When Fred Kofman’s son asked him to accompany him to the basement, Fred asked him why he needed company. He said – “Dad, I’m scared of monsters.”
Fred’s initial instinct was to question the emotion of fear his son was feeling. But, he realized that if he believed there were monsters, he would be scared too. So, he asked his son why he didn’t see monsters when he went down. His son responded – “They go away when you grow up.” 🙂
In his work as an executive coach at leading companies all over the world, Fred finds that we generally respond to difficult emotions by telling people to suppress them. Telling someone “don’t be afraid” or “don’t feel bad” isn’t helpful. We’re effectively saying – “Push it away as it makes me uncomfortable.” And, bottling emotions up is akin to coiling a spring – they only come back with stronger force.
Difficult emotions are simply reactions to beliefs. Instead of challenging them, we must allow them to be felt. Then, we can discuss or challenge the beliefs.
To manage emotions, we have to learn to be comfortable with them and then inquire to the source of them. – Fred Kofman
Source and thanks to: Conscious Business by Fred Kofman