Zen Focus

Why you need emotional control to be successful

There are many personal attributes needed to generate success. And everyone has a different version of what success means to them.

But one thing is clear.

In order to grow in your business, build on your success and strive for more, you need to interact with others in the workplace, whether that be with work colleagues, corporate clients or retail customers.

And it's these interactions that can make or break your business success.

The thing is, even though you may start well, there will come a time when your actions are tested. And what is the primary driver of your actions?


Emotions determine how you act and react. They govern how your customer makes decisions. They're present everywhere, in all aspects of our lives.

So, to create and maintain success, you need to be able to have emotional control, otherwise your emotions can take over.

Emotions in business are a good thing – they will always be there. But if you’re able to control your emotions, they can be harnessed to be a powerful thing.  

So how do you actually control your emotions?

Understand your emotions

Firstly, you need to accept that emotions are going to arise in your day-to-day business life. But embrace it and start to understand your emotions. Start to get an idea of what happens and when.

Try to get a hold of what triggers your emotions when at work or as an entrepreneur, when you come across certain aspects of your daily routine. It may be someone else’s incompetence or disrespect from a colleague that causes anger or even mistakes you make that causes shame or nervousness.

Begin to get a feel on when these emotions materialise so you’re able to identify where the root comes from.

If you’re able to do this, it will become clearer why your decision making may not always be the best.

And once you can consistently pinpoint what is affecting your emotions, you will more easily be able to control those emotions and react more professionally.

You need to increase your emotional intelligence.

And when you can do this, you’ll know how to separate your emotions and not be ruled by them.

How to get a stronger hold on what you feel

No one said controlling your emotions will be easy.

It takes hard work and a lot of introspection.

But you can start by describing to yourself what you feel – and go deep here!

This will enable you to become more self-aware and be more objective. Then attempt to distance yourself from these feelings.

Try to look at them rationally and if necessary separate yourself from these feelings. Remember that your emotions, especially those that you may sometimes show to others, don’t define who you are.

You have the ability to choose your response to the feelings or thoughts you have. Keep reminding yourself of this.

Many people keep a journal, meditate or practice mindfulness in their desire to be more aware, so as to control their emotional behaviour.

One or more of these things could work for you too.

Build emotional control by asking yourself questions

If you feel that your stress levels are rising – and let’s face it, as an entrepreneur or business owner this is likely to happen a lot – then take a more introspective look at your how you feel, it will help to keep your emotions at bay.

At this point, ask yourself some questions:

  1. Why are you feeling nervous or anxious?
  2. Can you sense panic building?
  3. Are you concerned over something uncertain or difficult that’s around the corner?

If this is the case, then why do you feel this way?

  1. Are you worried that you won’t be able to fulfil a promise or complete some work?
  2. Are you concerned that your work won’t be of the required standard?
  3. Do you have a heavy workload that’s getting on top of you?
  4. Do you just not have all the facts to provide you with a sense of relief?

How do you make these negative emotions go away?

  1. Write your emotions down, ease your mind of negative thoughts and put it down on paper.
  2. Think positively – are there any benefits to come from your situation? Write all these down too.
  3. Go out for a walk to clear your mind.
  4. Close your eyes, take deep breaths, try to create calmness in your mind (do a little meditation).
  5. Talk to someone you trust.
  6. Get all the facts – the answers may become clearer and your initial reactions may not be warranted.
  7. Speak with a mentor who can provide you with good advice.

So, before you let your emotions spill out, start to get a hold of them in their initial stages and instead of reacting, just stop.

Take a little time to listen to your feelings. Get clarity in your thoughts. Understand your next course of action. And then make a more considered decision.

It may take some time, but being able to control your emotions will enable you to have more clarity of thought, which in turn will lead to stronger and better decision making.

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