The Power of Emotional Courage by Susan David

Susan David, TedWomen 2017: “The Gift and Power of Emotional Courage” Here are my notes:

“Emotions seen as only good or bad is rigid. Rigid in the face of complexity (the world today) is toxic” and this effects with way we live, love, and parent.

Discomfort is okay.

Emotional agility = resilience, thriving

Apartheid/Nazi is denial. They convince all that everything is okay.

ex. father dying of cancer for 10 years – and she kept going through life as if everything was okay. The beginning of her solution was writing in her journal (8th grade English teacher’s advice) as if no one would read it. out came grief, sadness, and regret

“Life’s beauty is inseparable from its fragility.” ex. We are young until we are not.

“The only certainty is uncertainty and yet we are not navigating this frailty successfully or sustainably.”

“Depression is now the single leading cause of disability globally.” – World Health Organization 

…We are victimized by our newsfeed… (triggers and buffers in Carol’s presentation at the Alldredge reunion relate here. 

Parents shouldn’t inadvertently shame their kids by quieting emotions that seem negative. Parents shouldn’t jump to solutions and fail to recognize emotions that are inherently valuable. ex. cancer victim is to “just stay positive.” Woman, stop being angry. This is a tyranny of positivity – it is cruel and ineffective. If we learn anything from the apartheid, it is that rigid denial doesn’t work.

When you ignore emotions they grow = amplification. (p. xiv on The Emotional Skills… relates here.) Deal with the world as it is, not as we want it to be. ex: “I don’t want to try, because I don’t want to feel disappointed.” or “I just want this feeling to go away.” I understand, but you have dead people’s goals. Only dead people don’t get inconvenienced by their feelings. ex. stress, discomfort. Tough emotions are part of our contract with life. 

Accept emotions and yet be accurately label them. Be truthful = “readiness potential “

Emotions are data. They are a reflection of what we care about.

Rage when you read the news – Shape your life in that direction …

We own our emotions, they don’t own us.

When you feel an emotion, show up – be curious. NOT “I am …” You are not the emotion. You are you and the emotion is a data source. Instead say, “I notice I am feeling angry, I am feeling sad.” These are essential skills for us our families and our communities. When people are allowed to feel their emotional truth, they 

Meet your emotions with Curiosity and let them step you closer to your values. What are your emotions telling you? 

Feel your emotional truth. Diversity of emotion makes resilience. What is my emotion telling me. Which will take me to my values? Which will take me away from my values? Be truthful.

We all die, Susan. Courage is not an absence of fear. Courage is fear walking.

When the time comes that we need to face our fragility, let yourself be agile.

Let the moment be a resounding “Yes.” in seeing yourself, you are also able to see others too, the only way to survive with resilience in a complex world.

All these words are directly or indirectly from Susan David, PhD. She has a book that can be found HERE.

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