Let's talk about emotions and how important it is to have the skills and tools and strategies to be able to control our emotions. To do so, let's use Miles, one of my clients, as an example. (Obviously, I changed his name, rest assured!) Keep reading or watch the video below for more...
Miles is an executive in a multimillion dollar import/export franchise. One day, he showed up to his session feeling very upset and stressed. He told me that a colleague of his, a partner, a friend, even, had suddenly gone behind his back and sold him out to the executive board of the company. That guy had made a play for his own advancement, at the expense of Miles' career and reputation. It was a very cold move, and Miles was completely blindsided.
He was also hurt, because his partner was also a close friend of his. They had worked together for a long time and were friends outside of the office. He was an older gentleman, and he had advised Miles on many matters. Miles had trusted him. Obviously, my client was struggling to deal with the situation, although he had been working in the corporate world for decades and was used to cutthroat power maneuvers and tough negotiations. Normally, he would've cold headedly countered the scenario and found a way to come out on top, or at least preserve his reputation and move with his head high. It was not the first time that he'd been stabbed in the back in his professional life, but for some reason, this time, he was frozen.
He was stuck, and he found himself acting foolishly, and in his own words, "like an amateur". He was losing control of the situation. He was worried about his family, about his future. Throughout our sessions, Miles was able to see that what was making him act like an amateur was the hurt and the anger that was in his prefrontal cortex. The feelings he was experiencing were preventing him from accessing his usual resourceful self and his ability to react with confidence. He also discovered that the emotions he'd been carrying had been in his life since his mother left his family when he was young.
At the time, those strong feelings had helped him cope with the rejection and the abandonment, and they had creeped up occasionally in his life, whenever a girlfriend or a friend broke things off for one reason or another, for example, but they had never occurred in his professional life, where his livelihood was at stake.
We identified that these negative emotions had served him in the past when he was a child, when he had no other option but to bury his mother's abandonment with powerful feelings of anger. If he could be angry at her, then he wouldn't have to face the hard truth, that his own mother had rejected him. But as an adult, he could face the abandonment and know that it was never about him, just as his colleague's betrayal was not about him either. Those feelings were no longer serving him, and it was time to let them go.
Once Miles was able, with my help, to disconnect emotionally from the situation, he could see it for what it was and face it head on. He acknowledged that his colleague was nearing the end of his career, and that he was trying to assert his relevance in the company one last time. He might even see Miles as his own replacement. When Miles accepted his colleague's action as a self-motivated act and not as a personal rejection, because he had the button of personal rejection on his chest, Miles was able to calm down and think clearly about what to do about this situation.
Once he had access to his personal best self, because he is a really smart man, then he devised a logical plan of action that would be beneficial to him and to the company and would still leave his colleague in a good light. He presented his case to upper management in a very reasonable, non-emotional way, and the board was able to see his side. His colleague was actually invited to retire amicably, and Miles was promoted because of his resourcefulness and his ability to turn a professional crisis into a business opportunity.
When Miles stopped being angry and hurt and started being curious about the situation and what he could learn from it, he disconnected the button that was on his chest and was able to put his past behind him and move forward.
The decisions that leaders make on a daily basis are sometimes worth tens of thousands of dollars, and it is imperative that they make these decisions with a calm mind, using their best self rather than based on stressful emotions or past limiting beliefs. We have to work on what's holding us back and what is making these powerful emotions take control over us, and making us act as amateurs, in Miles' words.
If you sometimes find yourself acting foolishly without really knowing why, well, there might be something that we can uncover and a button we can disconnect so that you don't have to deal with that anymore. Let's have a chat!
DISCONNECTED TRIGGER BUTTONS = MORE CONFIDENCE
We have to work on what's holding us back and what is making these powerful emotions take control over us.
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- The List of the 15 Keys to Confidence.
- Questions for You to Assess Your Current Situation.
- Questions for You to Take Action.
Check out some of my previous blog posts...
Stress Series Part One: Who Invented Stress?
Stress Series Part Two: 5 Strategies to Reduce Stress
Stress Series Part Three: 22 Powerful Questions to Face Stress