Building a business, can be crippling and intimidating…yet so fulfilling. Whether your company is a fresh start up or it sits on the top floor in a gleaming global tower of success, you as CEO still have to be brave enough to deal with the crippling force of emotional baggage.
We all have to deal with our emotions. Today’s CEO has exhilarating days of high yields and public acclamation. Then, there are those days leaders get so low because they haven’t met projected goals, layoffs are impending and they find themselves pointing fingers and doubting themselves.
It’s like a crazy thrilling ride on a roller coaster. The ups and downs of running a business can have us walking the tightrope of management; confronting chaotic staff issues, dealing with demanding boards and submitting to intimidating financial regulations.
And that is just running the business…
I am leading a small coaching startup… and it can be just as daunting. Financial woes, course development and tech intimidation, and the constant search for clients often puts me in an emotional tailspin of worry, depression and fear.
Whether you’re the global CEO or the visionary of the small startup, we all have to deal with the emotional baggage that often weighs us down. We will never be as successful as we can be, if we don’t. We must stop putting on brave faces as we meander towards the path of success. Each of us must make the effort to confront those emotional “suitcases” that weight us down and unpack them.
So let’s find some courage and at least deal with the Big Four (i.e., fear, guilt anger and depression,). If we can “conquer” these four, we have a good head start. And we can easily push through the rest. (I’m telling you, everything else is connected with these four…they just come in a different package!)
What are you afraid of? Whatever it is, confront it and press past it. Fear is so crippling. We get all excited about a project and when the moment comes that you have to act, you are paralyzed by fear to move forward. Your palms get sweaty, your heart beats fast and your legs feel like lead pipes. You can’t move. You’ve lost your momentum and you find yourself postponing important calendar dates, because you are paralyzed by fear. My advice to you, confront it and press past it. Fear comes in many forms, but you can’t allow it to stop you from moving forward. Admit that you are afraid and do it anyway. My personal adage…DO IT SCARED! You will find that once you acknowledge your fear and you act ANYWAY, you realize it really wasn’t as bad as you thought it would be.
So you did that dastardly thing and the guilt is eating you from the inside out. My advice to you, go and apologize (whether they hear you or not) and move on. But going to apologize is hardly the issue. It is acknowledging the wrong doing and dealing with yourself. That often means you have to take a good hard look at yourself and deal with who you REALLY are. And that can be pretty difficult. Whatever you did, can you fix it? Did you lie, cheat, betray, steal, manipulate, scorn, break or destroy anyone? (That was a short list, but feel free to enlist your own guilty issue!)
Learn from your actions and vow never to do it again. Catch yourself when you feel the urge…and wipe away those feelings of guilt.
Then there is me. I was not present when my 17 year old daughter passed away from cancer. After her death, the guilt was overwhelming. I couldn’t apologize to her because she was gone. But I talked to her as if she was alive one day, and said I was sorry and then I let it go. I was no longer going to let those feelings of guilt hold me hostage. And you shouldn’t either. Do what you can to fix a situation, apologize and keep it moving.
Are you angry? Has others let you down? Are you mad at your actions and indecisiveness? Has anger forced you to walk in unforgiveness and you now are embracing the spirit of retribution? Anger will do that to you. What is even worse is when you are angry at yourself. When this happens it is so easy to allow negative talk to cripple your momentum and sabotage your self-esteem. Scripture tells us, don’t let the sun go down on your anger. In other words, do what you have to do today to resolve an issue so you can sleep in peace. Find the courage to talk to those people who have offended or betrayed you. And if they aren’t open, that is okay. Just know you have done your job to confront the anger that is inside of you. Now, you can move forward without anger contaminating your space and your spirit.
Depression can take you to a dark place – so don’t let it. We all have down days and those days can be shrouded with darkness. Depression is like a weight sitting on our chest, stunting our ability to breathe and even sleep. So you lost the bid…they told you no…or you even lost the company, well, all of those scenarios can throw you into the pit of depression. For me, it was the loss of my daughter and it paralyzed me. I was so depressed that I wasn’t effective in hardly anything. Days were dark, emotions were raging and I didn’t want to go on. But by accessing my relationship with God and going to a deeper place of worship, I found the strength to confront my depression. I pushed through it. But know it took a while…but I didn’t do it alone. You shouldn’t either. Find someone to talk to…a counselor, a pastor or a friend. Make the appointment and let it out. And yes, cry if you have to, but don’t stay there. Know that God has something for you to do. Through the work that you do, you can change the life of someone else. Truth be told, God has something for you to do that will change your life as well. So don’t allow the darkness to swallow you whole. Come out of the shadows of depression, because there is work to be done.
So remember, emotional baggage can derail you. Don’t let it. Find the courage to confront anything that wants to stop your moving forward. Be brave and see it for what it is…a weight that wants to weigh you down and stop you from your God given destiny. Unpack every emotional suitcase that tries to take the journey with you. If need be, throw a bookbag over your shoulder and be on your way. Your future is waiting on you.
Liberty Coaching and Consulting, LLC