Some people seem to be more in control of their emotions while others are clearly consumed and greatly influenced by their emotions. Those who seem to be in control of their emotions are generally calm and patient in times of either extremes of emotions, be it very positive or very negative emotions. Those who are not in control of their emotions do not control their behaviour and activities but they allow their behaviour to be controlled by the emotions while in the moment of the emotion. But what sets this difference between the two groups of people? Which side would you rather be? These are some of the questions that we want to explore today.
First, it is important to clearly state from the onset that being in control of one’s emotions is a key driver for success – one that would be an appropriate characteristic of the rise and shine fraternity! All rise and shine enthusiasts need to aspire to either adopt or continue with the spirit of being in control of one’s personal emotions.
Turning to what makes this difference between the two types of people under discussion here – it is all down to whether one has self-awareness or not. Self-awareness is the self-observation that detects our emotions as they occur and alerts us to be conscious of how we feel in the moment. According to psychologists John Mayer of New Hampshire University and Peter Salovey of Yale University, self-awareness means being aware of both our mood and our thoughts about that mood. For example, two people may be equally angry but the first one may not have self-awareness and the second one may have self-awareness. The one without self-awareness will simply be consumed by the anger and will not really be aware that he or she is angry. On the other hand, the one who has self-awareness will be telling himself or herself “I think what I am feeling here is anger.”
Just by realising that you are angry, for example, makes you control your emotions. You are already on the course to controlling your emotions once you are aware of them. This is the power of self-awareness. By controlling your emotions, we are not talking about suppressing emotions. We all need some emotions – both the good and the bad, the positive and the negative emotions. That is what makes life thrilling and enjoyable. Life without emotions, or a life full of only positive emotions would be boring and ‘dull’! We need to be taken on some kind of roller coaster!
What is important is to strike the right balance between different emotions. What is your net result – are you typically sad or angry? Are you typically happy and positive, energetic? Mind your average and typical state of emotions. By being continuously self-aware, you stand the chance to strike the right balance in this complex mix of emotions. The knowledge that self-awareness is important in balancing off one’s emotions helps you to cultivate, nurture and sustain your own self-awareness.
The challenge comes in if you belong to a group of approximately 5% of the people according to works by researchers in this area. This is a group of people who seriously believe that there is nothing one can do about emotions and so they allow to always be carried away by their emotions. Stand apart and be counted in the top tier group of people who not just sometimes, but always use self-awareness to ‘tame’ their emotions to keep them within controllable and measurable levels.
This will set you on the accelerated path to sustainable success. With the right balance of your emotions, with a good control over your emotions, you stand to be successful because you will rarely make mistakes or wrong decisions simply because of being taken over by emotions. If you already do this, continue using your self-awareness to manage your emotions. If you have not been using your self-awareness to ‘tame’, control and manage your emotions, please start now so that you too can rise and shine! Good luck!