Have you ever been called overly emotional? Do you tend to let your emotions get the better of you?
The chances are that if you’re a woman, it’s highly likely that at one time or another you have been accused of being too emotional.
Over the years I’ve often heard this accusation leveled at women, usually by male colleagues.
Although I don’t like stereotypes, I have to admit that there may be some truth in it.
I can only speak from my own personal experience of course but plenty of women have told me enough horror stories to suggest there’s no smoke without fire.
During my corporate career I worked in large mixed teams with people from all backgrounds often in high-pressure environments. I noticed that my female coworkers had a harder time handling their emotions than men.
I remember a former boss who was constantly stressed out and would alternate between bullying her team to ignoring them with long, stony silences.
Then there was a colleague who would fall to pieces whenever the pressure got too much, or the female employees who would take out their frustrations on customers and clients.
While the men on the whole were able to get on with the task in hand, many talented and potentially brilliant women got stuck in overwhelm, mired in office gossip or became unreasonably competitive with each other.
If you’ve watched the hit UK TV Show The Apprentice and seen the in-fighting between the female contestants at the start of the process, you’ll know exactly what I mean!
I believe that many women fall prey to their emotions which can hold them back not only in the workplace but also in business.
This doesn’t mean that all women are too emotional or that you have to act like a man to succeed.
But if you are an overly emotional person or prone to mood swings you may find it harder to achieve success when you start your business. You may also never fulfill your potential of becoming a true leader to others.
The reason I say this is because I have experienced the whole spectrum of emotions on my own journey over the years. Although I was not overly emotional at work and could handle whatever was thrown at me, setting up my business took me into unfamiliar territory and brought up lots of new emotions like fear and self-doubt.
These days I am a much calmer, wiser person but it actually took me years of practice to become detached in the face of difficulties.
When I started in business, no one really spoke about how to handle your emotions as a female entrepreneur. There was a lot of embarrassment around it and I had to coach myself though pretty much everything.
You may be going through a similar situation so here’s some advice to help you manage your emotions and train yourself to be less emotional.
Starting A Business Is Emotional
While both men and women will experience disappointments, setbacks and triumphs along the way, women tend to feel more deeply and often don’t believe they have what it takes to succeed.
This makes their entrepreneurial journey even more stressful.
There is a lot to grasp in the early stages of any new business, let alone an online one. The never-ending cycle of learning, testing and inevitably – failing – can put you on an emotional roller coaster.
Building a business also takes time.
In the early stages you will probably work harder than you ever did in your day job but still feel like you’re getting nowhere.
At times like this the very qualities that make women strong – sensitivity, empathy, energy, passion, compassion, creativity – can also make them weak.
- You try to run before you can walk but become overwhelmed and confused.
- You get inspired and rush in head-first without fully researching your idea.
- You get roped into working on a friend’s project because you can’t say no.
Add to this the crushing discouragement when people criticize you, disappointment when things don’t work out and the loneliness of being in business for yourself – and you have a recipe for failure.
It’s no wonder that so many women struggle to achieve the success they crave.
Emotions In Business Are Not Bad
Whatever you’re going through, it’s important to realize that emotions in business aren’t bad. As long as there are businesses run by people, there will always be emotions in business.
Feeling emotional is completely normal and a sign that you are a sensitive, passionate and creative person. It shows that you are growing and stretching yourself so pat yourself on the back for daring to step outside your comfort one.
Positive emotions such as excitement and enthusiasm can actually fuel your business.
This is the key thing.
Your emotions are nudging you towards what can be.
But only if you can master them.
Only If you learn how to channel your emotional responses towards the greater success of your business.
So in the above scenarios, you could
- Find a mentor whom you resonate with to guide you step-by-step through the process.
- Talk to someone who has experience in that niche and do some fact-finding of your own.
- Ask yourself if this is something you really want to do, and if it isn’t be bold and say so.
Your Emotions Affect Your Health
There’s another reason why as an entrepreneur you should embrace your emotions but not let yourself get too carried away by your feelings.
Our emotions, good and bad, all have an impact on our health.
Everyone is affected differently, but as the eye-opening image below from Care2.com shows too many negative emotions such as shame, anxiety and envy get mapped in your cells. The heat map shows which parts of the body are affected and as you can see it’s mostly in the upper body – where your vital organs are located.
This image is a striking reminder about the impact of your emotions on your mind, body and spirit. It’s particularly important if you are the main breadwinner for your family (or aiming to be this person).
Simply put, you are central to your business and your livelihood. Without you neither exist.
That’s why until you can set up systems and get your business running on autopilot you must take care of yourself for your and your family’s sake. You must let go of your past, forgive anyone who has wronged you and start to simplify your life.
Most of all, you must recognize what emotional blowouts can do to your mind and body and relieve stress as much as possible.
Whenever I feel emotional or find myself in a stressful situation, I notice where I am holding any tension. Quite often there’s a tightness in my body, butterflies in my tummy or I forget to breathe.
I find that stopping what I’m doing to take a few deep breaths and intentionally sending energy to that part of my body helps me instantly relax and let go of the emotional storm – try it for yourself.
Consciously lowering your stress levels will not only keep you healthy, but will help you to handle emotional situations more effectively.
It will also make you a better business person because without the emotional charge, you will think more clearly and make better decisions.
Besides taking several deep breaths, you could also take a short walk by yourself, meditate, read an uplifting poem or story, or watch a funny movie.
These are simple techniques you can do anytime that will give your emotions a much-needed break, clear your head and allow you to move past a challenging situation.
When you understand that emotions are part of who you are and will crop up many times on your entrepreneurial journey, you are already half way towards managing them effectively.
Although none of us can control external circumstances, we can all control how we respond.
Start to introduce strategies to help you relax more and manage your emotions so that people and unexpected situations don’t trigger an automatic and often negative reaction in you.
This type of self-mastery will help you not only manage your stress levels but also nurture a growing sense of detachment.
The emotional dramas that used to preoccupy you will cease to trouble you.
You will start to feel a sense of accomplishment. You will enjoy your work more and things will fall into place far more easily.
This new found optimism will give you that emotional boost you need to build a successful business.
Over To You
Are you an emotional person? Has this helped or hindered you? What techniques do you use to help you relax and get some perspective on a situation? Please comment and share your thoughts below.