How to Master Difficult Feelings and Cultivate Confidence

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cultivate confidence

Dr. Joan Rosenberg believes the best way to cultivate confidence is by mastering eight difficult feelings. Learn how in this podcast episode!

Joan Rosenberg, PhD, psychologist, a bestselling author, corporate wellness consultant, and media expert who is known globally as an acclaimed speaker and trainer on communication, confidence, resilience, authenticity and grief. As a three-time TEDx speaker and member of the Association of Transformational Leaders, she has been recognized for her innovative Emotional Mastery and confidence building approach, and for her thought leadership and global influence in personal development.

In this episode of Last First Date Radio:

  • How to develop more confidence
  • Dr. Rosenberg’s definition of confidence
  • The formula for handling difficult feelings as the foundation of feeling confident
  • Why these 8 feelings / emotional states and not other ones?
  • Tips for cultivating confidence right now

EP 519: Dr. Joan Rosenberg – How to Master Difficult Feelings and Cultivate Confidence

Your work is considered the “how to” path to cultivate confidence. What prompted you to start down this journey?

I was so shy, if you remember wallflowers, I was velcro-ed to the wall. I felt different. My peers took risks and felt good about themselves. I was bullied and wanted what I perceived others had, which was confidence. No one told me how to do it. In my professional life, I asked what made it so difficult for us to experience unpleasant feelings. There was a connection between the two. This is the foundation to confidence. 

Why don’t people want to experience unpleasant feelings?

They think they’re unnecessary. The feelings are uncomfortable and designed to be protective. They might feel too intense. Or people might fear they won’t stop. Or they’ll leave us feeling out of control. 

Why do unpleasant feelings linger?

Trauma encodes differently in the brain. When we try not to think about the feelings, we cause ourselves to think about it more. Also, if you keep generating a given memory, the more you rethink it, the more you keep those feelings going. Another way they linger is via self-criticism. 

Tell us about the 90-second idea you speak about in the book.

When a feeling gets triggered, chemicals get activated and then flushed out of the body in ninety seconds. The formula to stay present to the feeling is: one choice, eight feelings, ninety seconds.

One choice: be aware and present instead of avoiding the feeling.

Eight feelings: Sadness, vulnerability, frustration, shame, helplessness, anger, embarrassment, disappointment.

90 seconds: We come to experience our emotions through bodily sensation signal. We want to distract from those bodily sensations. When we understand there are one or more bodily sensations, your focus is to ride them out for 90 seconds. 

What is the difference between doing anger vs expressing anger?

Doing anger is acting out and lashing out, anything that escalates. 

Expressing anger is saying something like, ‘that made me angry’ without the reactivity.

What is your definition of confidence?

It’s the deep sense that you can handle the emotional outcome of whatever you face or whatever you pursue.

What are your final words of advice for anyone who wants to go on their last first date?

It comes down to vulnerability, a willingness to tolerate the other seven feelings and a sense that you can be hurt. Go into your date with openness and be your true self. That’s going to most inviting to the person you’re dating. Be as honest and open as possible. 

Watch this episode on YouTube

Connect with Dr. Rosenberg

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