I had a rather odd experience over the last 12 hours; I lost a friend and it crushed me. Controlling your emotions is not easy. I know I failed at it.
A close friend of mine and I meet on the phone each night as accountability. We ask each other specific questions of life habits we want to build. The idea that someone will be asking us these questions at night keeps us on our toes throughout the day.
The Cold Shoulder on the Phone
When I called for our scheduled phone call, there was no answer. I left a voicemail and I left my reason there in my study. Questions rolled through my head unbidden: Is he ok? Is he too busy? Is he…avoiding me?
I don’t usually let my mind drift into negativity, but this moment caught me off guard.
‘Never fear,’ I told myself. ‘We’ll see each other in the morning,’ I thought since we have a standing morning meeting once a week, too.
No Call – No Show, Part II
As I sat at the Starbucks, my coffee cooling, my bladder full with the two drinks I had normally consumed. Usually I gave an appointment 15 minutes. My clock showed 6:32 a.m. Still no word from my friend.
I have been stood up before. No big deal. But I don’t make many close friends; as such I don’t lose friends too often.
No answer on the phone yesterday. My mind is already running wild with theories. No-call/no-show at our standing appointment.
I suddenly welled with emotion. ‘Perhaps something happened,’ was what I told myself, preferring this to the alternative that I had lost yet another close friend.
My mind spiraled: Will I always lose friends like this? How many of my friends will stick around to conquer things together? Is it me?
Again, this is not my normal reaction, but something triggered inside of me!
Sanity is the fruit of a robust community. You see, when you start acting crazy, it is the people around you who knock off the edges. They help you know when you are spinning out of control.
Marissa is that initial person in my life. She made a great suggestions: ask the friend’s wife. I reached out to the friend’s wife to see if everything is ok. She replied quickly.
The Problem: he had a migraine last night (why he missed the call) and slept in this morning to recover (why he missed our coffee.)
So, is everything alright? Sure is! We may do lunch today now that he is recovering.
This Happens to All of You!
Don’t give me your crap. You do this all the time, too! As an entrepreneur trainer and coach, I hear imagined problems and distracting cares all the time! We let our emotions get the best of us many times.
How can you hedge how you respond to the harmless ups and downs of life?
Listen to Marcus
“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself but to your own estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.” – Marcus Aurelius on Building a Business
Ol’ Marcus hit the nail on the head. This is the most beautiful and terrifying aspect of being human: we have the power to interpret reality as positive or negative at any moment.
That means that you are responsible for your life, for your feelings, and for every result you get. That means that if your results stink, it is up to you to fix. If your feelings are hurt by a rough interpretation of someone’s actions, get your butt in line and change your view.
Apply This To Your Business Right Now
3 Things You Can Do to Apply This Principle to Your Business
1. Clearly identify what your negative emotion, thought, or idea actually is.
Write it down if necessary. Write down what happened and what your emotional response to it is. Enter it into an Evernote or notepad app, also, if you think it will help. Look at it clearly.
2. Ask yourself if you have the data to support your interpretation.
Simply jot down a yes or no to this question: do I have actual, hard evidence for my interpretation or belief on this thing?
3. Phone a Friend
Call someone in your community that you confide in. Ask them if you are being ridiculous. Listen to them if they say that you are being ridiculous. Reach out to the person who you are reacting to with your new point of view and seek first to understand them.
What do you do to handle out of control emotions?
Let us know what you do to handle out of control emotions and calm down in the comments below.