DR. E. CAROL WEBSTER’S
E. Carol Webster, Ph.D.
Original Copyright © 2008
Many bright, technically competent people fail to get as far as they could in their careers because they can’t control themselves emotionally. They get upset easily, yell, scream and throw things, or simply feel it necessary to say everything on their mind regardless of how inappropriate this is. Others burst into tears at the drop of a hat and become known for melting down, running from the room, or rushing into others’ offices to discuss any problem that confronts them. Even when good things are happening to them, some feel compelled to shout out in glee, jump up and down, and give full expression to the joy they are feeling. While emotional expression at work is fine to a degree, highly successful individuals are in control of themselves. You must be too.
Don’t Give Yourself Permission
Gain greater control over your emotions by rejecting the notion that it’s okay to “let loose.” It isn’t okay. Many people have grown up with the idea that the best way to cope with stress is to vent so they unleash on others whenever they become the slightest bit taxed. Some do the same with positive emotions. They have learned that being “authentic” means giving full expression to feelings of warmth, happiness, and affection. This may be fine in your personal life, but people don’t come to work to be wrapped in the xxx of your emotions. They’re there to do a job and they need for you to know how to keep yourself together. So change your internal rules to consider outbursts – positive or negative – as unacceptable.
Stop and Think
When things happen, it’s tempting simply to react. When you’re in a leadership position and are responsible for many people and resources, you have to be able to do better than this. You’re expected to remain calm and to maintain your composure. This serves as a model for others and helps them to do the same. So stop, take a deep breath, and give yourself a chance to think about the best thing to do next. Often you will conclude that ranting and raving is not going to improve the situation at hand. Give yourself a chance to calm down and to reflect upon what’s going on. This helps you to think straight and to come up with an effective solution. It also helps you to consider what the likely consequences will be for acting out on your emotions. It’s very difficult to do this when your mind is clouded by rage or intense emotions of any nature.
Tough-minded people are sturdy, resilient, and persevere in the face of difficulty. They keep focus when problems confront them, and bounce back from adversity. They realize that set-backs are a fact of life, address them swiftly, and move on to better days ahead. Understandably, you may complain that this does not allow you to be as spontaneous and emotive as you prefer to be. But embrace tough-mindedness as a work skill, not a requirement that you change who you are. Accept that it’s a positive thing to be able to keep your emotions in tow.
It’s possible to learn how to control your emotions better. Much of it has to do with your attitude and acceptance of the fact that emoting and acting out is not acceptable in the workplace. While you can do this on your own, don’t hesitate to get coaching or to visit your EAP if you find that you can’t rein it in on your own. Successful people realize this and take the steps necessary to strengthen themselves personally and professionally.
About the Author:
Dr. E. Carol Webster is a clinical psychologist consultant in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
She is author of the book for those dealing with the stress of success ―
Success Management: How to Get to the Top and Keep Your Sanity Once You Get There,
The Fear of Success: Stop It From Stopping You! ―
the book to help you overcome fears that may be holding you back in your life and career
The Private Practice of Clinical Psychology in: Voices of Historical & Contemporary Black American Pioneers
To contact Dr. Webster visit online at http://drcarolwebster.com or call 954.797.9766.
E. Carol Webster, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychology Consulting
Mailing Address: 7027 West Broward Boulevard, #262 Fort Lauderdale, FL 33317
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