Natalie interviews personal development gurus and inspiring people from all over the globe on her super popular online show!

Episode # 590   Dr. Joan Rosenberg - 90 Seconds to a Life You Love

About The Episode:

Sadness, shame, anger, embarrassment, disappointment, frustration, vulnerability, helplessness - are you guilty of repressing any of these emotions? In 30 years as a practicing psychologist, what our Inspiration Show guest, Dr. Joan Rosenberg, has found is that what often blocks people from succeeding in life is their inability to experience and handle 8 uncomfortable feelings. And when we don’t face or deal with them, she explains that they actually take away our confidence, health, and happiness. If you’re ready to master your emotions, make sure to watch this episode!

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Episode # 590 Dr. Joan Rosenberg - 90 Seconds to a Life You Love

NL: Hi everyone. My name is Natalie Ledwell and this is the Inspiration Show. Today on the show, I have a very special guest who’s a very good friend of mine but before I introduce my special guest, I want to just remind you that once the show is over, don’t forget to download the free ebook version of my bestselling book Never In Your Wildest Dreams and you’ll see the link somewhere below this video. So please let me introduce my special guest and good friend, Dr. Joan Rosenberg. How are you Joan?

JR: I’m doing great Natalie. Thanks for having me.

NL: I am so glad that you were able to carve out some time for us because I know that you are deep in to the promotion of your new book which is called 90 Seconds To A Life You Love: How To Master Your Difficult Feelings, To Cultivate Lasting Confidence, Resilience, and Authenticity. So I cannot wait to dive in to this conversation. But before we do, will you just give our audience just a little bit of a background as to you know, what kind of doctor you are and how you got in to writing this book.

JR: I’m a psychologist and I’ve been teaching graduate psychology for 30 years. That’s probably enough that you need in terms of my background. (Laughter) But, so I’ve been in the field for 30 to 40 years and really the book came out of a desire to answer 2 questions. One was, what made it so difficult for people to handle unpleasant feelings or experience unpleasant feelings, why is it so hard for us. And then the second question is, how do unpleasant feelings relate to having confidence. So how is it that we develop confidence and then I saw the link between the two.

NL: Right.

JR: That’s what prompted me to write the book.

NL: Alright. So because I know that you’ve done like a TedX talk about you know, feeling uncomfortable feelings and by, as a recovering person who used to you know, diminish on my emotions because I wanted to avoid my uncomfortable you know, emotions, (laughter), didn’t we all?

JR: You and everybody else.

NL: Right? (laughter) so tell me why it is so important that we feel uncomfortable emotions.

JR: There’s so many answers to that question. I would say the first is if we don’t allow ourselves to feel those, the whole range of what we feel, we actually don’t feel fully authentic. We don’t feel fully ourselves. And I think that there’s, in fact I think many people talk about this impostor syndrome kind of an idea and that we go around thinking we’re not, that people are going to see through us and think that we’re a fraud. I now think that’s in part because we try to dismiss aspects of ourselves. So that’s one piece, the second is we actually need feelings. Feelings are there for our protection and if we are safe, then they are there for our connection and creativity. So it’s a creative endeavor. So if we shut them out, we’re shutting out probably more than 50% of, if you will a body of knowledge or resources that are available to help us make decisions or express ourselves or take action. So I mean, I can go on and on about the importance but the bond that, simple most bottom line is we’re not authentic human beings when you try to shut them out.

NL: Yeah.

JR: And we’re vulnerable and less safe human beings when we try to shut them out.

NL: Well, I can completely relate to that. I know, towards the end of my marriage, I was so unhappy but I would numb out by using alcohol or watching TV or whatever it is I would do and I didn’t, I remember when Glen and I broke up how I had this realization I had no close friends or no close girlfriends. It’s because, oh no, if they saw underneath the facade, they would think, they would realize that there’s nothing here, because I couldn’t feel anything. And the sad thing is when you shut out the bad emotions, you don’t just shut out bad emotions, you shut out all emotions.

JR: Yes. Yes.

NL: (inaudible)

JR: Right, yeah. So if we shut out the unpleasant side of things then what we’re doing is we’re also muffling the positive ones. So we don’t have this great same access to joy, to contentment, to happiness, to excitement, all those kinds of things. So yeah, that would be yet another reason.

NL: Right.

JR: Again, there’s a lot of reasons there.

NL: Yeah, so when we talk about uncomfortable emotions, what emotions are we talking about?


JR: My whole thesis or approach, if people being able to tolerate or experience 8 unpleasant feelings. That’s it. Just 8. And the 8 are sadness, shame, helplessness, anger, vulnerability, embarrassment, disappointment, and frustration and I will tell you why those 8, it’s because that they are the most common feeling reactions to things not turning out the way we need or the way we want.

NL: Right. I know, I used to always think how it’s amazing what we do as human beings to avoid something as simple as disappointment. That you know, the whole work around that we do so we don’t feel that. So, okay, so we know what like the uncomfortable emotions are, so my feedback then is that if I open up those flood gates, I’m going to get lost in those emotions and I’ll never make my way back. Is that a common fear?

JR: Common fear that they’re going to be intense, that they’re going to start and they won’t stop and will be flooded or overwhelmed by them and will lose control. Those are very very common reactions. The truth is and then that’s at the kind of the title of the book, the title’s 90 Seconds to a Life You Love and I didn’t make up the 90 Seconds so I’m borrowing the concept if you will, from a Harvard trained neuroscientist named Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, and what she talked about was that when a feeling fires off in our brain, a flood of neuro chemicals go in to our blood stream, that they, what happens is they activate bodily sensations when they’re flooding through the blood stream. And that they subside or they dissipate out of the blood steam in roughly 90 seconds. So there’s (inaudible) for people to take away from that Natalie and one is that a feeling doesn’t last long. It’s, it’s thing 60 to 90 seconds, the intensity is only going to last that amount of time. What makes it feel like it lingers is because we keep on repeating thoughts or memories that keep on firing off those feelings. The second part of it is the activate bodily sensation piece. And the truth be told, most of us come to know what we feel in our body. And what I realized is that it’s not that we actually don’t want to feel our whole range of feelings, we do, what we don’t want to feel are the bodily sensations that actually help us know what we’re feeling emotionally. So if people can go, Oh, 60 to 90 seconds? I can handle that. Then the key is only have to do this to stay with the unpleasant bodily sensation that is attached to that feeling and then they’ve got it.

NL: Right. And what kind of bodily you know, feelings are we talking about? Bodily functions?

JR: Well, it could be all sorts of things. So for instance, one of my clients when she gets angry, she feels heat at the back of her neck. Another one when she gets angry, she feels heat in her arms. It could be the heat in the face and the face flushing when we get embarrassed. It could be a sinking feeling in our chest area when we feel sad or disappointed. So it’s going to be variable for each person, but it’s noticing what bodily sensations do I feel when I’m feeling certain emotional feelings.

NL: And making a deal with yourself like I can ride this out for 90 seconds. (laughter)

JR: Exactly, exactly. Yeah. People who have been taught it will actually go, I can do 90 seconds, I can do 90 seconds, I can do 90 seconds, so that they just impart, they just keep reminding themselves, 90 seconds, that’s all I got to do. And then they stay with it long enough and what happens after that Natalie is many times, insights come. So it’s like, Oh well, I should really talk to that person or No I don’t really want to go there. That’s not going to be for me. It’s because they were able to stay present with the feeling.

NL: Yeah and you’ve also created a specific method, what is it, the Rosenberg Reset, that helps us navigate…

JR: Right, right, right. So which I’ve kind of put pieces of it together so that the whole notion here is it’s centered on what I call a formula, it’s 1 choice, 8 feelings, 90 seconds. So the 1 choice is a choice to be aware of and in touch with as much of your moment to moment as possible. So we’re talking awareness, not avoidance which most of us tend to like to do. So choose into awareness, that’s the 1 choice, the 8 feelings I’ve mentioned and then the 90 seconds I’ve mentioned. So if we can stay present to the effect, here let me say that in a slightly different way, if a person can ride, one or more 90 second waves of one or more 8 unpleasant feelings, they can go pursue anything they want in life.

NL: Right. Wow. And so you know, what this does is help to build confidence and resilience, but how does it do that?

JR: Okay, here’s a couple of piece. And there’s a handful of things that go in to this. First is understanding that, the first place we start to develop confidence is when we’re more true to ourselves so when we can acknowledge the unpleasant feelings, that already starts to build up our confidence.

NL: Okay. So (inaudible)

JR: Because we’re beings (inaudible)

NL: Repeat that again, you froze up a little bit and I want to make sure people hear this answer.

JR: When we feel, when we allow ourselves to feel the whole experience of our feelings, the pleasant ones and the unpleasant ones, what it just by our, the very nature of doing that then we feel more whole, more substantive, and more true to ourselves. That alone increases confidence. The next step for me is people learning how to speak up and there’s actually a long chapter in the book on this and in fact, I think speaking singularly, taking it one step beyond feeling that speaking is singularly the most important skill that someone can develop to develop their sense of confidence. So I’m being, now the foundation is on being true to myself, I’m allowing myself to experience those feelings. Now I’m going to be congruent and what I’m thinking and feeling (inaudible), so that sense of congruence and the speaking up, I think changes molecules in us and as a result, it’s, so speaking up, so one’s ability to speak up is a big piece of developing confidence. And what’s interesting here is that it’s not that we confidence and then we speak, even that we know ourselves and then we speak. It’s as we speak, we come to know ourselves and as we speak we develop confidence.

NL: Right.

JR: And then the third would be taking actions. So it’s not, again, we can’t just sit and go I’m going to you know, make things happen around me by just sitting still. No and it’s the same as true here, it’s not that you have confidence and then you go take some kind of action that needs to take place, it’s as you take the action you develop the confidence.

NL: Right. No, I agree. So like you said, you’re being congruent to who you are as a human being. Like when I after, you know, Glen and I split, I did the Hoffman Process which it did opened me up to be able to feel all these different kinds of emotions. And process what went on and take responsibility for my part in the end of our marriage. I was even saying on a coaching call last night how I was in a relationship last year which ended and you know, I was heart-broken but even in those moments of feeling that emotion, it’s been, I call it the gift that keeps on giving. (laughter) because you know, when you (inaudible) like, yes, I felt the heart-break at that time, but there’s other moments where it comes up but this is like, it’s like a prelude to “Oh, I came feeling this again. Why am I feeling this? Where is this coming from? So it’s giving me the break to be able to go deeper and go What belief or program do I have that I need to release. Or how do I need to change it, how I perceived this situation, but my emotions are the key that open the door for me to have that introspection and to do that work (inaudible).

JR: Yep, yep. And one of the most important thing is you’re doing that whole process and staying curious. You’re staying open to what’s taking place and you’re leaning in to it and you’re being very curious about it and then trying to go, Alright what is it attached to. So it’s like, what a beautiful way to process through stuff.

NL: Yeah. And I love the book. Because you know for me, you know, you and I are the same. I’m a logical thinker, you know, even though I’m a little bit emotional than I used to be, but I love when it’s a how-to manual. Like I love this is, this is no guess work. You know, you’ve broken it down to a system that is really easy to follow and really easy to understand. So can you (inaudible), this is based on years of you working with people one on one in your practice. So can you share a story of someone that you’re worked with that you’ve seen like a change because they’ve been able to adopt this kind of process.

JR: There are so, so many. And I’ve also trained psychotherapists and I mean, a one, one, it’s like what I watch happen is people will go, will start from a place of family, from feeling like life’s doing something to them. And the more they are able to move through those experience, they start to realize that they have a hand in creating life. And that they are a co-creator with life and so they’ll start from a place of feeling more anxious, from feeling like they can’t speak up, that they don’t fit in, compliments well, they downplay their good works, all sorts of things like that, and what will end up happening is that the more we start to stay present to the feelings as the start point, like I said, that’s when they start to feel better. And then it moves from that to (inaudible) and as soon as they start to do that, it’s like I’ve, I just watched like a quantum leap in what their experience of confidence is all about. Then they start to develop more friendships, they’re more true in those friendships, the connections, the relationships deepen, they feel more excited, they feel more interested, they feel like they’re clearer about what they want to pursue in life. I mean, clarity starts to, there’s a lot more clarity once somebody starts to move to that place. And then it’s like, Alright, what do I want to do and how do we want to contribute and who can I connect with and there’s just, you start to see the joy and the excitement about life come back. So it’s, and that’s story after story after story, that’s the kind of process I see happen.

NL: Yeah. I mean. Well that’s my story. I mean, there’s pre when I did Hoffman and there’s post. And life in this side is just, oh my God, I know what joy is. I can feel that. I can sink in to a moment of gratitude on a dime and it’s just like this is what life is all about. It’s so rich and it’s so open and there’s so many exchanges, it’s just yeah, it’s just amazing. So darling, where do we send people to reach out, connect with you and get their hands on the book?

JR: Well, can I show a little picture of the book?

NL: Yes.

JR: Or no?

NL: Yeah, yeah.

JR: Okay. Alright. So I got to move us around a little bit so you tell me whether this comes on screen or not.

NL: Yeah.

JR: On screen or no?

NL: Yes.

JR: Okay. So that’s what the cover looks like. 90 Seconds To A Life You Love: How to Master Your Difficult Feelings to Cultivate Lasting Confidence, Resilience, and Authenticity. It is everywhere that someone wants to buy a book. So Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books a Million, Indiebooks, all those, in fact, even Costco. (laughter) so go to Costco and buy it. It’s really every where someone buys books. It’s still on pre-order, if they want to get some bonuses along with that, they can go to and there’s some bonuses that’ll come along with the pre-order and if after February 12th, it’s available to everybody everywhere and then it’s just, it’s also in audible form. And if people want to connect with me, they can always, they can go to my website could me there and they can also Twitter, Linkedin, what is it, what are, Facebook and Instagram. And usually it’s under Dr. Joan Rosenberg. So I’m easily find-able.

NL: Beautiful. Alright. Well thanks again..

JR: Thank you for asking.

NL: For joining me. It’s such a pleasure chatting to you and you know, I love this subject, it’s such a game changer. So we really appreciate your time.

JR: Thank you, thank you, thank you.

NL: Now guys, I encourage you to please share this video, let’s get the word out. You can do that by clicking the Facebook and the Twitter share buttons on this page. And don’t forget to click on either the link below or the banner to the side to go directly through to Dr. Joan’s website where you can purchase the book. And after all that’s over, don’t forget to click the link below that so you can download the free ebook version of my bestselling book Never In Your Wildest Dreams. So until next time, remember to live large, choose courageously, and love without limits. We’ll see you soon.

90 Seconds to a Life You Love



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