Harvard Psychologist Shows You How to Make Your Negative Thoughts Serve You | Susan David

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We live in a culture that tells us that some emotions are bad. Unfortunately, these same “bad” emotions are unavoidable for anyone aiming to live a meaningful life. As a result, many of us spend much of our lives in conflict with our own emotions, stuck in self-narratives that no longer serve us. Thankfully, on this episode of Impact Theory with Tom Bilyeu, Harvard Psychologist Susan David shows us a way out of this self-destructive internal conflict. She explains how to use your “negative” emotions to connect with your core values (which you can learn more about by taking this quiz here: quiz.susandavid.com/s3/eai ). She also discusses the dangers of focusing on being right, the power of self-compassion and importance of emotional agility.


Emotions are data but they are not directives [1:33] How we approach our thoughts, emotions and stories determines our quality of life [3:48] What do you do when you realize the stories you tell yourself no longer serve you? [6:26] Our culture tells us some emotions are bad, so we get in conflict with our emotions [11:50] Only dead people never feel stress, anger, agitation or fear [14:15] How do you uncover what your emotions are really trying to tell you? [17:35] Technology has outstripped our ability to thrive [20:32] Susan explains how to understand your emotions in a more specific way [22:53] Our minds can convince us that we are right, even if it destroys our relationships [28:04] Susan describes the process of recognizing our emotions and stories for what they are [31:39] Even if the gods tell you that you’re right, you still have to decide who you want to be [33:46] Being seen and belonging are core human needs [36:35] Tom and Susan discuss the “tyranny of positivity” [38:30] Success is living a life concordant with your values [41:43] Susan shares the impact she wants to have on the world [47:08]

“Some of our stories were written on mental chalkboards at age 3.” [5:53]
“Our thoughts, our emotions and our stories aren’t good or bad. They just are.” [10:53]
“Discomfort is the price of ambition to a meaningful life.” [14:43]

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