Humans are emotional beings. We cannot escape the impact our emotions have in our lives, but we can learn to recognize when emotions are clouding our judgement or keeping us from recognizing the truth.
As entrepreneurs, it is very important for us to understand how to use emotion, but also how to recognize when it is leading us down the wrong path or to bad decisions. This is part of emotional inteliigence. Remember, emotions are always there and driving our actions and decisions - so it is best that we go to work in becoming masters at recognizing and using them to our advantage. The most important thing is not to allow our emotions drive us into making double standards or justifying things that are not right, just because we want a certain outcome.
You see a lot of examples of this, especially in places like politics. For example, as I write this, there is another political scandal going on, this time with President Joe Biden having taken classified documents and stored them in places like his garage when he was a Vice President. The law says he cannot do that. But, many people and pundits that are "on his side" are finding ways to justify it or play it down while at the same time saying Donald Trump should go to jail for the same things. Donald Trump was President when he took documents and had the power to declassify, which a VP does not, but it is not clear yet if he did. Either way, if they broke the law in handling documents, the response should be the same and they should both be prosecuted according to the law, President or not. But emotion gets in the way. When it is "your guy or gal," it is OK and people find a way to justify bad behavior. This is creating a double standard or avoiding the truth. A spade is a spade.
This happens in business all the time whether it is with how some employees are treated or when leaders justify breaking rules and principles to succeed.
So, what is the answer for entrepreneurs when we operate in a world like this?
First, we must know and understand our principles. What are yours? Have you ever really thought about them? Have you written them down? What are the lines that you will not cross for anything - not for money, power, fame, success, etc? We must know our principles and stand for them and on them.
Second, we must learn to recognize when emotions are taking over and clouding our logic and stop this from happening. This is not easy, but just about everyone has had times where they know emotions got the best of them. It is at these times that we can reflect and understand how this happened and prepare ourselves not to let it happen again or at least the same way. It is a constant lifelong work in progress, but if we keep rooted in principles, it is much easier because they guide us. When you get really good, you learn to stop, ask, and choose. When you feel emotion taking over, you can stop yourself in the moment and ask yourself, "Is this the action or reaction I want to have in this situation? Does it align with my principles?" Then you can choose to move forward to change the action or reaction you were going to have to the best one for the situation.
Third and lastly, recognize those around you who do not operate with integrity and principles and remove them from your world. This will take away temptation, but also help you find the those that are true to themselves and better for your life anyway.
As stated prior, emotions will always be a part of our lives and drive us. There are times where it makes great sense to use them to help in life and business and there are times where we must keep them in check. Learning how to do this for yourself will be one of the best things you can do to help your success.
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