Engineers are analytical and logical problem solvers. Feelings are often buried deep under their ideas, thinking and frankly under other much cooler things to do – like fixing problems other people didn’t know they had!
While each engineer is unique there are many common things we share. Like a love for: winning an argument, wit, gadgets, new ideas, the gift of sarcasm and Star Trek – which my husband and I have been watching a lot of lately (he is also an engineer). Spock is my favorite character with Captain Kirk and Scotty tied for second.
As you watch the Star Trek prequels you see Spock begin to get in touch with his emotional side. While always annoyingly truthful, full of facts and data Spock has never been able to shake the 50% of himself that is human – the part of him that feels.
Can you relate to Spock?
Feelings and emotions are messy and hard for us to tap into because thinking is the engineers comfort zone. Yet according to researcher Brene Brown, “Emotions are what bread connection, creativity and innovation”. Some of the most creative and innovative engineers have figured this out. Not only did they not run from their emotions they worked to understand them so they could live an integrated life.
Why do we as engineers think we’re not allowed to feel?
I believed that for over 30 years! Why? Because as the Borg warns in Star Trek “You will be assimilated.” And overtime I was. Without even knowing it the below lies became part of my belief system – killing my creativity and slowly my soul. But for each lie I have learned a more powerful truth.
Lie #1: Tapping into your emotions requires you to be vulnerable and vulnerability is weakness.
Truth #1: Vulnerability requires extreme courage. It’s pretending that’s easy.
Lie #2: People will think I am weak if I show emotion.
Truth #2: Those who fear other’s emotions often haven’t learned how to deal with their own.
Lie #3: If I let my emotions out of their cage – I’ll get fired.
Truth #3: If you go off on your boss or co-worker yes you will likely be fired – that’s not what I mean. Ask yourself this – are you in the right job? Releasing your passion for your work is a much better and freer way to live. If you can’t show your passion at work – seriously consider a new gig.
Lie #4: That’s just not who I am.
Truth #4: Every living human being was created by God with feelings. The issue is that we are often scared of our own emotions, have had them shut off for way too long or are just too obsessed and busy striving that we simply haven’t noticed them.
Lie #5: If I am too emotional people will question my competency.
Truth #5: I know that competency is the Holy Grail for engineers however it is possible to be passionate and competent; these two traits build each other up.
As an engineer myself, I sometimes just have to laugh at God’s sense of humor. He used me, a logical woman who once never let her guard down or talked about her emotions, to publish a book on transformation.