Live and Lead for Impact with Kirsten E. Ross

EP 258 Examine Your Emotions 

Emotions are good.  They give us information.  But, they are different from fact.  If your entire life is dictated by your emotions, you may be all over the road.  An emotional roller coaster is not amusing for you or those around you.  Moods and emotions can shift with more than just our circumstance.  Sometimes we are just eating the wrong foods or lacking sleep.  And without healthy boundaries in your relationships, your emotions can swing along with the people in your life.  

Misaligned frustration taken out on a co-worker, family member or friend can lead to unnecessary conflict that may require you to go into clean up mode.   And the emotion of anger can really wreak havoc.  You probably already know this but anger usually is not the real emotion.  More often you are actually scared, sad, disappointed, or your ego might be bruised

Anger can be a very toxic emotion.  Too often we let it build up.  One hundred tiny offenses left unaddressed to fester can create an atomic bomb size blow up.  And the spew will be aimed at the offending party or an unlucky uninvolved recipient.  It could be the woman working the drive thru window.  

Or, perhaps your habit is to ignite huge anger for even the tiniest infraction.  Small incidents made bigger can have you reacting and angry most of your day.  

Recently, a family business client shared that when he visits one of their locations he makes a point to walk around and say hello to everyone.  “Last Friday”, he continued, “my brother responded with ……an expletive.”

I looked at the brother and in a sarcastic tone he shared, “He walks around all cheerful saying, ‘good morning’ to everyone.  It’s so annoying!”

The story he created in his mind generated an outburst not at all consistent with the mere facts.  

You might read that and laugh but I ask, are there times when you are reacting bigger than you need to?

Anger takes energy and is not fun to be around.  The waitress forgot your drink.  Is that really worth the incensed, eye roll reaction? Maybe you can give her grace and move on with your day.

I ask clients to consider emotions objectively.  Never stuff them but don’t treat them as fact.  If your energy dips and you are having, “one of those days,” know that it is your choice to stay there or not.   Here’s some food for thought to 

  • Is the focus of the feeling misdirected?  Is there a reason beyond my current circumstance that generated this feeling?  Have I been triggered by a past hurt, am I hungry or tired? 
  • Is there an alternative way to think about an incident?  Maybe it’s funny rather than aggravating. 
  • Is that small error worthy of your energy or can you let it go and move on.  I always say, “Don’t let anyone zap your joy!”  Why let a small something put a damper on your day?  You get to choose.
  • Speak up when it’s warranted.  Don’t let a build up of small things that could be handled one at a time to create a volcano.  How many great days are you losing as you collect those annoyances rather than address them?
  • Create a rule.  If I’m not willing to talk about it must not be worthy of my energy to be mad.   The bible reveals a similar sentiment:

Take Action Task

Where are you letting emotions get the best of you?  Do you have anger you need to release?

Direct download: 258.mp3
Category:leadership -- posted at: 1:00am EDT