“Stay committed in your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach.” – Tony Robbins
Often things in life happen without warning. Responses we get to certain situations may not be what we expected, and may send us down a different path than we had originally planned for. Because of this uncertainty in life, we need to be flexible in order to adapt to whatever may be thrown our way. We can’t let unexpected responses throw us from our long term goals.
Improving our self-management skills can help us be prepared and manage whatever may come our way through managed reactions to these unexpected situations. In order to stay on a positive and productive track, our adaptability and management of our emotions is key to success.
Being aware of your emotions allows you to manage behaviour even when certain unwanted emotions may come up and attempt to cloud your purpose. It’s all about managing the emotions so that you react in an effective way to situations. This is different from trying to control your emotions which results in a potential blow up in certain situations when you lose grasp on your control.
When you try to control your emotions — you are not flexible. Flexibility is key to adapting your reactions to different situations in an effective and productive way. Managing our emotions based on our self-awareness is helpful for remaining flexible and adaptive.
Here are three quick tips to use for improved self-management:
1. Create public goals. Self-management is a lot about motivation. Expectations others have of you serve as a strong base of motivation. When you make your goals public knowledge, ie. telling friends, coworkers, or family, then you are more likely to stick to your goals because others are relying on you and holding expectations about you.
2. Smile and laugh more often. A smile actually tricks your brain into thinking you’re happy. For example, when you’re stuck on a frustrating thought — smile– and this will counteract the ‘negative’ emotion state that sometimes accompanies frustration.
3. Control your self-talk. We all have an inner voice, our inner champion and our inner critic, that fills our brain with thoughts, effecting our perception of things, or sometimes coming up because of the way we perceive a situation. These thoughts trigger a range of emotions and negative self-talk (our critic) is self-defeating. It sends you into a negative downward emotional spiral, making it difficult to accomplish what you want. To help manage this, release yourself of any judgement, and take responsibility for your actions.
Some emotions will cloud our judgement, but becoming comfortable with your emotions will let you think clearly during uncomfortable situations. Self- management is all about striving for long-term goals vs. our emotion-oriented short term gratitude. In the end, accomplishing long term goals is more gratifying and more productive than relying on short term gratitude. Stay flexible and direct your behaviour positively towards long term goals using the tips provided above.
About the Author: Juliana Newport is a summer intern supporting the experiences and programs offered at The Mane Intent Inc. Along with her love for horses, she has just finished her third year as a Psychology Student at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. With prior insight into how horses yearn to create relationship and provide loving, non-judgmental support for people, Juliana hopes to deepen her knowledge of the connection between horses and greater wellness while working at the farm this summer.