Do you have any friends who use Facebook as a platform to share everything they’re doing with the world? Is there someone you know who leaves you no doubt as to what is on her mind? Do some of the people you know worry even when there is nothing to worry about?
We’re all tempted to be dramatic from time to time. Life assaults us with stressors. People disappoint us when we count on them the most.
Don’t you wish there was a magic pill? Here’s a video from someone who claims she found one.
Unfortunately, there’s no real magic pill. In this article, we’ll look at some techniques that work like one!
The Biggest Roadblock
We all have emotions. It’s part of who we are as human beings. Unless you’re dead, it’s only natural to feel excited when things go your way. And it’s not unusual for you to feel a little deflated when you have a setback.
The trouble comes because our emotional responses are more habit than anything else.
Here’s an example from my own life. Years ago, we got a new dog. When dogs are puppies, they love to chew on things – everything. And they don’t care whether what they’re chewing on is a prized possession or a piece of trash. If it looks good, they chew on it.
Well, I did pretty well until I came to my bookshelf. One the floor were scattered a tattered pile of paperbacks. The dogearred corners were chewed off and still wet with slobber. I felt the fire of anger rise inside me and burn in my chest. I saw visions of strangling the dog and hanging him from the rafters to die. In my mind I heard the thrashing of pages as the puppy merrily slung the books to and fro while they were clenched in his teeth.
I griped to my wife. I griped to my kids. I griped to my coworkers.
You know what? The books were still mangled. The dog was blissfully unaware of how I felt. And I ruined what could have been a good week.
If you don’t plan ahead to keep your cool when a tornado twists through your circumstances, you’ll let your emotions run you over.
Let’s look at some specific ways you can control your emotions in any situation.
5 Ways to Effectively Manage Your Emotions
1. Be objective.
If you want to effectively control your emotions, you must see things as they are.
Imagine being in an airplane 30,000 feet in the air. You can see a lot more from there than you can on the ground, can’t you? You’ll be able to see how one thing connects to another. You’ll experience the feeling that those things you thought were enormous aren’t really so big after all.
That’s what it’s like to have an accurate map of the world.
Your emotional responses are only as good as your map.
2. Consider the damage you might cause by being emotional.
Making decisions based on emotion moves you to buy a house that’s too expensive because you’ve fallen in love with it. Then before you know it, you’re up to your neck in debt, you have to borrow money just to buy gas for your car, and the housing market just went soft.
When emotions get hotter than a house on fire, you say things you regret. The difference is you can rebuild the house. But you might not be able to rebuild your relationship. Both will cost you time, expense, and heartache.
When you are emotionally stable, you’ve got the best damage control available. Stand like a rock at all times. People will feel your weight, but they won’t be crushed.
3. Remember that you’re a role model to those you lead.
As a leader, you set the climate for your organization. If you’re as unpredictable as a land mine, your people will always be looking over their shoulders. Stay consistent and they’ll be free to do what they’re supposed to.
When people look up to you, they follow you with their eyes. Sure, they may hear what you say. But they pay a lot more attention to what you do. They can tell the temperature of your temper by looking at your facial expressions. What you feel inside always makes it way to your face. Stay calm and your face will support you.
Your people are like mirrors. When you work without worry, they will too. When you’re positive and upbeat, they’ll copy that. If you’re angry, they’ll respond by putting on emotional armor to protect themselves.
4. Don’t give in to excessive displays.
Have you ever watched a football game where the running back sails into the end zone and immediately starts his victory dance?
What about that star player who misses the shot and immediately grits his teeth, shakes his head, and mutters some profanity?
Both of these are what John Wooden called excessive displays of emotion.
Having emotional control requires discipline. You’ve got to develop it while the winds of life are calm. Think of it as building reserves for a rainy day. It’s like practicing for a big game. When the test comes, if you’ve strengthened your muscles, you’ll be ready to stand strong.
5. Be intensely aggressive instead.
We said before that you are an emotional creature. It’s in your nature.
You can’t shake them off.
You can use them to your advantage.
Pour that emotion into your calling. Do your work with all your might. Lead your people to the promised land. Don’t let any distraction or pressure knock you off course. Keep your destination always before you. Sail as though you can’t lose. When a setback comes, alter your course. Don’t change your decision to get there.
If you can have that kind of intensity, there’s little you can’t accomplish. And there’s almost nothing the people you lead won’t do to help you get there.
Now Put These Tools to Work
Go ahead now and start developing emotional control.
You won’t be rattled by anything no matter how intense.
You’ll make better decisions because your head will be clear.
And you’ll set the climate rather than following the winds of circumstance.
Then you’ll be a leader others will love to follow.