Control Your Emotions or Your Emotions will Control You

By Stephen Garber

Emotional triggers—what we at Third Level like to call your hot buttons—are a part of everyone’s emotional fabric. They are natural responses to upsetting or painful experiences. Think of them as sensitive spots that can leave an emotional bruise. Not surprisingly, whether you’re aware of them or not, hot buttons can affect you in many ways.

They can cause stress or pain when they have too much control over you.

They manifest negatively in your subconscious, which is why many people are unaware of them.

They result in a pattern of beliefs, communications, behaviors and outcomes that are reactive, rather than thoughtful.

Sometimes our hot buttons are valuable. We are hurt by a failure in our past, and we vow never to let that feeling of failure arise again. It helps motivate us to success. But sometimes that same hot button can hinder effective leadership, communication and thoughtful decisions. It can make us driven and demanding in ways that cost us good people and performance.

In the business world , a powerful emotional charge that results in unproductive, reactionary decisions and behavior is not only counterproductive, it can also be destructive and limit growth, leadership potential and the ability to work as an effective member of a team. These same negative consequences that will hold you back in the workplace will also cause problems at home and in personal relationships.

Hot buttons do not have to run your professional or private life. As with so many things in life, the first step in overcoming them is identifying and understanding them. Some common emotional triggers:

• Lacking the confidence to say “no.”

• Feeling that someone else (a boss, coworker, customer) controls your time.

• Believing your opinion/ideas are not valued.

• Considering a professional challenge as a personal failure.

• Changes in routine, an atmosphere of instability or lack of structure.

Managing your hot buttons takes a concerted effort and a lot of self-awareness. Once you’ve identified them, you are on the right track to managing them and moving forward in a positive way. You can control those buttons and their results, rather than your hot buttons controlling you.

With knowledge comes empowerment. Recognizing a situation that will trigger an emotional response allows you to take an emotional step back and choose whether you want to ride the train along the same rails as in the past, or take a detour toward a constructive response.

Once you’ve decided to change the pattern, and being aware of your unproductive perceptions and behavior, will allow you to address your stressful “trigger situations” with the tools necessary to set aside your emotional knee-jerk reaction in favor of a balanced, thoughtful response. Shifting your emotional state and responding from a thoughtful, logical place becomes a skill you can practice until the new dynamic becomes second nature.

Rather than letting unconscious patterns and old emotions control you, you can make conscious decisions that are more likely serve you and your business,

It’s a healthier, more powerful and more productive way to live.

For information on identifying and overcoming your hot buttons, or helping your team identify and overcome theirs, visit thirdlevel.com and go to the Services/Hot Buttons page, email info@thirdlevel.com or call 800.262.0705. ♦

Stephen Garber is director of Third Level Ltd. Contact him at 561.752.5505 or sgarber@thirdlevel.com.

You May Also Like

Reaching Out

I know that Stephen Garber knows people. The president of Third Level is a seasoned expert on change management, relationship building and quality-of-life issues. He is an international executive coach, mediator, trainer and public speaker. Stephen coaches individuals, teams and organizations to replace conflict and dysfunction with effective communication and functional relationships, causing increased profitability

Stephen Garber

This is the time and this is the page when the new editor-in-chief typically would tell you to get ready for a new SFBW experience—but since you’ve seen the cover, you already know. Graced by Charmel Maynard, the fashionable financial star who’s the chief investment officer and treasurer at the University of Miami, our cover

Are Your Salespeople Taking Shortcuts?

Connor, a software sales rep, had been having a rough day. He’d been bombarded with questions from several customers and gotten behind on work he needed to finish before the end of the day. Then, he got a call from Tony, a prospect who introduced himself by saying: “I’ve heard great things about your engineering

COVID and the Commercial Sector

[vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text] For South Florida’s vigorous commercial real estate sector, there is a Grand Canyon-size fissure between market conditions on March 1 and every day since. Punching delineators such as “pre-COVID-19” or “post-COVID-19,” South Florida commercial real estate brokers, developers and owners have struggled to recalculate the new

Other Posts

Gucci Opens Newly Relocated Boutique in Palm Beach

Gucci has been a staple in Palm Beach and the new location adds to the Italian brand’s legacy in the U.S.

Palm Beach to The Real Housewives of Miami: Not Today

The show was planning to shoot on Worth Avenue, but the city shut that pipe dream down.

Coke Florida Earns Recognition as a Top-Performing U.S. Company

Coke Florida has been recognized as a U.S. Best Managed Company for two consecutive years and was the first and only Coca-Cola bottler to receive this prestigious title in 2022.

Scenic Group USA Reveals Key Executive Appointments

The company is increasingly focused on brand awareness and expanding distribution channels.