I hope your January is off to a wonderful start. I’m gearing up for the launch of my new book, 90 Seconds to a Life You Love: How to Master Your Difficult Feelings to Cultivate Lasting Confidence, Resilience, and Authenticity.
You might be wondering about my title. How is it possible to change anything, much less your life, in only 90 seconds?
To answer that question, I have to tell you about something that happened earlier in my life.
I worked at the University of California, Los Angeles student counseling center about 25 years ago. I can look back now and recognize that working with clients there marked the beginning of the Rosenberg Reset, an approach I talk about in the book.
I noticed that the people I counseled followed one of two general pathways:
First, let me explain about avoidance. Many people have not learned to cope with life’s challenges in healthy ways—quite the contrary. The world is filled with countless distractions and ways to easily avoid difficult emotions.
As young children grow up, we hope they learn to tolerate and manage the naturally difficult feelings inherent in life. Yet many learn to avoid their unpleasant feelings instead, using such distractions as junk food, electronics, and alcohol to hide from these feelings. And these distractions can turn into more serious problems themselves.
Awareness is what helps heal. Instead of distracting yourself, what is far more beneficial for your health and well-being, is to deal with your emotions – constructively, of course. And while overwhelming and uncomfortable emotions are at the base of the most frequent primary complaints I see in my practice, most of us have never been taught how to handle these unpleasant feelings.
What made it so hard to experience unpleasant feelings? I wrestled with this question for several years. It wasn’t until discoveries about the brain were disseminated more broadly that I was able to identify concepts that not only unlocked this mystery but helped me more fully understand how successfully managing difficult feelings relates to confidence, resilience, and authenticity.
Understanding how people experience feelings and the approximate length of time any given feeling lasts last helped me develop the Rosenberg Reset, a strategy that enables people to more fully lean into unpleasant emotions.
The Rosenberg Reset is based on a simple formula: 1 choice, 8 feelings, 90 seconds.
Here’s how I think about it:
If you can make the one choice to stay aware of and in touch with as much of your moment‑to‑moment experience as possible, and you are willing to experience and move through one or more 90‑second waves of one or more of 8 unpleasant feelings, then you can pursue whatever you want in life.