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Negative Emotions and the Nervous System

Stress is the #1 health epidemic in America. It’s estimated that 75 – 90% of all primary care visits are stress related. Stress breaks down our living cells and slowly destroys our very biological health. Our negative emotions set off the ten million nerves in our nervous system that rock our bodies and decline our health.

If we can identify the negative emotions we feel and understand how they serve us and how they destroy us, I believe a person can begin to put their head around it and make positive change. In fact, we’ve already proved it with leaders across the country who we have helped drastically reduce stress in their lives and increase their effectiveness at work and home. After all, the more you know, the more you can improve.

One of these negative emotions that the majority of us humans deal with is worry and anxiety. These two go together because they both are focused on the feeling of “imminent” danger.

When you worry, you feel like you are doing something to fix the problem. Most people believe that when you worry, then you care. It makes you a martyr to the situation—falling on the sword of another person’s setback. The reality is, there are painful side effects:

  1. Alienation of loved ones. When you worry about someone or something you are distracted and you alienate the people who are closest to you. The message your sending is “you’re not important.”
  2. Lack of focus. It’s hard to be creative and provide healthy energy in a state of worry and anxiety.
  3. The feeling of caring for someone is false. You cannot care for another by worrying about them. It will not solve the problem; it will only escalate it because most people don’t want to be pitied.

Consider this: You can care for someone and not worry about them. In other words, caring and worry are not related at all. It’s called sympathy. You can care for someone by checking on them, calling them and providing your support without all the worry associated with empathy.

We all feel this emotion and with focus, you can lower your worry mechanism by realizing that caring is sympathetic, not empathetic.

Joe Kiedinger

ACTION PLAN: March 19th at The Marq in De Pere we will be presenting, Slow Down – Discover How You’re Emotionally Wired. It’s our FREE Servant Leaders of WI event. Click on “Workshops/Events” to sign up yourself and your fellow team members. It’s a great way to increase understanding and lower stress.

You Have the Power to Choose

There are people who are naturally critical of their world. Because of their upbringing, they were taught to believe the world is a judgmental place. After all, they were judged their whole life and talked down to. It’s all they ever knew.

When you come across an adult who has nothing but ‘opposites’ to share—ya know, you say ‘left’ and they say ‘right’—please realize that it’s not their fault. They are completely unaware that they have the power to choose.

We all have the power to choose ‘For Energy’ versus ‘Against Energy.’ Think of positive energy flows. They exist everywhere: the jet stream, the gulf stream and the east Australian current, to name a few. Positive energy flows quickly and efficiently. Negative energy just sits there and wallows in its negativity.

People who are critical of others are self-critical as well. They are stuck in negative energy. If this is you, you don’t have to be. You have the power to choose! Once you’ve tapped into the positive energy flow you can just… go with the flow!

Join us and the scores of others who no longer participate in negative thoughts. Your stress will drop exponentially and your positive influence will radiate from you on to others. Yeah, now that’s livin’!

Joe Kiedinger

Grateful Is the Direct Line to Grace

Grace. A word that is typically heard in religious context. Receiving the grace of God. It’s also used this way, ‘She handled herself with such grace.’ Either way you choose to define it, it comes down to peace of mind. Grace to me is inner peace: comfortable with who you are, confident but not arrogant. Every person I’ve ever met wants more peace of mind. People are so consumed with worry and stress. They strive for more grace in their life.

Being grateful has a direct line to grace. Grateful doesn’t necessarily mean satisfied. For example, you can be grateful that your balance sheet is looking good, but it doesn’t mean you are no longer going to strive to make it better. People often mistake grateful for being satisfied. When this happens achieving a sense of grace is not possible. This distinction is critical for people to make who are trying to better themselves. 

Are you grateful you were able to run five blocks today? Five blocks today eventually could be an entire marathon a year from now, but are you grateful for what you can do right now? It’s the simple formula to a successful life. Just because your grateful, doesn’t mean your done. It’s being grateful in the moment that leads to a peace of mind in the moment that allows grace to fill your world and engage a rich life.

Joe Kiedinger

ACTION PLAN: What are you grateful for right now?

Being a Team Player!

This week on my “Daily Cup of Joe” Instagram Stories I am focusing on specific topics about what it means to be a team player. There are a lot of misunderstandings about this idea.

For some, being a team player means being a martyr. These are the folks who try to do everything for everybody. They have no boundaries and often burn themselves out.

For others, they notice the challenges their co-workers are facing and add their perspective to try and help. The problem is that their well-intended advice is often misinterpreted as nosy and self-indulgent.

Based on my own experience, I look at being a team player a little differently. Below are a few things you can reflect upon:

1) Be a good follower: Being a good leader means to be a good follower.

2) Stay in your lane: Stay focused on your area of responsibility. It’s okay to provide advice or guidance in other lanes, but only if you’re asked to do so.

3) You’re not a critic: It’s not your job to criticize or share your opinion of other departments or individuals. That just stirs the pot and does nobody any good.

If you’re not sure of your lane, approach your leader and have a dialogue. Perhaps a written Roles and Responsibilities document is in order?

When individuals truly operate as team players it is highly engaging and motivating. Working together is such a rewarding experience!

Joe Kiedinger

ACTION PLAN: How would you rank yourself on the above three ideas? Self-reflection is the right place to start.

Get Vulnerable

Why are so many people afraid of being vulnerable? Why can’t many simply share what they’re feeling, openly and honestly? I think the #1 attribute of a great leader is humility. Humble leaders find it easy to be vulnerable.

Vulnerability doesn’t mean over-sharing or involving an emotional breakdown. It simply means to listen with compassion and without judgement.

As a leader, if you choose to adopt this approach, you will be amazed at how responsive people will be. Your influence will go up. Nobody likes a know-it-all; what people truly connect with is a person who can get a little vulnerable and show healthy humility.

Joe Kiedinger

ACTION PLAN: Do some research on how to get vulnerable with co-workers. There is great stuff out there!

Let’s Talk About Love!

Oh, man… LOVE! I love the word love. I know many people, when associating the word within the workplace tend to cringe at that thought. Their brains go to romantic love. The Greeks had several words for love: Eros: Erotic Love (stuff in movies), Philos: Brotherly Love (This is a love of conditions—if you agree with me then I will treat you nice. Think, Philadelphia) and AGAPE, which is a verb—a choice to respect.

Agape is the subject of this wisdom. There is one word that helps you get there with employees: ACCEPTANCE. Accepting who they are and where they are in their journey.

How do I know I’m loved? I know because I feel accepted by you. I’m not judged. I’m given some space with all my strengths and flaws. And when I know you accept me, that means you care about me. And if I know you care about me, then I’m willing to be coached by you.

You see how it’s all connected? Therefore, if you want to increase engagement with the people you work with, learn how to see them for who they are instead of who you wish them to be. Accept them for them. I know, it’s easier said than done.

However, if you want to be a great leader, you must learn how to harness the power of acceptance. It doesn’t allow a person to fall short time and time again. It’s dignifying to that person and helps them get to a place that supports who they really are.

If you would like to harness how to accept, reach out. It’s what we provide to leaders to help them increase their influence and improve their life and the lives of others.


Joe Kiedinger

ACTION PLAN: Interested in a team workshop on getting after acceptance? Let’s talk. It’s life-changing and what you will learn goes beyond the workplace to the most important relationships in your life!