How Managing Your Emotions Can Put You Ahead
This Means You
For some of my male readers out there, this article might seem easy to dismiss. The topic of emotions seems just too touchy-feely. Rest assured — this article is for all of us. We are all creatures of emotion. Just look at some of the things that our emotions affect:
- the relationships we form
- the car we choose to drive
- how we feel when someone cuts us off
- the clothes we wear
- what neighborhood we live in
- the employer we choose to work for
- the kind of business we start
- the relationships we choose to end
Emotions and Small Business Owners
Emotions can cause us small business owners to quit long before we should. It is a form of self-sabotage. Unless we break out of these endless circles we’ve created, we are bound to keep our light from the world. We won’t be able to create more jobs, and we won’t be able to help clients with our unique contributions. Here are just a few examples of self-defeating behavior I have witnessed in small business owners:
- You don’t go to the business networking function because they “never amount to anything.” Instead you sit at home under some level of anxiety as you wonder how you are ever going to find the “one thing” that is going to make a difference in your marketing efforts.
- You compare your 2-year old business to Rebecca’s 6-month old business and get the impression she is doing better than you. Afterwords you sulk at home for the rest of the evening wondering why you “just aren’t any good at this.”
- Your competitor’s website makes you feel like you are using finger paint and crayons when you do yours. Then you beat yourself up for not hiring it done. This beating session causes you lost time from wanting to start on the speech you have to give next week.
How to Break the Cycle
Addressing this could take an entire book. Here I’m going to focus only on breaking the cycle of negative self-talk. It takes a certain level of self-awareness to begin the process of keeping yourself in good head space. Here’s the simple test I use.
Pick a thought or a feeling you are having right now about your business. Ask yourself this question:
Is what I am thinking right now making me feel better or worse about myself?
Just follow the thought for a moment and you will become very aware of where it is leading you. If the thought is building you up and making you feel more confident about where you are, then you are in good shape. If the thought is wearing you down and making you feel diminished, then it is time to get it out of your head. Time to give yourself a mental reboot. I have literally developed the habit of not dwelling on things.
No Longer a Dweller
In the past I used to get really worked up about things that were not going according to my plan, which means I was worked up most of the time. I spent so much time on “if only”, “what if”, and “woulda, shoulda, coulda” that I nearly dwelled myself into exhaustion. I was spinning my wheels yet going nowhere. It took me a LONG time to realize how much time I was wasting. What’s worse is that dwelling is a double whammy. Dwelling usually puts you in an emotional hole that you have to climb from, AND it keeps you from spending time on reaching your goals.
Managing your emotions means that you stop losing time. You are not digging your self a hole that takes time to fill. Managing your emotions means that you believe in yourself. You care enough about yourself to invest only the best thoughts and feelings.
Remember this: If you wouldn’t let someone else treat you badly, then don’t treat yourself badly.