If you’re like me, you’ve probably had your fair share of ups and downs while being an entrepreneur. There are moments where everything is going great and then the next moment it feels like everything has gone wrong. The hard truth is that this rollercoaster ride will continue to happen but how we deal with negative emotions as an entrepreneur can change our lives for the better.
Did you ever think about why you think of negative emotions more than positive emotions?
Our brain is wired to think of most things with a negativity bias. This is because this way of thinking was very useful when humans had to fight for survival. Nowadays, this way of thinking is more hurtful than helpful. To change these negativity biases, you will have to retrain your brain to see in a more logical way.
There are many different types of negative emotions that a person can feel. Examples include: Frustration, anger, sadness, disappointment, fear, uncertainty and anxiety. These are some of most common negative emotions that people feel when doing business. There are other negative emotions as well.
Qualities You Need To Have To Deal With Negative Emotions
You need to have certain qualities if you want to deal with negative emotions effectively.
These are the qualities you need to have:
- Self Awareness
Being self aware is important because it will allow to actually recognize what negative emotions you are feeling. Having a reflective ability is key. Whenever negative emotions happen, you need to have the ability to reflect and see why are these emotions happening. Being good at reflection means that you can emotionally remove yourself from the situation and not be attached to it.
Reframing is also another quality you need to have where you can reposition negative experiences and thoughts into positive ones. We will talk more about reframing later. Now let’s talk about the steps you need to take in order to manage these emotions.
“Negative emotions like loneliness, envy, and guilt have an important role to play in a happy life; they’re big, flashing signs that something needs to change.” – Gretchen Rubin
These are the steps you need to take to manage negative emotions:
- Acknowledge The Emotions
- Understand Emotions
- Reframe the emotions
Acknowledge the Emotions
The first step is to describe what you feel. Take a deep breath and actively acknowledge your emotion. Once you narrow down what exact emotions you feel, you can start asking yourself certain questions.
Remind yourself that you can’t control which thoughts and feelings are entering your mind.
Ask yourself these questions:
- How do I feel right now?
- What is happening?
- How is it affecting me?
Asking yourself these questions will help you raise your self awareness when it comes to your emotions. Once you know the answers to these emotions, you can move on to the next step.
Understanding Your Emotions
Now it is time to understand your emotions. This is where you ask why are feeling this emotion. You do this through a series of guided questioning.
- Why am I feeling X (insert negative emotion)?
- What is this feeling trying to tell me?
- What can I do now to change this emotion?
- What can not do now to change this emotion?
You are now ready for the final step, reframing the emotions.
Reframe The Emotions
Reframing is a powerful tool that allows you to see things differently. That is literally what reframe means. Reframing will take more time then the previous steps so it’s normal to repeat this part again and again.
To reframe, you can ask yourself questions like:
- How could I see this differently?
- What if I reacted the opposite way?
- What steps do I need to take to see this differently?
- What can I learn from this experience?
This process requires you to do this several times. Repeat until you don’t have this negative emotion anymore.
Learning how to deal with negative emotions is a skill that can be learned and perfected over time. The more you work on this skill, the better you will become at it.
The important thing to remember when dealing with negative emotions is that they are a natural part of being an entrepreneur. Don’t try to escape them. Let them come and use this simple three step process to manage them. As long as you take the time to acknowledge, understand and reframe your feelings, it will be easier for them to go away.