In this video I talk about the importance of emotional mastery. This is more about raising awareness than offering solutions. 

That doesn’t make it any less important. Often, understanding a problem is the first step to overcoming it. 

If you prefer to read, rather than to watch, you’ll find a transcription below. This is an automatically generated transcript so please excuse any errors.

This is a quick video for anybody who wants to learn more about self management, and in particular for people who might be prone to emotional outbursts.

Now we probably all overreact to some extent from time to time. And we try not to, of course, but perhaps it’s just part of being human. If it’s something that happens more than very occasionally, though, there is a good chance that it’s getting in the way.

Now, when I say self management, the reality is the only thing that we can manage is ourself. Sure, it would be good to be able to manage the traffic, it’d be great if we could manage the weather. And wouldn’t life be so much easier if we could manage other people’s behavior, but you probably already know that is not realistic. And that trying to control the uncontrollable is one of the biggest root causes of stress and anxiety that there is.

Now I can’t remember who it was that said that learning to manage yourself is one of the greatest skills you will ever learn in life and in business. It’s not important who said it, what is important is how true it is.

Now, think of somebody that that you know, either personally or from afar, somebody that you consider to be successful in life, yet doesn’t seem to get stressed. Nothing seems to faze them. But yet, they’re not pushover. They’re not weak, they just good at staying calm under pressure.

Now, think of somebody you know who’s the opposite of that someone who still gets things done, but he’s constantly stressed or they’re prone to emotional flare ups. Given a choice, which of those kinds of people would you like to be, the car person or the person who constantly seems to be butting heads with life?

Now I talked a moment ago, about a person who’s a little always a little bit stressed, and another who might be calm one minute and then explodes the next. Now, neither of these are great, but that’s for very different reasons. Low Level stress is bad for your health period.

Human beings are amazing. And we are able to cope with really high levels of stress for a short period of time. It’s all part of our survival mechanism. But it’s that low level stress, it’s that chronic stress that is really bad for you. The British Heart Foundation stopped short of saying that stress causes heart attacks. But what they do say is that it’s often a contributing factor. And the fact is chronic or, constant, stress makes people physically ill. In a work situation, there is another downside. And that is that people don’t make good decisions when good decisions when they stressed. So if you run a business, or if you work for a company, being in a constant stress state can be disastrous, because you’re just going to make bad decisions all of the time.

Also, think about people you know, who constantly stressed what’s it like to be around them? Is it pleasant? Or is it hard work? As you know, any kind of business relies on good relationships with colleagues and customers? So ask yourself the question, Who do I want to show up as that person who is often stress to that person who’s always calm under pressure.

And then there’s the person who’s prone to outbursts to emotional outbursts, now that cannot be good for their blood pressure. But once again, what is it like to be around somebody who’s like that, probably always tread on eggshells, because you don’t know how they’re going to react to anything that you say or do. And that means that for people like that the people around them won’t be performing at their best either. And it doesn’t make for a creative or successful environment.

For the purpose of this video, I want to focus on the second scenario, the person who has the big reactions. I’ve heard people describe this as like having a red mist descending on them, or maybe a feeling welling up inside them, and then temporarily losing their control and just reacting to things. That always reminds me of The Incredible Hulk. Now, the Incredible Hulk is a great guy to have around. But as they say, in the film, you would not like him when he’s angry.

So what can you do about this? Well, long term is about learning about yourself. Why is it that you get so upset about things that don’t seem to bother other people? What is it about that particular thing that really grinds your gears? And very often, the truth is, the real reason is buried quite a long way below the surface, but it’s always well worth going mining for these things. Because learning about yourself, learning about your conscious and your subconscious drivers is always a good thing.

And long term the solution is off also about learning new behaviors. Because people who do react in this way you think don’t like it. They often they don’t choose to be like that. Often they’re a little bit embarrassed about it. And sometimes they even feel they’re a little bit flawed in some way. But the good news is that that’s not true. If you’ve learned one behavior, you can learn a different behavior instead, you can always learn to respond differently. What if you could choose your response under different conditions? How useful would that be?

See, the truth is there’s always going to be traffic jams, there is always going to be things that break at the most inconvenient time and there is always going to be people who lie to you. You can’t change any of those things. But what you can change is the way that you respond to them. So that’s the long term, the long term approach, but what about the short term, and this is a little bit different.

This is all about learning to take control of your stress levels, because most people, if not all, people who are prone to emotional outbursts have stress levels that are way too high.

Think of it like this, if you imagine a bucket with a hose pipe that’s constantly dripping water in and somebody cuts you off in traffic drip the supermarket queues too long, and you you’re running late for an important meeting, drip, drip, your computer crashes, 30 seconds before a video call drip, drip, or colleague makes an effort that makes an error and they try to cover it up. Or they try and blame you for drip, drip, drip. That’s called life, you can’t change any of these things. And for most people, it’s not a problem, because their bucket has a hole in the bottom as well. And there’s water leaking out of that. So as long as it’s leaking out of the bottom, faster than it’s empty and at the top, then everything’s okay. But what if you don’t have a hole in your bucket? Or what if water is dripping out faster than it’s escaping.

So if water is dripping in faster than it’s escaping, then there is a problem because at some point, it is going to overflow, and people explode when their emotional bucket is too full. And then just one little thing on top causes it to overflow. The reason it gets that full in the first place is that you don’t even notice it’s happening. One drip at a time when you don’t notice the bucket filling up until you get to that last drop. This isn’t complicated. This is cause and effect. If you get a full bucket and add one drop of water to it, it will overflow it happens every time. There are no exceptions to this.

Now notice that I’m not giving you a solution here. What I want to do is draw your attention to the problem, the chances are that if you’ve got this far, then what you need most at this stage is awareness. I can’t give you the solution anyway, how can I I don’t even know you. I think it’d be pretty arrogant of me to to sit here and in my ivory tower and think that I’ve got the answer for you. Because no two people stress is the same. And no two people stress solution is ever the same either.

All that I or anybody else could do in a video like this is give you some generalities that you can find anywhere on the internet. And all that does is give you a short term or temporary relief, short term fix or temporary relief. Now if I were to try and give you a fix, the next time you get stressed you have to come back to me again to fix it again for you. And all that does is to build your reliance on Me. And that doesn’t solve anything.

The good news is that now you’re more aware that your bucket is pretty full, you can start to ask yourself some intelligent questions, maybe questions like: what do I already know how to do that’s going to reduce my stress levels? What are the things that cause me stress? And how can I deal with them differently? How can I start to notice that things are building up earlier so that I can deal with them more effectively.

I’m sure that you can come up with many other good questions. But if you’re struggling to find these for yourself, then then find yourself a good stress coach. Because while you’re stressed you’re not being effective in your business or your work life.

One thing that’s important to remember if you do explode sometimes, it’s important to remember that you are not a bad person you are not flawed or broken in any way. It’s just that your bucket is too full, and it’s time to let some of that water out.

If you’d like to find out how full your bucket is right now, give me a call or send me an email and let’s get together for 10 minutes. I’ll help you to measure exactly what your stress levels are right now and I can help you to understand what level it is that you should be aiming for. The more awareness you have the problem, the easier it’s going to be for you to find the solution.