Life

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What defines strength? I’m not talking about how much iron you can lift in the gym. I’m talking about grit. How much can you take without breaking down? How much can you take without unleashing anger, sadness, guilt, etc on someone else? How much can you take without becoming an emotionless rock that nobody wants to be around?

I’m talking about emotional strength.

There seems to be a belief that having emotion is a weakness. Sorry to burst the bubble that society may have formed around you, but we ALL have emotions. In an effort to look tougher, many of us sweep them under the rug and try to pretend they don’t exist. We build walls up around ourselves and swallow the lump in our throats that is our feelings.

The consequences for this is a combination of numbness, lack of ability to give and receive love, lack of recognition of what our emotions are trying to tell us (resulting in poor decision-making), and physical illness.

Emotions literally store themselves in our bodies. The most easily recognized example of this is stress. For example, that stress-belly that forms due to raised cortisol levels… Just look at the majority of people walking around a stressful office space.

Our endocrine systems circulate hormones that help to manage stress, trauma, and other emotions. You’ve probably been through or heard of crazy adrenaline responses in which the body performs unbelievable feats during an intense situation.

Now when I say circulate, think about that… Just like the blood in our veins or the flow of a river. Now consider what happens when a dam is put in place. The waters react wildly. Our blood cannot get where it needs to go. The same happens with hormones when they are working on overload to manage the emotional responses that we are trying to ignore and bury.

Not only do volatile emotions form under the surface over time leading to eventual explosions or breakdowns, but illness may eventually manifest as well. Whether it’s in the form of weight gain or loss, or a cold from immune system suppression (unmanaged stress does that too), or something much more fatal.

If we learn to FEEL, process, and release emotions as they come to us, we are abiding by the natural ebb and flow that our bodies need to maintain. This is how we become badasses in life. Properly processing emotion is a strength, not a weakness, because it takes big balls to do.

A lot of healing will arise from this process and new wisdom will be gained. We will find that our heads will clear, that we will have an easier time thinking up brilliant business ideas, relating with people, and achieving / creating what we want out of our lives. But… We need to be willing to let those stone cold walls we’ve built around ourselves down first. Now THAT is truly badass.

*photo by John O'Nolan