Super Habit #48: Keep Your Emotions In Check

Great leaders should practice self-control. We all should. If you can’t control yourself, how do you expect to effectively lead and influence others? When we let our emotions get the best of us, we lose focus of what’s important: the present moment.

Managing Emotions Is Key to Self-Control

I’m no master of the art of self-control. Sometimes I am quick to anger over stupid little things. But it’s not just the negative emotions that we need to control. Any emotion can get out of control. Let’s consider the six primary emotions:

  1. Joy: It’s easy to get excited about something when things are going well. But too much happiness can quickly throw you off track. If you’re busy celebrating your successes, you fail to implement necessary tasks.
  2. Fear: This one will kill your dreams in their tracks. Whether you fear failure or judgment, it can stop you from moving forward. Like any other emotion, a little bit of fear can be a good thing, especially if you’re thinking about doing something overly risky, but keep it in check.
  3. Surprise: Similar to joy, surprise can overwhelm us. If you unexpectedly win a big contract for your business, you might be surprised. But if you dwell on those emotions instead of getting to work, you might lose the contract.
  4. Sadness: Grief and sadness are natural emotions. But don’t get stuck. Getting stuck in the past will not do much for your future. If you continue to struggle with grief or sadness, seek professional help.
  5. Hate: It’s easy to be jealous or hateful toward others when we are not confident in our own abilities. Don’t do it. Comparisons and feeling hateful toward your competition is a killer.
  6. Anger: No one likes to be around an angry or grumpy person. Like the other primary emotions, remaining angry for any length of time will hinder your experience in the present moment.

Start Right Now

The best time to practice self-control is right now. Whether you’re struggling with an unhealthy habit or you’re mad at your neighbor, it’s never the wrong time to start focusing on emotional control. Self-control is really about being present. If you continually do your best to stay in the here and now, you’ll be making a big step toward a greater ability to control your emotions.