How to Be Positive in the Face of Adversity with Dr. Jonathan Aronoff, Therapist and Personal Executive Coach

A Psychoanalyst, Certified Personal and Executive Coach, Sports Coach and Certified Group Fitness Instructor, Dr. Aronoff combines three decades of training and experience to help people rediscover and affirm the warrior within by regaining a sense of purpose, meaning, confidence, and determination to overcome obstacles and achieve goals.

He believes that people are inherently driven to be masterful and successful. It is the warrior within that enables people to achieve this mastery and success. Yet, sometimes, life’s challenging moments and unexpected events get in the way and impede one’s drive and capacity to execute.

In his role over three decades as therapist or coach, he helps people recover from temporary setbacks and re-engage their inner warrior so they can regain their confidence, sharpen their skill set, identify a path forward, and get moving again.

In this episode, Jonathan and Cindra talk about:

  • Why it’s difficult for us to be positive in the face of adversity, loss, grief, and COVID
  • What “flipping the coin” means and how that is important right now
  • How positive emotions enhance physical and mental health
  • What humans are hardwired for
  • The positivity of negative emotions, and the negativity of negative emotions

“Positivity to me has no meaning whatsoever, unless you are able to look at the negative side or elements of life.”- @Dr_Aronoff
Tweet Quote

“The negative aspects of life, give you an opportunity to practice seeing the reality of life.”-@Dr_Aronoff
Tweet Quote

“Thank the negative experience for giving you this opportunity to become better at being positive.”-@Dr_Aronoff
Tweet Quote

“Savoring is the ability to activate a part of the mind, deliberately with choice, so that you can bring those feelings into the moment and experience them.”-@Dr_Aronoff
Tweet Quote

Full Transcription:

Cindra: Dr. Aronoff. I’m so excited to have you here on the High-Performance Mindset Podcast. I think you’re a perfect guest for what we’re going to be talking about today. And just for the podcasts in general. So thank you so much for joining me this morning.

Jonathan: You’re welcome. It’s a real pleasure and honor.

Cindra: I think one of the things I’ve really enjoyed is taking your class on positive psychology. I’ve been doing coaching for a long time, but I wanted to be official and get an executive coaching certificate so joined the College of Executive Coaching in April, and I’ve been taking your class and I’m absolutely loving it. So thank you. And one of the things just get started with is just tell me, tell him that everyone who’s listening. Tell us a little bit about your passion and what you’re doing right now?

Jonathan: So I’m a clinical psychologist. I became a board-certified psychoanalyst and my training after I got my Master of Science in experimental psychology and then went
Jonathan: Into clinical psychology and got my PhD and I had to make a decision between whether I was going to go my pre doc internship in neuroscience or I was going to go in psychoanalysis, where I had was born and raised in small town Stockbridge Massachusetts or 3000 people in that town in the western part of the state. There was a renowned psychedelic hospital Austin rec center and Eric Erickson who is Floyd’s Sydney for his protege was working there and he influenced me as a child and growing up to become a psychoanalyst. So sort of hard to turn down, someone who had this look like Einstein white hair and he just stopped selling process. And so I was at that choice point do I my pre doc internship in neuroscience kind of got accepted. My production in Portland, Oregon, or I was going to go to Harvard or Yale to do my psychedelic trade had my internship and psycho analysis. So I chose to psychoanalysis and I end up getting a job at the hospital that Eric. Eric, who was working at and then I fly to Boston psychedelic is too and I actually became a psychoanalyst my passion really underneath all this was neuroscience and the reason why is because it made sense even say before it said, Remember constitution. First, but how the mind and the body work really is the foundation of everything we do. But I was, you know, I sort of got hooked into the psychoanalytic thinking. And at that time, we’re talking about 80s, 90s, and that was still on the, on the, sort of, riding a wave of excitement of psychoanalysis, but that I was becoming more and more aware of the research on on the neuroscience, how the mind and body will affect our feelings, our computers and our thoughts. So my I then became a fitness trainer on the side and I was a high school coach soccer I played semi pro soccer for six maybe 10 years and I just kept getting drawn back to the body and the mind and what makes it work. So I’m a fitness trainer Katie ranch health spa near where I work and I signed on to apply some of the practical things I’ve learned so I to became a certified coach because second coaching in 2003 and the back to our boss who’s the CEO and president of college second coaching asked me to teach positive psychology co teaching in 2008 and that was the beginning of a shift for me that was quite profound passion for me is working with people being people identical twin like my identical twin brothers, a famous musician these rock and roll star DRIVER FOR JOHN Mellencamp 15 years and he’s sort of one of those Hall of Famers and he’s in LA. And I think my experience in

life is to the lens of being identical twin. So it’s always been sort of a passion for me to be able to work with people, whether it’s at the individual level, or whether it’s a team level bring out the most and invest in people and so I’ve devoted my life to be able to teach and to be able to work with people and help them reach the highest level of their potential and that simply what you know your ability as a, as a teacher, to be able to get the most out of people. And so that would be the answer to where’s my passion.

Cindra: Perfect. So you started teaching positive psychology, the College of executive coaching. I think 12 years ago.

Jonathan: Yes, correct.

Cindra: People who are listening. Tell us in your perspective, what positive psychology is and maybe let’s just get started there?

Jonathan: Sure. So the positive psychology, the grandfather of psychology with Donald Clifton, and he was doing is our dissertation and he decided to focus on what makes people good at what they do talents for us. So he started focusing on and said that the traditional model of what’s a person’s symptoms, what the diagnosis? And what’s the treatment? Follow the traditional medical model. He wants to focus on what a person’s talents and then maximize those talents in were in their life, and particularly this is useful when it came to corporations’ organizations businesses. But it was Martin Seligman in 1998 became the president of the American Psychological Association, and he made his mission that was his commitment was to study what makes people happy he’s considered the father of positive psychology. Now both of these researchers and psychologists built their ideas. Typically, Martin Seligman on 5000 years of writings and philosophy philosophies of what makes people across all cultures across time he read all the great writings, whether in philosophy and also Bibles and people who preached the essence of what might be a good person or a happy person. And he came up with six virtues and then eventually operationalize that expertise into character strengths. So Donald Clifton focused on eventually came up with 36 talents and Martin Seligman came up with 24 character strengths. This started this the trend of positive psychology is you know it today and Mark sergeant and his colleagues in the subsequent researchers and theorists developed advanced the whole idea of positive psychology, including emotions. Now I keep our science of positive psychology simply focusing on what constitutes change and growth and but many others like Sonia fiber Mirsky, this stuff is happiness and Barbara Fred Sims. What’s that positive and negative ratio of emotions and so many others who have done a lot of research in that area. And I think for myself. Positive Psychology is really about finding a way to look awesome elements of life and be able to enhance them. Now I have a certain a con or certain spin, as you know, paint taking my class, which is like coined the phrase flipping the coin and the whole idea of this is that positivity to me has no meaning whatsoever. Unless you are able to look at the negative side or elements of life. Now people ask me, why would you want to do that and the answer is that because it’s real the brain is first and foremost hardwired to be sensitive and hyper vigilant too dangerous to look at what is potentially a threat to the well-being and the safety. The preservation of person, the brain is six over 600 million years old terms evolution

600 years that brain and the human being has survived in relation to the earth. Okay, so we sometimes lose sight of the fact with technology and our ability to use the sort of the upper part of our brain neocortex to develop all sorts of scientific discoveries and to advance ourselves so that we are not spending 99% of our time in safe. Finding food, clothing, shelter or not fight following the food source. During most of the time we are sort of tribalistic adventure became agriculture’s which only lasted for oxygen 20,000 years and then we went into Industrial Revolution. Now an information age and that’s transition to something new, probably Kovac as our problem propelled us to the next level as well. But the idea is that self- preservation was very much were stone of our brain and the brains that we’re, we’re in down generation, generation, first and foremost, we’re able to keep a sharp eye on danger of life and so what it really is about. We’re talking about is the negativity, the negative aspects. The threatening aspects of life. And so the brain is hardwired to be hyper vigilant to negativity or the things that can be potentially negative. So positivity is going to be on the other side of the coin. Okay, and many researchers like baba soon as written about the fact that negativity sticks to us like glue okay and positivity has a tendency to sort of to drift off like mist doesn’t stay with us. And I think part of the reason is that we have the ball. Be very focused on negativity and we, it becomes hard wired and I know our own networks becomes part of our brain circuitry, if you will, by neurotransmitters and hormones so that we do not put ourselves in danger and people sometimes say to me when I’m so pessimistic. I’m so negative. How can you stand being with me. No one wants to be around me. And I said, yeah, but you great if you’re an EMT or if you’re a firefighter. I want you with me because you’d be the one that would say look out for this. Watch out for that you would make the team safe. Okay, maybe not as much fun being pessimistic person, but you have a valuable contribution to life. Now that’s a perfect example. My flipping a coin. Let me say one more thing, a metaphor I use. Okay, people will ask me, why do you have negativity part of this equation. I said before, the story of Peter Pan. He caught off his shadow. Well, that’s the negative side of the coin toss. He tried to Peter Pan and wanted to live in a life where he thought you could escape the negativity of throwing up getting old. You all eventually die. That’s a negative aspect of life and so keep cut off shadows off if we’re going to be realistic. So that negativity as important to our positivity is positivity is important for negativity. So here’s how I look at flipping the coin. Anytime something negative comes up in my mind, or I think about it. I’m worried about. I say thank you universe. Thank you God if you’re religious for giving me the opportunity to become aware of the negative aspects of life that I can flip the coin and appreciate the positive. So the negative aspects of life give you an opportunity to practice seeing reality of life. I call it boots on the ground round zero so that then you chance to practice positive if you can practice the negative what it is. Look in the mirror and say, this is how I feel today. Is this a good day to live, which is a good data throwing you know the chips and then least, you say, No, I want to live for. And the list of things that you want to do the positive aspects of your life you embrace life for an honest way with integrity and then you go out and pursue it. Same thing when I work with athletes I say the same thing with my athletic teams lose game I tell them players to go and thank the other team from give them the opportunity to have a chance to know but have to work on what we have to work on to get better when is like Disney World, it’s just our birthday, you’re having a great time.

Okay, it’s a great feeling. But you don’t learn from that. So a loss or negative moment is a wonderful opportunity to ask yourself, What can I do to enhance myself to the next level. How

can I be better than I was yesterday. How can I become past I possibly can give him who I am and so flipping the coin is a way of honoring both sides of positive negativity on our combination.

Cindra: So good. Jonathan and I’m but a few things that I want to highlight specifically that you were talking about that. Our aim is over 600 million years old. So it’s really program for for the negativity and strive to survive. I really also like the flipping the coin, because you’re not done. It’s not like you’re saying, hey, just be positive, your knowledge and acknowledging the ways that you can grow from the negative. And I think that’s an important distinction that sometimes people think, oh, I’m just, okay, positive psychology. You might just be like, just be just be positive or ignoring the difficulty. It’s really like flipping the coin reframing the difficulty. So you can see ways that you can grow and learn

Jonathan: Exactly. And, you know, positive psychology if you can get a bad rap. If people are just thinking it’s just dislike slough and it’s just going to be by Justin positive. I’m going to be happy. I’m going to be our live a good life. That’s just not, that’s not grounded in reality and, you know, so the negativity or the negative aspects of positivity is when are just counting the truth about your what reality is, and I’ll go a little bit into that. With regards to the neuroscience of it. Okay. And the negativity of or the positivity of negativity is that negativity remind you who you are, where you are, what reality is how your mind and your body are doing experiencing the world that you can then do something about it. That’s flipping the coin. So, you know, you could say something is it sounds a little ridiculous. Thank you very much for a stomach for making me aware that my stomach hurts, because I don’t have any food. Something required would be because now I know I need to attend to my need for food and get a decent meal. So going back then to the body is that our body is the internal workings of the body is constantly registry information from what’s outside the body in the mind. And what’s inside by the mind and the term. Let’s use your spaces is to make sure that the body is constantly trying to reach a point of balance. Well, mines you to do the same thing we need to find a way to create a certain sense of balance. I’ve identified eight areas of life and well-being and those eight areas and eight years. I use the, you know, bars. Some other people’s as well is health, which is psychological, physical relationships and I’ll say a little more about relationships, why that’s so important because to self-preservation your career number three, number four is your home life. Number five is community. Number six is your financial resources and number seven is your relationship to nature, which we have become so alienated from because of our technology, you can be on Amazon this you can lose that you can text, anything you want it used to be that we’re spending most of our time trying to just follow the cue for sourcing and be safe and away from predators and the last one is spirituality. And so the idea is that, you know, in an effort to try to balance your life. Your, your mind wants to make choices. Okay. Your body’s taking care of itself and finding a way to make sure chemistry is about where we talk about positive psychology from the position of homeostasis. You’re looking at life in these eight areas. What do I need to do to maximize my performance and my health so that I can be on live as a seldom say, you know, the thriving life or to enhance your life which maximum. If you notice in my saying this, at no point do I Ignore the aspect of ground floor of negativity and it’s very much a part of what allows us to be honest and truthful about positivity and so when

people talk about motivated driven perseverance and like in your book read yeah, there, there are, there’s an element of what I’m saying that apply know have the perseverance and passion to stay in the game to just never quit. Never give up. And to keep going, also requires the ability to appreciate struggle appreciate fi your negativity is what gives you opportunity to practice flipping the coin. Thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to practice. A positive element of being more successful this moment or today than I was yesterday and that does foster perseverance and it does enhance passion, but it also gives you a chance to practice this flipping the coin. Constantly. And I do believe that it sort of parallels with this notion homeostasis of balance, trying to actually maximize your psychological well-being.

Jonathan: At every moment of your life. And we could get very distracted. If you can get very distracted because you know if you’re not in a state of panic around self-preservation issues people sometimes get overly excited about the fun things in life, whether its food, whether it’s alcohol substances, whether it’s sector, whether it’s partying, or whether it’s having fun and you can get out of sync and out of what you’re trying to get away from negativity, but at a cost. What you hope to get to as a place of calmness centeredness and with a clear mind about directing your intensity and your drive and your passion and your perseverance goals that are going to answer well.

Cindra: Yeah. Excellent. Well, I think what you said just now is really powerful that you know we can appreciate the struggle the negativity and because it gives us this ability to flip the coin and I’m thinking about right now. During this time period of COVID factor aren’t off and I’m thinking about. I mean, for me, my, my son did have COVID he was okay. And, you know, but there is that impacted my home, but also obviously impacted my work and we’re not socializing here in Minnesota. There’s pretty much like a stay-at-home order so right now, it’s really difficult for people maybe to flip the coin and they’re overcome when they get COVID even more. So what advice would you give people, particularly during this time period of COVID?

Jonathan: It’s a really good point because first of all Coleridge though activates if people open up. Where does trigger natural instinct. The mind is first and foremost oriented around self- preservation you know the metaphor that would be COVID it’s like a predator like a lion or tiger. That’s what’s coming towards you think about coven also is that we don’t really quite understand how it’s affecting us who gets it, how long I do work in a percentage of my week and nursing home, so I know what the front line. I have a frontline worker and I can see who’s getting it who isn’t and it’s so unpredictable, even though you know certain patients who have, you know, have comorbidity factors. And so there are higher risk, but some people who have higher risk are getting it and healing or recovering as other people or younger significantly younger are getting it in a week or dying and we’re still not clear. So that creates a lot of anxiety and a lot of these are you okay so that’s a natural response, other people are going to try to say minimize it deny that it’s powerful it is that’s a way of adapting to a threat to your well being. Some people just will try to push it aside and in my mind. If you push it aside. Too much without embracing it. We’re not grounded in reality there’s insane ground, we’re not at Ground Zero. Very important to be able to get to a place where you are mindful or aware of significance and the and the validity and the truth of a of this of this illness that over the course of 600 million years, the species has been bombarded by these illnesses over and over again.

Fortunately, we are at a point now where with our technology and our sides we have skills and abilities to be able to manage others like this. Now, what has happened to all of us. it’s really forced us to get to Ground Zero. Some people have the resources to manage the psychological, emotional stress negativity of this experience. Okay, I’m fortunate with Dr. And I have a thriving practice. But how many people are front liners, or people who cannot afford to have to continue to live a lifestyle you’re struggling. Anyway, how many people are faced with, you know, having to decide, do I work or do I stay home with my child. How many people have Jonathan: Financially destitute. Because of this, that’s a very serious situation and. So, question is how you find positivity in a situation like that. Yes. So we use what I would say no choice. You have a choice. The reality is exactly what you’re saying to me, I’m not denying and I would say to your negative experience is real and it’s your activates activating one of the three primary mental operations that the brain is wired to do to preserve a self. And so if you’re anxious and parents who are completely true to your physiology and how you’re hardwired to operate. The question is, what are we doing because it can bring you down and see through natural selection. Some people who make it. Some people aren’t physically and psychologically. So what I would say is slightly, little bit of the sort of Nelson Mandela storms and 27 years in prison. And he found a way to appreciate had control of what he didn’t have control or like Victor Frankel’s book Man’s Search for Meaning people survived the concentration camps. People were stripped of everything that they own the body their integrity. Okay, their physical well being. And yet, the ones who survived and willing to find the positivity in life, as did not Nelson Mandela. And so when I say to people is under stress, you can. It may sound a little bit are I would say this is Dr. To say thank you for giving me this opportunity to develop skills and to exercise and ability, find the positive own life, despite adversity disparity stress anguish torment that I’m facing every day. So as Viktor Frankl found and I’ve actually met people who survived the house concert talk to who said yes. Every morning I waiting for the sun to rise every night. I look forward to the stars from blue Sky even the birds chirping. Though they’re on the barbed wire of the of the fenced in area and appreciate their song in the contrast to the horror of my situation and the barbed wire. And so the mind has the ability to juxtapose negative and positive and I feel like Colbert experience is giving us a chance to practice the skill. So I’m gonna make company, helping to practice is still don’t have food said whether or not you have food on the on the table right now. It doesn’t take away the fact one choice. Yeah. Voice of the coin. You ask to be born. You can make a choice of how you live your life you’re asked to have COVID, you have a choice of how you’re going to work with him. And I’m not asking you to deny or minimize something I’m just recommending or suggesting that there may be a way we can inhale seal clench your fists shout. Exhale, but that negativity three feet in front of you. And then open your heart to what can I do to enhance my positivity thank the negative experience for giving me this opportunity come better at being positive word.

Cindra: Yes. Excellent. You said so many powerful things there, Jonathan, I think that a lot of people are appreciating and listening and I’m thinking about just the practice of savoring and I want to talk a little bit about that I was just thinking about when at the top of Kobe. I was kind of sitting in my house, my boys. They’re, they’re 13 and 11 and they wanted to play hide and go seek so, you know, they don’t they don’t like to play with their parents too much and they’re kind of old school but we were sitting downstairs and I’m sitting there in the dark played hide

and go seek and I just saved that moment, you know, just like so grateful that we work together as a family. So tell us a bit about, in your opinion, why is it important, and maybe savor things right now in this time period of coven or just or just in general?

Jonathan: So savoring is the ability to become acutely aware of the positive elements in an experience from the past. Something you’re experiencing in the moment or even forecasting a positive experience that you dissipate, you will have and if you take the time to be to sort of integrate some all all the primary senses in your body site thought humans tastes smells bill to activate those feelings. It can also activate memories positive experiences that integrating that that sensory experience allows you to feel a sense of positivity is going to activate what I call happy chemicals in the brain that will actually make you feel better like oxytocin adult for me you know in in serotonin and endorphins. You activate those positive chemicals and different parts of the brain. There are some primary cause of bank deposits brain but reinforce that experience, you will have pot you will actively choose three positive emotions enhanced positive thoughts and generate positive behaviors. Why is that so important is because if you are experiencing a negative moment or even if you’re not in a negative moment you can actively generate positive thoughts, feelings, emotions and behaviors that will enhance

your well-being and positive positivity in your life have a choice to do that. And so savoring is one of the ways to exactly. So if you’re in a bad situation like it’s a cold and you’re restricted from your social network of friends like your son’s maybe you might be able to do the sun’s to help them focus on this positivity. Okay, so they can have a positive moment. That doesn’t mean the denying the restrictions that they are our host upon them, but allows them to experience that going back to my metaphor or the example of the Frankel’s survivors of the Holocaust. He was alive storyteller, starving People in the in the concentration camps. They had very little to be happy about. But they didn’t have memories to savor and they would tell stories about when things were going. Some people, I’m sure respond negatively say I don’t want to think about it is to be thing to leverage is the ability to activate a part of the mind. Jonathan: Deliberately with choice so that you can bring those feelings in the moment and experience them and that very much is a way of enhancing positivity, which in here dances a balance in your mind and body which is good for your health and well being.

Cindra: Excellent. So I’m thinking about people who are listening and they might be leaders of businesses or leaders in general. Maybe you have an athletic team. Tell us a little bit about the implications of positive emotions to let’s say workplace or to leadership and why those are so important?

Jonathan: As it was, when it comes to the hierarchy of authority or, you know, leadership, where you’re the leader of other people. Most people are leaders of other people and you’re part of a network of a team. It’s very important to think about that there are individual differences. Every person is going to respond to stress to adversity to conflict, two wins and losses injuries to health-related issues conflict people effort, but as a leader. What’s important is one to appreciate those differences and what we share in common is the ability to take your own personal experience of what is going well for you what isn’t going well for you to identify what you have a choice to do to contribute to making situation better, not only for yourself but

for the team and to be able to if you’re a leader to lead people I first and foremost respecting their individual differences to lead people to embrace this notion you have something to contribute to the team to the task to the goal to the mission, whatever it is that you’re doing. You have something that you can do, every moment. I’m from Massachusetts. So Bill Belichick is somebody that I used to listen to a lot. Coach of the Patriots. Well, yes, you did say that I think some of the greatest coaches at seven and leaders have said know what your job was to the next slide. Yeah, and just do your job. So if you have something to contribute to yourself up that whether my bosses annoying or my thoughts is annoying. That’s all, that’s all true and need to know that and when it’s time to engage in a play or do something know what you have to do that can contribute something positive, your job and if it doesn’t work out what are the side, get ready for the next club. That’s the way life is. What can to contribute and part of that might be saying, I feel horrible that I wasn’t able to do my part, and just take that in and say, now here’s flipping the coin. Even though this is an affirmation. Another thing I talked about affirmations, even though I feel like a completely sale that last play. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to practice flipping the coin so that I can learn to recover quickly and to contribute something to the next play and do my best. So now you’ve endorsed you’ve embraced the negative experience and you’ve been able to move on. Leave it on the side much the next I think leaders can honor and failure, instead of shaming them or criticizing them for for being having those experiences and helping them appreciate that five seconds to the negative it’s let it go, exhale with breath. Now must focus on what you can do the next plot.

Cindra: Yeah, I think that’s so important because, you know, I’m thinking about flow and peak performance in general it is when you’re in the present moment, and he can’t think about the president while you’re also thinking about what just happened?

Jonathan: Right, yeah.

Cindra: We have one question here that came in on Facebook. So there’s her listening to us on Facebook. So this question is from Julie and she said, how much time do you spend on acknowledging the negative. Like, is it a percentage of your day or can just be a quick moment and move on?

Jonathan: That’s a really good quality question. The first the first and Julie. What I would say is depends on what the issue is. If you’ve lost a loved one. You know, if it’s your family member, you’re not going to be able to quickly to get that. However, even with something as profound significant as a loss death or loss. I see a job, find financial destitution, even then I use the word oscillation, that is to oscillate back and forth. I call it a coin constantly.

Cindra: Okay.

Jonathan: Oh my gosh, I’m smitten with a negative feeling I try to inhale, feel it, I love to do something physical I clenched my fist. I feel the power of negativity inside me. My strength is what allows me like I can manage. Instead of being passive. Then I exhale. Okay. And as I exhale, I imagine, letting that negativity. I’m like, empty cup, that’s a metaphor that people use

a lot of the negativity and try to see it three fun of me, then I opened my mind something positive. This can happen very quickly. And the reason why this is so important is oscillations quick back and forth, back and forth. You’re honoring what I would consider one of the primary if not the primary of mental operations, the brain which is self-preservation never lost something going bad, it’s going to activate like fight. Okay, but you’re also by flipping the coin. You’re also honoring the ability for the brain to create, to be able to move forward, be able to build to be able to generate new ideas and new activities so that you’re going somewhere positive, then you come back to the negative, go to the positive so that you can oscillate very quickly, but you really want to end up on the positive as much as possible. Either way, that’s the second of the three major mental operations. I have to add the third which is social connections. As you can imagine, have to be safe in order to the second part social connections which leads to procreation. Those two species does not exist. You have to continue to pass on the genetic you know the genes to the next generation. You have to be safe. You have to procreate by having social connections. The third activity is to be able to build generate about design think problem solve and this oscillation process. Julie is really important and it depends on the level of intensity more experience and everyone’s different. But the key thing is to not get stuck on to the Arctic constantly flip the coin. Breathe in, breathe out result. And do we then without them. I hope that answered her question.

Cindra: Yeah, excellent. I think I appreciate what you just said there is like not getting stuck and constantly flipping the coin and it might need to be something that you do more than once, which I wasn’t sure. One of the things that I learned from you that I didn’t know before taking your class was the difference between emotions and feelings and I’d love to talk a little bit about that and why that would maybe be important for just an everyday person to understand?

Jonathan: So there’s different theories about this, but I think one of the sort of most sort of leave the greatest leaders in our study of emotions is Spelman Barrett from Northeastern factor faculty members. Psychologists and I’ll just focus on her our view of emotions and feelings and think I’ll get this right. I think fit for people who are listening. What’s important is to understand that speed at which the brain is taking information is beyond awareness, our mind in our body is basically a sensory apparatus constant taking information from our buck inside our body and outside our body. Then our mind and body is between the internal chemistry of our body and brain circuitry and the external world in constant with processing information that information, is unconscious and it doesn’t just become conscious, not just consciously aware every single field every single moment every single sense. Okay, our sensory perception doesn’t become conscious at first. So at a neuro chemical level. Okay, we’re not aware of that. But then we talk about that. No chemistry is activating what we would call asset or that then get card will become part of the hard wiring of our brain and that alone networks from back being might be the feeling of anger or fear or anger of shame. Okay, that’s the negative and positive to get stored in the area of the brain. I’m not going to go into the details of where but the fact is that information gets stored but it’s not conscious. OK, so the unconscious part in a very simple, simple ways chemistry. And then this the feelings for the after the conscious part is then when that information is registered in the top of the brain and call the neocortex everything I’m talking about this more at the sub cortical levels deeper in the brain. But when

we start thinking about things. We have a tendency to be really working at the top of the brain. Typically the funnel part. Okay, let’s try to stay away from all these fancy words. And what happens then is we have thoughts we have emotions and then we start thinking about problem solving. And what we’re going to do to execute a plan of action. Those are all conscious experiences. Those are all conscious. Okay. And that’s a fairly simplistic way of looking at so feelings and assets are not aware of what you become aware of them. It’s thoughts and emotions and then that contributes to behavior. Some people say that you’re not aware of your behavior just Acting impulsively. This is also true, or in a flight or fight mode, you’re not going to be able to think you’re just going to react so your behavior is not always conscious, but once you’re acting you’re can observe yourself running down the hell away from some adverse credit but generally speaking, feelings are something that we’re not constant well but they’re tied very closely to the chemicals, you know, so helping.

Cindra: Yes, that’s wonderful. First of all, I just want to thank you so much for joining us today. I think that you provided such incredible value for everybody who’s listening and I think especially the you know adversity and COVID and the things we talked about today, like flipping the coin. And there’s positivity and negative emotions and it’s not about denying the negative emotions but acknowledging it and continuously flipping the coin. I also thought what you talked about this, our brain is hardwired to keep us safe and to pursue perseverance, or to keep going. Right. And it’s evolved over 600 million years. So those are things I think we’re most important for today, Jonathan. Tell us a little bit about how people can reach out to you if you’re on social media. I know you’re able website and you baby taking some clients. So tell us a bit about how people can reach out to you?

Jonathan: So my website is www. and then I do have Instagram, I’m sure it’s Jonathan Aronoff and my email is so If people are interested in contact me, you’re welcome you to reach out to me and for those that have my cell phone number they can text me.

Cindra: Perfect. Do you have any final advice for people who are listening who are working to be the best their best self and the best that they can possibly be?

Jonathan: I guess I’ve just underscore something, I believe, which is don’t be afraid to look straight in the mirror and look at the negative feelings and thoughts and experiences that you have had the courage to look at it for what it is, name it reason, clench your fists yielding the stress and the agony of it, English, and exhale. Feel the freedom and think of something positive that you be grateful for the negative experience give you the chance to come better than we were yesterday.

Cindra: Such a powerful message. Thank you, Dr. Aronoff for joining us here today on the High – Performance Mindset Podcast.

Jonathan: Thank you very much. You’re welcome.