Do emotions take control of your decisions?

Have you ever been in a situation where you have let your emotions dictate your actions? We all have! When emotions are running high, any situation can turn deadly, especially if it is confrontational in nature; giving rise to an environment of great toxicity and possibly followed a string of bad and illogical decisions.

Acting on our emotions means we are allowing our feelings to take control and depending on the type of situation one is in, this can either be a good thing (if the feelings are positive in nature) or a bad thing (if they are negative in nature). Anyone who has been at crosshairs with very emotional individuals will tell you that such people believe their feelings are more justified, and their actions more entitled. And while their intention may have been to put a point across, their emotional outbursts normally negate the contents of the message. This point of departure leads to different communication outcomes between the parties, and it is the reason why is it important for one to effectively manage their emotions.  Thus, bringing in the concept of Emotional Intelligence.

According to the Institute of Health and Human Potential (IHHP), Emotional Intelligence has been defined as the ability to recognize, understand and manage our own emotions and recognize, understand and influence the emotions of others. Emotions can drive our behavior and impact people (positively and negatively) and learning how to manage these emotions – both our own and others is what constitutes emotional intelligence.

The higher the level of emotional intelligence, the more in control one is of their emotions and the more likeable their personality is. How well you regulate your emotional rollercoaster reflects on your personality. The messier your emotions, the less likeable your personality becomes. To improve on your personality and make it more likeable, you must manage your emotions.

When it comes to Personal Branding, Personality is one of the unique characteristics that defines an individual. A great Personal Brand is driven not just by one’s expertise but by one’s personality too. And when the emotions trigger negative behavior, the immediate impact on one’s likeability results in a diminished Personal Brand.

How then do you manage your emotions for the better?

According to Kendra Cherry, people who have fewer emotional skills tend to get in more arguments, have lower quality relationships, and have poor emotional coping skills. Feelings come and go and while it is important to acknowledge the feelings we experience, acting on them prematurely could lead to having disastrous relationships and this could in turn affect our personal brands.

To make sure we are not blindsided by our emotions, we need to:

  1. Take a moment to pause and evaluate the situation more keenly. By taking the time to analyze the situation fully, you are giving yourself time to stop, cool off and think back on the situation away from the heat of it. If the decision taken remains the same pre and post cool off period, then perhaps that was the right decision after all!
  2. Accept that every situation has more than one viewpoint. Differences exist in everything, and it is our differences that create harmony in life. Are you willing to accept that not everything / everyone will align with your point of view? There is a reason the coin has 2 sides; perspectives will always vary in everything.
  3. Lay off the blame game and accept responsibility. Accepting responsibility for one’s feelings allows us to take control of the situation at hand and this in turn gives us the power to find solutions. When you find yourself looking to blame everyone else around you, look inside and find out what emotional outburst led to the said situation. Only then will you be able to deal with it accordingly.
  4. Take a deep breath and reset. If need be and where possible, setting back to factory settings is one good tactic of last resort that will allow you to wipe the slate clean and start off afresh, letting go of any past emotional baggage. This is a practice that is easier said than done and may probably require professional support.

To excel in life, it is important to fully own your emotions but never let them take control of your actions. Your emotions are like your inner children, the more you discipline them, the more in tune they will be to the different circumstances.

Control your emotions and #standout4growth.

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