Being your best self starts with emotional control

Becoming your best self has become a goal for lots of people; social media is full of people who seem to be doing just that. But do photos, videos and posts really reflect our true selves? Is putting on a good camera face, and claiming social and economic success, a sign that we are winning? When the ring light goes off, are we confident that we are really living the dream?

Living the Dream?

Being your best self – winning at life!

Confidence is something we create inside ourselves. It is difficult to describe, but when we have it everyone can tell. Confidence is a feeling of positivity that radiates from us. It is quiet and calm and attractive in all kinds of ways to all kinds of people. Confidence creates an invisible halo of success around us that helps us hold our own in social situations. We all enjoy the feeling of confidence. It comes from knowing that we are good enough, and trusting that we can cope with whatever life might throw at us.

That feeling comes from knowing who we are, valuing ourselves, and trusting ourselves and our skills. Can anyone who cannot do those things really be said to be winning at life?

Fake it until you make it – are you winning yet?

Most people fake it to some extent, I have myself, but I can assure you that faking it is not confidence. And faking it doesn’t get you a place on the winners podium. People do manage to get by from day to day with a façade of success. But they will not have the resources to cope with challenges and problems when they come. If you want to grow strong and confident, you have to do it from the inside. The sooner you start, the sooner you will start to feel better about things.

Know yourself – how else can you be your best self?

First and foremost you need to be honest with yourself, and get to know yourself. For some people that means spending a great deal of time alone, or travelling the world, or going on a retreat. For others it means finding someone to help you ask yourself the right questions. Investing in coaching may seem like a waste of money for some, but it is probably cheaper than travelling the world or going on a retreat, and can take much less time! Spending a great deal of time alone with your thoughts is the cheapest option, but it may not get you very far. There are plenty of self help books to provide you with ideas if you choose to try this approach.

Know your objective – emotions are made on the inside

One thing I can assure you is that achieving any kind of success will depend on learning to manage your emotions. People who are able to deal with their emotional reactions can cope more effectively. Their emotional control gives them more control of the situation. Things don’t phase them too much, and they understand how people’s feelings need to be taken into account. They value emotional wellbeing, and invest in making sure that things are done with other people’s feelings in mind. Emotionally intelligent people are less likely to do things that backfire or hurt people’s feelings by mistake. Emotional intelligence skills are essential life skills.

Getting emotions wrong is painful for everybody

People who do not learn emotional control are vulnerable. They walk through life like intemperate children, and are buffeted by every wind that blows. They may believe they have confidence, but it is probably because they don’t understand the true situation. Confidence is an emotional state. It is based on our assessment of the environment and our ability to manage it successfully. If a person with no emotional skills believes in their ability to cope it is a form naivete or self deceit. Their façade of confidence is likely to crumble when trouble calls.

Most difficult of all, people with limited emotional skills are hard to be around. They may use all kinds of difficult behaviours to hide from their feelings. Many drown them out with substances that lead to problems, while telling themselves they are having fun. Like over-grown children, people with limited emotional intelligence cannot be trusted with responsibility or cope with difficulties, and they can easily wound people around them. Choose your company with care.

Learning emotional control is everyone’s responsibility

People learn emotional control in lots of ways. Our first experiences come from our families. We develop understanding and skills from friends, teachers and other significant people in our lives. We also learn from literature, the arts, films and TV; learning from our own experiences, and from those of others. Our learning journey lasts for as long as life allows.

One of the fastest ways to learn specific skills is in training or coaching. A coach knows what you need to know, and how to teach it to you easily and quickly. You could spend a lifetime experiencing things without coming across some of the simple and vitally important skills that make life manageable and enjoyable. Emotional Intelligence training and coaching is now available from a growing number of suppliers, but check them out before you invest. Good intentions do not guarantee good outcomes, and you are best using a professional with qualifications and professional accreditation.

Confidence is not a ring light

Confidence is a light that shines from the inside. It shines when you realising that you are good enough, and trusting yourself. Being your best self can be as simple as knowing and accepting yourself, and believing that you are as good as anyone else, and can cope with things just as well as they can.

It doesn’t really matter what other people think about you, it matters what you think about yourself.

By Helen Campbell

Visit the Library at Campbell Education for more information on emotional intelligence and emotional skills training and coaching.

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