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Mental Strength Series | Chapter 2

In my line of work – Human Resources/People Operations – I experience and observe a lot of human behavior on a week-to-week basis. Even some of the most emotionally secure people that I know, both at work and in my own personal life, have started to feel like things are getting to be too much.

It goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway, "Life comes at us very fast at times," and when that happens it can be quite difficult to know what to do next. What move to make? How to proceed? Which way to get a leg up, or quite simply, how to just move forward?

The most emotionally secure people that I know feel empowered, confident and safe. They live authentically and stick to their own core fundamental values. Doing this well can give you a strong sense of being grounded along your life journey.

As a professional navigating through people operations on a day-to-day basis, I’ve seen how emotional security can also help people have more gratitude for the good in their lives, as well as be more creative, spontaneous and free. As part of this blog-series, Mental Strength, I thought I would take a moment to offer up some insight on emotional security.

Why? Well, no matter where you live, albeit a large metropolitan city like Dallas, Kansas City, Nashville, or a small, quaint mountain town like Eureka Springs, understanding your own emotional security is quite important.

How can you truly know if you are an emotionally secure person?

In this post, as with all the posts on this blog, I align my writing within one of five core values. Sometimes a blog-post will align with more than one of these, but today, it aligns with primarily one: LIVING WELL.

The other four include:

1.     Cultivating Community

2.     Spreading Joy and Love

3.     Curating Culture

4.     Making Memories

Freckles are beautiful.

If you answer "yes" to any of these questions, you, my friend, may just be more emotional secure than most people. If you do not answer yes, well, that may be something you might want to focus on going forward.

1. Are you aware of your own core fundamental values?

What? What the heck are my own core fundamental values? First off, start there. Take a moment to establish what these are. To live your authentic self, you have to know what makes you tick, what grounds you and what propels you. I established these for myself some time ago and they help me navigate my life journey.

My personal core fundamental values include:

  1. Act from love

  2. Encourage diversity

  3. Foster growth

  4. Endeavor to persevere (Thanks, Dad! He instilled this core value in me when I was a teen moving into my twenties and it has helped me through a lot over the years.)

Emotional security is associated with being your authentic self. So, knowing your own core fundamental values helps you act and live in a way that's consistent with them in nearly all life situations. If you need assistance in establishing your own core fundamental values, reach out to me. I have a simple VALUES exercise that you can do to help you determine what these are for you.

2. Are you able to establish healthy boundaries?

Boundaries have to have consequences, otherwise they're not really boundaries. That statement is not a threat. It’s a statement to elicit understanding. This clear statement sets an expectation.

We can’t fix someone or punish them but if someone persists with crossing boundaries, someone else will react differently. In order for boundaries to be respected they need to align with the philosophy of creating a safe space for all.

To achieve this, people need to set boundaries.

Of course, people have free will and with that, a person doesn’t have to change behavior, but it is the role of the other person to deliver what the consequences will be for not honoring boundaries.

It’s like I always say, “we teach people how to treat us.” So, teaching them that encouraging this awareness and behavioral shift toward honoring boundaries indicates to those involved that you care about your connection and your relationship.

Emotional security is associated with knowing yourself and setting limits based on your core fundamental values. Consequently, emotionally secure people can articulate how they want to be treated and set guidelines for how they will respond if those boundaries are not respected.

3. Can you communicate negative emotions in a respectful manner?

Being emotionally secure means communicating your feelings in a respectful way that focuses on your own internal experience.

Often, this is reflected by using "I" statements, like "I feel" or "I think," instead of blaming others for circumstances that are your own.

4. Are you able to accept criticism from others?

Receiving constructive feedback without immediately rejecting it or lashing out is a key sign of emotional security.

It means you have a strong sense of self that takes into consideration other people's perspectives and opinions about your approach to things, without taking them personally.

5. Can you admit when you're wrong?

All of us are wrong at times and it is still so amazing to me that there are so many people out there that struggle to own their mistakes. People can have difficulties when it comes to owning their behavior. (Note: Behavior is defined as what we say and do, and what we don’t say and don’t do.)

One the other hand, people that are more emotionally secure can acknowledge when they've made a mistake, take responsibility for it, and apologize for their actions.

My definition of an apology is this: Saying "you're sorry" is an act of love that shows the other person that despite the disagreement, you value the relationship over your own ego.

6. Are you open to hearing perspectives that differ from your own?

Emotionally secure people are able to hear other points of view without reacting to them in an aggressive way.

Instead of going to battle, there is a flexible, empathic and non-judgmental exploration of another person's reality — even during times of conflict and disagreement. Healthy conflict is necessary at times, and it's ok to experience this, just be sure to keep it healthy by harnessing your own inner power to hear and experience other perspectives that differ from your own and still be emotionally OK. Diversity of thought is the spice of life. Go with it.

7. Do you consistently seek personal growth and development?

The most emotionally secure people have an appreciation for the journey of life and the process of evolving over time. They are not afraid to embrace change. They find joy and satisfaction in the idea of learning and becoming the best version of themselves.

I may not personally tick all the nine boxes on today's list, but this one, #7, is definitely me. I absolutely love to learn and grow, and I am constantly seeking out ways to become a better man. Every day, I remind myself that I still have so much to learn.

8. Are you able to prevent yourself from reacting impulsively?

Emotionally secure people tend to be skilled at deliberately choosing their responses to difficult situations. In this way, they aren't usually reactive or impulsive in their relationships and can articulate themselves clearly, even when they are angry or upset.

Hang on! It's all going to be OK.

9. Do you have confidence in your ability to handle life's challenge?

Emotionally secure people know that life can be difficult, and they have a general acceptance that they will deal with hardship as it comes. They also have a deep sense of gratitude for what is important to them, which helps them through the rough patches.

Living Well

Being emotionally secure not only boosts our mental health, but it gives us the confidence to try new things and express ourselves freely without a fear of rejection. The more secure we feel in our own skin, the more freedom we have to enjoy our lives and to live well while building meaningful, authentic relationships.❤️


"The Mental Strength Series" is a blog-series that features viewpoints from the personal opinion of John-Michael Scurio, local resident, blogger and coach here in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, and creator/owner of this blog - In this LIVING WELL blog-series, we uncover the depths of mental strength and how we all have the ability to see gains in our own mental strength with practice. Mental strength is the ability to control your mind instead of being controlled by it. Please enjoy!


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