Every day there's something that's grabbing our attention or has us making a decision. With all that happening we easily miss out on that chance to check in with ourselves. There’s no denying that our emotional preferences play a huge role in our perception.
An emotional preference is a psychological function or habit that is tied to our emotions.
This is what your personality type is. The best known understanding of this is through Carl Jung’s work. When we are out of alignment with our emotional preferences, we feel out of our comfort zone, that’s when the fear, uncertainty, and doubt begin to cloud the brain. FUD!
Since we all have preferences then we definitely have non-preferences. A relatable non-preference of some people, for instance, is planning out their entire day in 15 minute increments when requested by a supervisor. Behaving out of preference is a fast track way to letting FUD run up in your mental house. Especially if you are always on the go and rarely have time to reflect and check in with yourself.
FUD has a profound way of breaking us down into our undeveloped ways of being. For example, fear of falling short on your sales quota - when fear is running rampant in your mental house there’s a strong chance that you won’t be thinking clearly. When that fear is sustained it begins to change us for the worse if gone unchecked. Let’s go a step further.
Fear - Our foe for life
There’s a constant struggle dealing with fear. It’s a habit of the emotional brain. The physical part of us that cues us to respond to incoming danger. But how does the emotion of fear impact our preferences you ask?
The physiological changes (adrenaline pumping, heart-racing, dry mouth) happen quickly and you’ll likely notice it. It’s the psychological change that brings the distress. Back when things were simpler in the emotional brains of humans we only had to fear one thing, death. As tribes developed, so did our fears. As more rules appeared more things could lead to death.
Fear can have us running to our defenses even when there isn’t much of anything to fear.
The psychological impact can be subtle and serious. I am not talking about phobias but rather simply experiencing differences like when someone doesn’t prefer to see things the way you do or prefer to organize the way you organize. Experiencing differences can alert our minds to put up defenses that limit us in the moment. Since fear is natural, it’s difficult to escape the limitations unless you train yourself to respond in a new way.
Uncertainty - The unspoken truth
Here’s a fact of life. Uncertainty is just as present, if not more present, than certainty is. It’s the unspoken truth. This truth is important to understand because it is terrifying, yet humbling. When you think about control and its significance in your life do not forget that control only goes so far. In fact, it doesn’t really extend beyond self-control.
Control beyond yourself is coated in uncertainty.
You want things from others and it doesn’t happen. And perhaps it’s not because that person doesn’t like you or lacks loyalty but maybe it’s that the other person has alternative priorities. Priorities which may be unknown to you that make uncertainty even more apparent.
Doubt - Self-awareness gone wild
Self-awareness or mindfulness is the hot buzzword amongst our generation. Our “wokeness” is a result of this age we live in - the age of information. What some of us missed is also that the age of information is also the age of distractions. And boy let me tell you, when you are distracted easily by people, events, and happenings, then self-doubt is primed to be an active part of our lives.
It’s self-awareness gone wild. When your self-awareness turns negative shade is being thrown, not from others, but from yourself onto yourself. Negative self-talk is a destroyer of effort. Putting a stop to that sooner rather than later has life benefits.
What can be done about them?
Analysis paralysis from FUD comes when stakes are high. Whether you’re about to bet half of your life savings on cryptocurrencies (not recommended) or you’re about to commit a large amount of time and resources to starting a business, having strategies to reduce the FUD can be helpful.
Here’s a tried and true method from Zen Buddhism for alleviating fear of something.
First, start identifying what exactly it is that you fear about the situation.
Once you identify it ask yourself what you want to learn from the fear. It could be that you want to learn something about yourself or someone else.
Then step into the fear and experience it keeping in mind what you desire to learn.
Dealing with uncertainty starts from within.
Accepting it’s reality. Denying it limits what you can learn from it. So by accepting that uncertainty is real and in your face you can focus on the things in your life you are certain about experiencing and learning.
Exercising self-control by making clear and distinct what it is that you can control will help you shift the focus from uncertainty to certainty.
Extinguishing doubt starts with an understanding of your mind’s way of doing things.
Understanding your values, goals, and personality can be a source of clarity in the face of doubt. Since self-doubt is based in-part on negativity then using the knowledge of your emotional preferences to understand your doubt’s impact can help you choose positivity over negativity.
Taking the MBTI assessment with a trusted facilitator will help with understanding your personality preferences. It’s a useful tool in winning the battle against self-doubt.
Practical Mindfulness - A FUD destroyer
All of the methods mentioned above is what I call applied emotional intelligence or practical mindfulness. Being aware of yourself in all the glamour and blemishes is important in your efforts to take your life higher. Consider the story of those who created their dreams and had breakthroughs, they each desired to rise above their fear, be honest about their reality, and extinguish their self-doubt. In working at ridding themselves of FUD, they grew wiser faster.
If you resonated with this piece subscribe below! There is more wisdom to come!
Orrin Webb is the creator of Enmocean, a developmental coaching service based in emotional intelligence and personality type. I created this service because I recognize that in a fast moving world our personal or team development is often sidelined by competing priorities. In recognizing the necessity of intentional development I was deeply inspired to create a faster way for people and teams to grow more in tune with each other, and ultimately become wiser.
Interested in living the highest version of yourself and want to learn how emotional intelligence and personality type can be a game changer for you?
Get started here today, the future you won’t regret it.