S\he made me feel [insert emotion here] – self-regulation and achieving your goals

What is self-regulation?

How often do you hear someone say “S\he made me feel [insert emotion here]”? Mostly people don’t realise the power that they are giving to an external event… that in that moment of handing their wellbeing over to someone or something else, they’ve lost control of the outcome of their day. Self-regulation is the ability to maintain your state in the face of external events.

Emotion Vampires

Sure, it’s tough, many of us have people in our lives that are “emotion vampires” or “oxygen thieves”, but that doesn’t mean that we have to be passive in this situation. And it doesn’t necessarily mean that the person they set out to upset us either; after all they are also just trying to get through their day doing a good job and trying to maintain their sanity.

You shouldn't give circumstances the power to change your feelings, because they don't care at all - Marcus Aurelius quoting a lost play from Europides
You shouldn’t give circumstances the power to change your feelings, because they don’t care at all – Marcus Aurelius quoting a lost play from Europides

So isn’t it incumbent upon us all to learn how to maintain our own emotions throughout the day? To not let a throw away comment make our blood boil, or spend the weekend reliving some event that didn’t go so well?

Self-regulation of emotions is an internal process

Emotions start and end inside us and are triggered by our perception of events, not the events themselves, so learning to introduce some space in to that process gives us the opportunity to choose or, at the very least, mediate our response to an event.

The next time you have the chance to observe a high performing team, watch how they ebb and flow, how they respond to external events and work for each other. Also try to observe the impact on teams when a team member can’t self-regulate, how do the others respond and what does it do to their goal focus?

When a team or organisation collectively has the ability to regulate their emotions, they work together better, communicate effectively and are able to focus all of their efforts on the collective goals.

Success is just one of the huge benefits of self-regulation.

Matt

Experienced business leader, mentor and coach, with fascinations for technology, psychology and ancient philosophies. A self-confessed techno hippy with a unique talent for bringing the best out in people.

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