In this Illuminate series, we’ll be exploring each of the learnable competencies of the Six Seconds Emotional Intelligence Model. This is week four: Navigate Emotions.

Oh, navigate emotions. It’s a difficult one for many… for example, when I conduct SEI debriefs I often ask, “Do you have questions about one of these competencies in particular?” The answer, almost always? “Can you tell me more about navigate emotions?”

This week, we’ll dive in + explore a practical technique for navigating the waters of those feelings that just seem to linger.


Illuminate: Feeling Stuck? Try This 3-Step Technique



Getting stuck in an emotion could be a lot of fun…. can you imagine being stuck in excitement, contentment, or silliness?!

But when we talk about feeling “stuck”, we usually don’t mean being stuck in the fun stuff! No– it’s usually emotions like frustration, resentment, loneliness, or distress that leave us feeling paralyzed and hopeless.

Navigating emotions is the process of moving through these emotions and actually harnessing the wisdom they have to offer so that we can make the best decision. 

Here’s a simple acronym for navigating your emotions: VET. When you’re feeling stuck, VET your emotions. Here’s how:

Name one emotion you’re feeling. Then, ask yourself, “What else am I feeling?” Feeling stuck? Search for an emotions list online to read through.
Then, validate those emotions you’re feeling by accepting them in whatever way works for you. Feel them in your body. Imagine wrapping them in a hug. Invite them inside your home to have tea. Help them feel welcome for a moment before moving to the next step.
Unpack the emotions a bit now. Ask questions: What is the emotion trying to tell you? What other emotion might help you meet that need/desire/purpose? What is the kernel of ‘wisdom’ to be found in your emotion?
Already, you can likely feel your emotions shifting. Acknowledging emotions has a powerful effect on their strength. Use this shifting energy to decide what’s your next action step: How will you meet the needs of your emotions? How will you go forward with purpose?

PS– find a real-life (and heart-warming!) example of how the VET technique helped a student navigate their challenging emotions here.


The next time you’re feeling stuck in an emotion, VET it.

How did it feel to validate your emotions?

What questions did you use to explore?

What action step do you plan to take going forward to transform your emotion and experience?

PS- if you’d like to practice Navigating Emotions with some 1-1 support, I am doing my Coaching Certification through Six Seconds, and my cohort and I are offering super-discounted coaching sessions to get all of our practice hours needed for certifications. Find out more here!

Illuminate is a weekly e-mail series that provides practical tips + galvanizing inspirations for practicing an emotionally intelligent life. In our time together, we’ll operate from the assumption that you have all the wisdom you need inside of yourself + that you have a purpose the world needs to see. We will explore the tools + techniques to illuminate your own inner wisdom and purpose. If you’d like to receive this free gift of goodness in your inbox every week, subscribe here.

Maria Jackson
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