Stop Feeding Your Feelings!: How to Stop Emotion-Triggered Eating

I was an obese child! So heavy, that kids counted the rolls of fat around my stomach when we were on the beach and derisively called me “Tire Boy.” What led to my obesity, was that I mistakenly thought that my dad didn’t love or care about me. As a result of this profoundly painful misperception, every time that I felt rejected by my dad, and feelings of hurt, pain, rage, rejection, and unlovability filled my brain, heart, and psyche, I’d binge-eat.

This was my highly toxic, emotion-triggered script, until I discovered The 7 Steps of Emotion Mastery, which appear in my new book, Your Killer Emotions: The 7 Steps to Mastering the Toxic Emotions That Sabotage You.

One highly positive Step, was for me to identify my relevant Personal Emotional Triggers™ or PETS™, which are the things you love, want, hate, fear, etc. the very most. So, I identified that I wanted my dad’s love and approval more than anything else, and the way for me to secure them was for me to lose (a lot of) weight, so that I could be a good athlete and bond with my dad through playing paddleball and tennis with him. I also had a crush on a girl at school named Dale. I desperately wanted her to view me romantically, and not as the fat class clown; so this, once again, necessitated that I lose weight. Additionally, I very much wanted to fit into the cool, tapered jeans that other slim kids at school were wearing.

Thereafter, whenever I hit an emotional pothole and was about to eat everything fattening and unhealthy in sight, I framed the issue before me as follows:

“Do I want to eat the piece of cake, cookies, and/or macaroni-and-cheese, and remain a fat pig/fat slob, who’s impotent to positively change his life;


Do I want to forego eating the goodies and:

  1. Feel my dad’s love, respect, and approval (which I crave more than anything!);
  2. Get Dale’s romantic attention;
  3. Fit into the cool, tapered white jeans that I long to wear; and
  4. Feel good or even GREAT! about the way that I look and my ability to effect positive change in my life?!”

When I asked the question in this agenda-driven way, I almost always opted to decline eating the food. I then would visualize all of the positives that I could secure by making a healthy dietary choice:

  1. Playing ball with my dad and experiencing  his love;
  2. Dating Dale;
  3. Wearing those jeans; and
  4. Looking in the mirror at the new, slim, fit me!

Since I discovered The 7 Steps of Emotion Mastery fifty years ago, I have been thin and fit; I’ve won national titles in two sports; and I’ve lived an active, athletic, and vital life. I have enjoyed all of these blessings, because I broke-up the toxic script of emotion-triggered eating!

Your Killer Emotions is available on and!

Foundations of The 7 Steps to Emotion Mastery: Your Gold and Your Truth

As we continue laying the groundwork for understanding and implementing my 7 Steps system, today we will discuss another fundamental component, Your Gold and Your Truth.

First let’s take a look at what I refer to as Your Gold. Your Gold will encompass your most highly valued dreams and goals. It is what motivates you the very most to do your very best. Your Gold is most easily understood as the tangible things, positions, or goals that you want to attain.

Next, let’s take a look at what I refer to as Your Truth. Your Truth is your vision of both the life you want most deeply for yourself and the person you most truly want to be. Your Truth is an idealized, or best, self.

By identifying Your Gold and Your Truth, you will have identified what truly motivates, moves and excites you. You will then be able to harness and tap into the strongest energy charges available to you for a greater chance of success in making the best life choices for yourself.

So, how do you go about finding your purest Gold and Truth? You have to go on a quest to mine them.

To begin, you need to take some quiet, focused time to dig down, heart-and-soul deep, to identify the people, things, and events that will make your heart sing!  Conversely, you have to go through the same exercise to identify those things you most fear, are ashamed of, or are repulsed by. During this time, which may be significant, you can ask yourself such questions as:

  1. What do I want deeply in life?
  2. What kinds of people do I want in my life?
  3. What makes me the angriest?
  4. What would my ideal life be like?
  5. What do I fear above all else?

This suggested list of questions just barely scrapes the surface. In order to mine your purest Gold and Truth, you may need to consider many more. (A more complete list of questions can be found in Your Killer Emotions.)

Once you have taken a deep, careful look within yourself and considered your hopes, dreams, fears, and shames, you will move on to creating some lists that will be your PETS™ (your Personal Emotional Triggers™). PETS are the topic of discussion in our next installment, so stay tuned!

How to Deal with Rejection

“If you don’t go up to bat, you can’t get a hit,” is a much-cited cliché. A corollary to this reality, is that, if you go up to bat and put yourself on the line, you won’t always get the job; the order; the client; the promotion; and/or the raise. No one always succeeds!

Knowing this, the questions to ask are: So, what happens when you get rejected? How do you deal with rejection? Do you handle it constructively and strategically; or do you let your toxic emotions cloud your best judgment and evaluative processes, and make a self-sabotaging career choice and thereafter act on it to your great detriment?

In my book, Your Killer Emotions:  The 7 Steps to Mastering the Toxic Emotions, Urges, and Impulses That Sabotage You, I discuss The ”7 Steps of Emotion Mastery,” which enable you to make highly beneficial workplace choices – free from sabotaging emotions and feelings, such as rejection. Here are some suggestions to accomplish this:

1. Don’t Make Emotional Decisions

First and foremost: DO NOT make an important decision or choice when you are overcome with feelings of rejection, hurt, embarrassment, disrespect, hopelessness,and the like. Always, stop, cool down, and, as they say, “take the pause that refreshes.” Additionally, DO NOT opt for an immediate, emotional quick fix, such as reacting destructively, lashing out, and/or retaliating.

Oftentimes, we opt for these short-term satisfactions, but in the big picture of our lives and careers, these unthinking, emotion-generated reactions are counter and highly detrimental to accomplishing what we truly want for our careers in the long term (our Gold Ring Dreams).

2. Learn Why You Were Rejected

Experiencing rejection is often the first step to attaining great success! The key to enjoying post-rejection success, is to openly, honestly, and toxic emotion-free, learn why you were rejected or didn’t attain your goal. Securing this feedback, is essential for you to adjust your mindset; fix your missteps; and enable you to develop a new, more appropriate, and effective game plan and set of behaviors. I cannot count how many times my clients didn’t get a position; learned from the process; and improved themselves.

At some point thereafter, they interviewed for a (better) position, with their new and improved arsenal of skills; nailed the interview, and secured a wonderful new position. As a result, the initial rejection – when viewed constructively – turned out to be an excellent learning experience; and a wonderful gift and blessing.

The P.E.P. Talk

This article is part of our P.E.P. Talk Series. Over the next month, some of the brightest and best authors, business professionals, and coaches are coming together to share their valuable advice for breaking free of “The Golden Handcuff Effect” so you can take full ownership of your careers and experience Professional Emancipation.

Ken Lindner is the author of Your Killer Emotions: The 7 Steps to Mastering the Toxic Emotions, Urges, and Impulses that Sabotage You, which can be purchased from and

(Originally appeared on, March 2013)

Pent-Up Anger and Rage: Some Constructive Solutions

This morning I heard a horrifying story. Allegedly, in stop-and-go traffic, a driver, “A,” stopped quickly, and driver,“B,” behind him slammed on his brakes a bit too late. Allegedly, B’s car hit A’s, and damaged his back bumper. No one was hurt. Allegedly, driver A, like a keg of dynamite that had just been lit, exploded! He stormed out of his car, grabbed a thick metal pipe from his trunk, and raced with a full head of steam to B’s car, yelling every obscenity in the book, as he began smashing B’s car side window, in order to break through the glass (which he did) to injure/kill Driver B. Allegedly, Driver A was taken into custody by the police shortly thereafter.

Over the past 30 years, I have counseled thousands of individuals to master their toxic emotions. One thing that I have learned during this time, is that: If you let your potentially toxic emotions (rage, hurt, hate, fear, hopelessness, rejection and the like) overtake and hijack you, your best judgment, and your reasoning processes, terrible life choices and irreparable damage may well be the result.

We all experience stress in our lives. The key is not to let your stress or your potentially toxic emotions trigger a destructive or self-sabotaging expression of those emotions. Here are some tips to help you to effectively deal with moments of extreme anger or rage, and/or other strong emotions:

*First and foremost: DO NOT make a decision or act when you are overcome by emotions!  Always, stop, cool down, and, as they say, “take the pause that refreshes.”  Additionally, DO NOT opt for an immediate, emotional quick fix, response, or retaliation. (As driver A did.) Oftentimes, we opt for these short-term satisfactions, but in the big picture of our lives, these unthinking, emotion-generated reactions are counter and highly detrimental to accomplishing what we truly want for ourselves in the long term (our Gold Ring Dreams).

*Never reflexively or unthinkingly act when you are angry or enraged!

*ALWAYS strategically identify what you truly want in and from the choice you’re going to make and any action(s) that you will/may take. This means that you must know what you truly value the very most before you make your choices.  This way, you will make well-thought-out choices that reflect and effect your most treasured values and goals.

*Be “Consequence Cognizant.”  This requires you to carefully think about and vividly visualize:

-The most severe and heinous consequences that a poor/destructive emotionally-charged choice on your part can have on your life, your career, and those you love. In this case, Driver A could go to jail for many years for allegedly committing assault with a deadly weapon. This is a horrible consequence for him and his family, that he should have thought about and/or visualized before he acted; and

-The most positive, beneficial outcome(s) that you will secure because you took the requisite time to strategically choose the most constructive course of action.

*If it is appropriate, try to truly understand where the other individual who is pushing your emotional buttons or evoking a potential toxic emotion-generated response from you is coming from. Strive to see things from their point of view. Chat with the person in issue, in an open and non-defensive manner. Oftentimes, learning where others are coming from brings understanding, as well as sympathy/empathy, which can diffuse and thereby lessen the strong energy charges generated by potentially toxic emotions.

*Another means to diffuse your emotion-generated energy charges, is to take a moment to think about all of the blessings and positives in your life/job/career.  In this case, driver A could have taken time to truly appreciate the fact that he wasn’t injured and that the accident could have been much worse. This can help you to cool down from the angst of the moment, so that you are then better able to think clearly and strategically.

*You should avoid making important or potentially pivotal choices when you are tired, experiencing high levels of stress, or have had too much caffeine. Additionally, you never want to make important choices and/or act when you are under the influence of alcohol or clarity-impairing medicinal or recreational drugs. Your goal is to be cognitively clear and precise when making your choices. Therefore, you want to stay away from anything that can impair your cognitive processes.

Your takeaway here, is that there will be times when you will experience potentially toxic emotions such as extreme anger or rage. I use the word “potentially,” because these emotions are toxic to you, if they trigger destructive and/or self-sabotaging acts on your part. What you want to do in these instances, is to not emotionally react in these situations, but to instead, strategically and constructively choose your actions. Channel the potential negative energies that you experience into positive endeavors – thereby using your emotions and their energy charges as your valuable allies. The sweet result may well be that you will act appropriately and constructively by preserving and/or enhancing the things that you hold most dear, as well as gain (increased) feelings of high self-esteem, self-worth, and the core-confidence to achieve your most cherished goals.

Your Killer Emotions is available on and!

Powerful Countermeasures, Century City News article

We are living in a climate of extreme manipulation. There are additives placed in our food to make it more addictive. Chemicals are put in our water. And marketing is flying at us to manipulate us at an unprecedented rate. Add to that the normal manipulation on the job or inside our family. When emotions take over, logic and reason disappear. Take the emotion out of any situation and better decisions get made. Kenny Lindner gives us real tools to make better decisions from that little piece of candy to big career moves and decisions that will affect our families for many generations.

What would happen in our world if everyone took responsibility for ever aspect of his or her lives? We all know how profound the world could instantly be impacted. This is a groundbreaking book based upon decades of empirical experience of managing some of the most talented performers and steering their careers. Back Mr. Lindner’s experience with behavioral science and you get a potent prescription we all need to change our lives and perhaps the world. It is just that simple! We are affected by all the consequences of the decisions we make, big or small. Why not take responsibility for those decisions too? Reframing our decisions to understand those consequences is a great step toward taking responsibility.

Century City is filled with consultants and we all know the first rule of consulting is to sow seeds of doubt and then make yourself indispensible. Consultants are all taught to constantly sell their “expert” status and then reinforce how important they are. But the truth is that those who really are experts don’t need to sell that hard. They make careers. They map out strategies and are worth their pound in flesh. One of those who has achieved “guru” status is now sharing with us his secrets for success. He has guided the careers of some of the most notable celebrities and he now gives us insight into how he has achieved superstar status in the most competitive of businesses… that of agenting.

In the world of broadcast television he has eclipsed many of the larger agencies that have so much more going for them on paper. In spite of all their structural synergies they bring into the realm of broadcast television, Lindner seems to land many of the big fish as an independent and relatively small agency. Why? Because the advice he gives truly is sage advice. In his book, “Your Killer Emotions” he maps out much of the advice he has given for all of us pedestrians, that are not represented by him. In the companion book, “Crunch Time,” he taught us the eight foolproof steps to achieve our goals. This book, “Your Killer Emotions,” is the only voice I have found that frames the conversation in a way that we can all improve our lives by boiling down our choices to really comprehend the ramifications of even the smallest of decisions upon our life.

What may seem like no big deal can turn into quite a big deal after years of having made even the simplest of choices. Consider the choice of eating fast food for every meal. “Supersize Me” was just about such a choice. You all remember the documentary film that opened our eyes to having three meals a day of fast food. The results were not pretty. So that tiny piece of candy we get from the bowl at the bank may not seem that harmful but when we make visits a number of times a day and numerous days throughout the week we are silently killing ourselves with something that seems so innocent. How about exposure to Radio Frequency? Or lawn chemicals? Or food additives? Or hormones? Or genetically modified foods? Or how about a toxic boss? A career choice? A marriage?

Ken Lindner teaches us how to use our negative emotions to reframe our decisions into positive choices as we attempt to understand the true consequences of what we are deciding to do every day of our lives. Ken teaches us what he has been teaching his clients for years… not to be manipulated into doing something harmful. A client may have a contract dispute and that may turn ugly in order to manipulate behavior. By the studio making a continuation difficult they can avoid paying money they are contractually bound to pay. Ken frames the true choice by taking all of the emotion out of the decision and framing it with logic and reason. When we look at true facts and consequences the decision often becomes clear.

I recently watched a very good friend and literary agent go through brain cancer. Seeing his struggles for the past three years and having recently said my “goodbyes” just prior to him passing away I have come to understand that brain cancer is something I never want to experience personally. By using Ken Lindner’s model I am able to reframe my choices of not wanting to suffer and to have those around me suffer and fix some of what is wrong with my life today… for a brighter tomorrow. From this “negative experience” of not wanting to die a slow and miserable death I have commences an exercise program and I have chosen much healthier salads over my normal fare of junk food.

I have become an advocate of Ken Lindner’s self help books because of the profound changes they have made to my own life. My son met Ken briefly during the release of “Crunch Time.” A conversation between Ken and my son led to an action plan and goals as he agreed to read the book. He applied the 8 steps to achieve his Degree and ROTC training leading to lasting changes in his life. My son achieved “Cadet of the Year” in 2011 for the State of California and is currently in Jet Fighter Pilot School for the United States Air Force and he credits much of his success to getting on the right track from having read “Crunch Time” as well as his guidance from Kenny.

“Your Killer Emotions” is in a category all by itself and I highly recommend the book to anyone who wants to get more out of his or her time on the planet.

(Source: Originally published in Century City News, December 26 – January 8, 2013 issue, by Michael Douglas Carlin)