How to Build Emotional Resilience

We cannot build emotional resilience without first and foremost understanding the role of emotions. The Excellence Program has a Focus Sheet on learning the language of the unconscious and how to understand what our emotions are communicating. Here’s a summary of some of the things it explains:

  1. Emotions are our Unconscious mind calling for our attention. It cues us to check our inner and outer environments for danger, and is one of the mechanisms we have to stay safe.
  2. When we are mindful and present to what we are feeling (the whispers of our Unconscious), it doesn’t need to get louder and shout at us (emotions).
  3. All emotions are equally valuable. When we understand that all emotions are sending us a signal, there are no such things as positive and negative emotions. You can watch the video on Understanding Anger below.
  4. To better interpret the memo (essentially translate it from the unconscious equivalent of Morse code) we can employ the strategies in The Two Most Powerful Personal Development Tools.
  5. Once we get the memo and acknowledge it, the emotion disappears and we can return to our centered state.

A metaphor I often use when explaining emotions is that of a 3-year-old child bidding for her mother’s attention by saying “Mummy!” If the Mum continues to be distracted with other things and ignores her, what do you think will happen? The child will keep calling, won’t she? “Mummy… Mummy… Mummy.”

Until finally the Mum acknowledges her and says, “Yes, darling. What would you like to share?” And even if she’s busy, she could say, “Sweetheart, I hear you, I’m just in the middle of something at the moment. Can you please wait for a few minutes?” It’s very similar with our emotions.

When we see our emotions as feedback from the Unconscious, we have a useful framework about how to interpret them. Then, resilience emerges organically, as it’s a bi-product of empowered meaning-making about the world we inhabit.


If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.

~ Buddha

How to Build Emotional Resilience

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