Emotional Resilience From a Baker
– 2 min –
The tent was getting hot. The pressure was on in a complicated challenge.
Michael, a contestant in season 7 of the ‘Great British Baking Show’, had a disaster in the Technical Challenge that put him in serious jeopardy.
He got so overwhelmed that, welling up with emotion, he said, “I can’t do this. I can’t do this”. One of the show’s hosts came to encourage him, “You can do it. You’re good at this”. His fellow contestants were encouraging as well. This, in and of itself, is one reason I love this show. It doesn’t have the cutthroat attitude of so many American competition shows.
Michael stopped, took a breath, and did the next thing he had to do… then the next… then the next. When the five minutes left warning came he said, “I can do anything for five minutes”.
He finished his dish and didn’t even end up last in the evaluation.
This is emotional resilience at work. It is the recognition that you have agency at any given moment. You have the power of choice to say I feel horrible (or scared, enraged, anxious etc.) and still be aware of the big picture, of what you want to achieve as opposed to what you think is happening. In other words, you have the power to be in charge of your emotions.
The key is in our thinking. Michael’s first thought was “I can’t do this”. So much had gone wrong that in the moment it seemed impossible for him to continue. But there was still a part of him that was committed and in integrity with his purpose of being there. With encouragement, he overcame his fear, pushed ahead to get his emotions under control, and committed himself to achieving his task.
Commitment is a powerful tool for getting you through hard times. It sets an intention, and intention is a force of causation, a tool with which to create. Emotions don’t exist in a vacuum. They exist in synergy with you — your desires, goals, wants and needs. You can use your thinking, backed by commitment, to handle even the most daunting situations. And, for some, the end result is something delicious to eat.
Joie Seldon, Author & EQ Leadership Coach
Joie Seldon spent forty years building her work as a trainer, leadership coach and expert in Emotional Intelligence, teaching executives and business professionals how to benefit from one of the most valuable yet underutilized aspects of a successful career, their emotions. The author of EMOTIONS An Owner's Manual and an electrifying speaker, she's presented to worldwide audiences online and onstage.
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