Our emotions can often feel out of control. We can feel trapped to their whims and pulls. If we look once more at the three things we can control, we will find that emotions are not on the list: 

  1. Your actions and choices
  2. Your attitude and perspective
  3. Whom you trust 

You cannot control your emotions and when and how you feel them. But you can control how to respond to them. 


Our usual response would be to Feel-Act-Think. We obey the impulse of the emotion without giving it a second thought and just act right away. But we would like to encourage you to pause when you feel something and think before you act.

Emotions can be viewed like alarms that alert you to something. We should heed the warning but also pause to consider why the alarm is going off before jumping into action. 



We can use the LIDD acronym to help us Feel-Think-Act and stop and consider what our emotions are saying before we act. 

It is important to note that even though the acronym spells out LIDD and we can remember it by thinking about “putting a LIDD on our emotions,” it does not mean that we should refrain from feeling our emotions and push them down. 


The first step of LIDD is to Listen. We should listen to our emotions. It is not healthy and does not help to strengthen your Mental/ Emotional Pillar to pretend your emotions aren’t there. Listening to your emotions is necessary in order to determine what action you should best take. Remember, you don’t control your emotions, but you can control your actions. 


The next step is to Investigate. This is where you can consider why you might be feeling this way and what would have triggered it. If you are familiar with the Moment of Truth tool, you can think about this similarly to the Story stage in a personal MOT. It is important not to see your emotions as problems to be solved, though. We often investigate the reasons behind something so we can stop it from happening again. This time, though, we investigate in order to choose the best action moving forward. 


That brings us to the next step: Decide. Having investigated, we can finally act. That investigation step is the key difference between Feel-Act-Think and Feel-Think-Act. In the latter, we take a pause after we feel an emotion to choose our action and consider what will be the best choice, not just following impulse. 


Finally, we get to Dismiss. We can thank our emotion for the alert, but we don’t need to continue to dwell on it. We are able to do this because we can control our attitude and perspective. Even after experiencing an unpleasant emotion, once we have investigated and decided, we can decide to continue with a positive attitude. 

Using the four steps of LIDD, Listen-Investigate-Decide-Dismiss, we can take advantage of the three things we can control to have agency over our emotions instead of letting them decide for us.  

Gracie McBride is the Content and Systems Management Coordinator for The Crossroad.