I feel anger, disappointment, and envy like anyone else.

But I’ve worked hard to develop the skills to manage and process these emotions effectively.

Here’s the process I use to make sure they don’t erode my perspective or mindset.

I call it APD: acknowledgment, permission, depersonalization.

  1. I acknowledge and own how I am feeling. I don’t ignore it, resist it, or suppress it.
  2. I give myself permission to feel that way! I treat myself with compassion. I don’t get mad at myself for feeling mad, making it worse.
  3. I depersonalize it. I recognize that I am not my emotions.

Emotions are ever fleeting: happy one minute, mad the next.

I view my feelings as information.

I do not let them dictate how I behave.

Many years ago I attended legendary Coach Morgan Wootten’s basketball camp.

One concept he drilled into us on defense was to “guard your yard.”

Your yard was the area you were personally responsible for protecting.

I’ve adopted a similar mindset off the court.

My “yard” is my immediate surroundings, my colleagues, and my family.

I guard my environment.

I guard whom I let in.

I guard what information comes in.

Before I can try to influence others, I need to make sure everything in my own yard is safe.

I worry only about what I can control.