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Day 60: How to control emotional hijacks?

Read Day 59 for context.


Howdy folks? (me getting back into my Nashville mode) Here is a methodology I developed for controlling emotional hijacks. It really works. You can think through it and see if it makes sense to you.


Step 0.0: Understanding of Human Nature

This step is actually huge. Understanding the very deep nature of emotions makes this whole journey of protecting our planes way way way more manageable.


Emotions are designed to produce a certain actionable response. We feel them so strong because they are "designed" to make us feel so bad/good that we do something and it does something to us. So we are meant to feel them and respond to them because we wouldn't be around if we didn't.


Feeling and responding to emotional hijacks is inherently human. Therefore, there should be no berating yourself and instead, we focus on designing a system that skillfully manages us feeling certain emotions.


Step 0.1: Form an emotional desire to be more emotionally stable

So if the Free Solo guys get too emotional up there on El Capital, he is done.



So in order to have our emotions aligned with the desired direction of wanting to the largest extent possible control emotional hijacks, we need to develop a desire for something that requires emotional stability.


So if I want to do free soloing, I better be emotionally stable. Maybe I want to run a big business or simply want to feel in control of myself, my desire to achieve that will guide me through the process of figuring out how to do this.


Bottom line: there should be a reason for you specifically to even want to be emotionally stable.


Now, we are armed with self-knowledge, our emotions are ready to go. Let's see how to do this thing.


Step 1: Knowledge of what gets you.

This step is about obsessive and attentive data collection on yourself.


I need to foresee what will emotionally affect me based on my observations on myself, past experiences, and feedback from other people.


Knowledge is essential.


In our start-up, we had this problem off at some point not knowing how much we are actually making. It's also a personal finance problem, the same as time expenditure and emotional energy expenditure. Unless you know exactly where your money, time and energy goes, you cannot proceed further. I need to know what exactly gets me.


Maybe I notice that opening IG first thing in the morning puts me in a wrong mindset for a while. When people gather together and don't invite me makes me feel excluded even when I have something more important to do. I need all of these data points to know what I am working with.


'If you can't measure it, you can't manage it' kinda thing.


Here I will need to apply 👉Radical Transparency with myself because it won't be easy. Facing the fact that you are emotional about unexpected things is not nice.


Outcome: knowledge of our past and reoccurring emotional hijacks.


Step 2: Training through practice, retention, and repetition to catch a potential emotional hijack at the very moment

This step is getting us from the general self-knowledge to the nitty-gritty of the very moment when we are hijacked. A lot of insight will come from that heated spot. It is likely to hurt a lot but we have to deal with the pain because hey, we have that bigger goal we are going after.


What was the trigger that caused me to feel this way right now?


I made this google form for myself to make it easy to inspect a hijack.




That skill of catching emotions needs to be practiced. Because oftentimes I didn't even know I felt a certain way because some emotions get surpassed and some I don't want to accept to myself I have.

its a matter of saying to yourself in the very moment "Mariyam, you are really angry right now". That's all it takes. Be angry, Mariyam, do whatever you want but just face and accept the fact that you are angry.


Step 3: Proper Methodology developed for dealing with the appropriate situation.

How do we re-wire the emotional response from a trigger that gets us?


This step is individual to the situation and person.


I know what gets me, I know how it feels, I know when it gets me and kinda why.


So I need something like a mental FAQ page that will help me deal with certain hijacks. So they won't be hijacks (=unexpected, catching me off guard) but more like expected attacks. Still not fucking nice but at least I know how to handle them.


Again, coming back to Step 0.0, I will still feel emotions because I am meant to. Through specific methodologies, I will know how to.


Step 4: Goals, Values, Principles down locked, easily referenceable.

This is the final and most important step. Our goals in life, values we have, and principles we develop are the universal pointers in our lives that, if they are approached with awareness, will naturally direct us towards the resolution of emotional hijacks.


If you are told to give up (=emotional hijack) and then you have a mental/physical doc with your goals, values, and principles explaining to yourself why you are pursuing what you are pursuing, it will help you come out of this situation without changing your course because someone emotionally affected you.


Goals, values, and principles are meant to be the guidelines through this complex life with lots of things happening.


If they are well-thought through, they to some extent take on the role of saving you through an emotional hijack


Tomorrow's post will be a case study of a very common emotional hijack and ways to stabilize it.

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