How Business Leaders Master Their Emotions In 3 Steps

13 min read
Jan 31, 2022

It's simple: Influential business leaders don't let their negative emotions master them.  Instead, they master their negative emotions!  By mastering them, we mean that they:

  1. Don't let their emotions get the best of them; and
  2. Use their emotions to their advantage.

The key difference between the leaders who achieve the heights of business success and the ones who don't make it is that successful leaders rule over their emotions.

In fact, founder of the infamous Berkshire Hathaway and billionaire, Warren Buffett, once said, ‘The key to success is emotional stability’.

At the end of the day, you can have the best business idea in the world, but if you don't rule your emotions, it's inevitable that your potential will fall through.

That being said, we're sharing the 3-step formula that business leaders use to not just not let their emotions overcome them, but also use them to their advantage!  If you follow this straightforward method, you will put yourself in the elite league of those who rule their emotions.

Bottom line: The best leaders are the ones who best master their emotions.  If you want to master your full potential, then you must master your emotions!


Where Do Emotions Come From?


What are emotions and where do they come from?  

Emotions are energy created by and reflected in the thoughts you think.  To put it more simply, emotions are the feelings you feel!

Everyone has emotions because everyone thinks thoughts on both conscious and subconscious levels.  It is simply human nature.  In fact, the majority of our life and business decisions are motivated by emotions created by subconscious thoughts.    

However, not everyone understands the cycle of emotions and how big of an impact they make on outcomes.  By the cycle of emotions, we mean where they come from and how they manifest business and life results.

Here's how the cycle works: The thoughts you think create the emotions you feel.  The emotions you feel determine the actions you take.  The actions you take determine the outcomes you get!

For example... If you think that you are only capable of mediocre results, then you'll likely feel mediocre feelings.  As a result of those poor feelings, you'll only take mediocre actions.  As a result of those mediocre actions, you'll only create mediocre outcomes!  Because you get poor outcomes despite all the physical work you put in, you’ll continue to think mediocre thoughts, and the cycle will repeat itself.  

Furthermore, emotions are a product of your thoughts!  Therefore, your thoughts are extremely powerful and the ultimate determinant of business success.


The Importance of Emotions In Business Leadership


As we mentioned above, emotions are important because they determine the actions you take that ultimately define the business outcomes you get.  It's that simple! 

However, emotions don't just have an immediate effect on you and the actions you decide to take...

The truth is that the people around you feel your emotions just as much as you do, because emotions create the energy that you radiate!

Think of it like this... How many times have you been sitting with a friend and they tell you that they're doing fine, but you know that they're not telling the truth?  You know that they are not telling the truth because you can obviously feel their poor energy.

That being said, emotions are critically important for two key reasons, including:

  1. They determine the actions you take
  2. They create the energy you radiate that others can feel

As you already know, emotions determine the every-day actions you take, and the small actions taken on a daily basis accumulate to determine your overall outcomes.

But on top of that, the emotions you feel are palpable!  Whatever emotions you feel inevitably radiate and create the energy surrounding you.  And, not only do you feel that energy, but so do the people around you, including your team members and potential customers.

Here's a hard truth for you: Your ability to pick-up new customers and get fantastic team members on your side depends on your energy!

If you give off positive energy, people will naturally be drawn to you.  They will inevitably want to work with and buy from you!  On the other hand, if you radiate negative energy, it’s only inevitable that people will want to run away from you.

Furthermore, your energy is important because it determines the actions you take that accumulate to your ultimate business results AND because they have the ability to either captivate people towards you or push them away!


What is a business leader?


Leaders Use Emotions to Their Advantage


Here's the thing: Negative emotions can completely uproot all of the effort you put into business success.  

HOWEVER, that does not mean that you should try to get rid of them.  Rather, you should try to transform them into positive emotions, so that they work to your advantage!

When harnessed correctly, positive emotions power you forward to achieve bigger and better business results… Here's how that works: Emotions are energy, and energy cannot be created or destroyed.  BUT, one form of energy can be transformed into another form.  This process is better known as energy transmutation.

So, you can transform the negative energy of your negative emotions, such as fear and sadness, into positive energy of positive emotions, like motivation and joy!

This is exactly how leaders use emotions to their advantage...  Instead of trying to get rid of bad emotions, they transform them into positive ones!  As a result, they accumulate more positive emotions, which enables them to take more positive actions, which generate more positive results!

At the end of the day, the more positive emotions you feel, the better.  Because, the more positive you feel, the more positive actions you take.

The transformation of emotions is what it really means to master emotions.  Mastering them is not necessarily about trying to get rid of the negative ones... Rather, it's about transforming the negative into the positive!


3 Steps to Master Your Emotions Like Top Business Leaders


This is the simple, 3-step formula that successful business leaders use to master their emotions!  Moreover, this is the formula that separates the successful from the unsuccessful.

The formula can be summarized like this:

  1. Become conscious of thoughts
  2. Transform emotions
  3. Commit to continuous effort and improvement

Here's the thing, though: This is a simple formula, and you must keep it simple!  Don't overthink each step, or you risk making the formula completely ineffective.

Again, this is a simple, straightforward formula… and in order to be effective, it must stay this way.  Don't make things harder than they need to be, or you risk ruining the potency of the formula!

Bottom line: Master your emotions to master your business outcomes like a top-level leader in business.  The world needs your leadership now more than ever, so the time to master your emotions is now!


1. Becoming Conscious of Thought Patterns


The first step to mastering your emotions is mastering your thoughts.

Don't forget the emotions cycle: The thoughts you think determine the emotions you feel!  Therefore, addressing your thoughts is of the utmost importance because they lay the foundation for your emotions.

However, addressing thoughts and thought patterns can be a bit tricky.  Why?  Because, thoughts come in both conscious and unconscious forms, and it’s often difficult to even realize that the unconscious ones are there, because they’re, well, unconscious!

Being unconscious thoughts, also known as subconscious thoughts, we hardly ever realize that we are even thinking them.  Hence, why they can be super dangerous and difficult to address!

Therefore, the first step to mastering thoughts is becoming conscious of them and making a clear choice not to let them control you.  Then, once you recognize that they're there, you can move on to addressing why they're there in the first place and uproot them.

The hard truth is that, if you aren't conscious of your negative thoughts, they will create negative emotions, whether you want them to or not!  Master your thoughts to master your emotions.


What Thoughts Are You Thinking?


Now, it's easy to recognize the conscious thoughts that you're thinking.  But, for obvious reasons, it isn't necessarily easy to recognize the unconscious ones.

Therefore, the way to become conscious of ALL of your own thoughts is to simply sit back and observe them.  Literally, make a choice to observe the thoughts that you are thinking!

From now on, take time everyday to simply stop what you're doing and sit quietly to observe your thoughts, both conscious and unconscious.

The French scientist and philosopher, Pascal, once said, 'All of humanity's problems stem from man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone'.

When you really think about it, most of us struggle to sit alone with our thoughts because it forces us to confront the terrible state of our minds.  Moreover, it makes us uncomfortable to face the reality of what we really say to and think about ourselves.

However, while it is challenging to listen to our own thoughts, we have to if we want to ultimately master them and our emotions.

That being said, defy Pascal's expectations by learning to sit quietly in a room and confront your own thoughts!


What Is Your Perspective On Life?


After sitting back and becoming conscious of the negative thoughts you think, you need to ask yourself why you're thinking them in the first place.  To do so is to unpack your perspective on life.

A perspective defines the way that you see life.  The way you see life crafts your thoughts.  People with different perspectives see the world differently.

For example… Let's say that you and your friend watch a TV show about the co-founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates. At the end of the show, your friend is extremely angry to see how one man could become so successful while most people in the world never even find a job they like.  On the other hand, you’re now more motivated and inspired to become successful yourself, so that you can increase the accessibility of entrepreneurship to even more people.

Now, the reason that you think one way and your friend thinks another is because you each have your own perspective that influences the way that you think!

So, sit back and ask yourself how you view the world!  If you perceive the world as a negative place, you will inevitably think and feel negatively.

Unpacking our perspectives and why they exist can help undo those unconscious thought patterns that are often extremely challenging to break!


Who is a good business leader?


Probabilities Over Possibilities (Uproot Fear)


More often than not, whenever somebody has a bad perspective on life, it’s because it is shaped and created by fear.

For example, many of us are highly fearful of taking business risks because as kids, we lived in a never-ending narrative of 'Get a safe and secure job' and 'Be careful so you don't get hurt'!

As a result, fear underlies most of our perspectives, thoughts, and emotions.

However for most of us, there's a fatal error in the way in which we justify our fears... And that is that we base our fears on possibilities instead of probabilities.

Think of it like this... Let's say that you're afraid to send a LinkedIn message to a potential business partner because you're afraid that they'll say 'no' and then mock you.  Now, is that possible to happen...? Sure.  But, is it probable to happen...? No!

Unfortunately though, most of us base our perspectives on what is possible instead of probable.  Not only is this way of thinking illogical, but it sets the stage for endless fears, negative thought patterns, and ultimately feeling perpetuating fear.

That being said, challenge your fear-based perspective on life!  More likely than not, you’re illogically basing it on possibility instead of probability.


2. Transforming Negative Emotions Into Positive Emotions


By this point, you should be conscious of your conscious and unconscious thought patterns, understand how your perspective creates them, and how most perspectives are shaped by fear.

On top of that, you should be more than fully aware that thoughts create every emotion you feel!

Now, some people might think that what is left to do is completely eliminate negative thoughts so that negative emotions go away.  However, the truth is that you will never be able to eliminate every single negative thought, nor would you want to do that!


Because, negative thoughts are rooted in human nature that you can’t get rid of, and you also wouldn’t want to or you’d miss out on the chance to transform your negative energy into positive energy!

Remember, emotions, including negative ones, are purely energy, and while you can't destroy energy, you can transform it into a different type for your own benefit!  

Therefore, your job from now on is to transform each of your negative emotions into positive ones that boost your performance whenever they arise.

Transforming emotions is at the core of mastering them!  Here’s exactly how to become an emotion-transforming master:


Re-Label Negative Emotions


So, how do you transform a negative emotion into a positive one?

Simple... Whenever you feel a negative emotion coming on, label it as a more positive one. 

For example, when you start to feel fear arise inside of you, stop and tell yourself that it's actually excitement and adrenaline rather than fear.  Continue to consciously re-label the emotion until it becomes an automatic response!

Like we mentioned above, the best thing you can do is try to think positive thoughts, but that isn't possible 100% of the time due to human instinct.  You can think positive thoughts the vast majority of time and you’ll still let some bad ones slip in here-and there every so often.

Therefore, whenever you do start to feel negative emotions as a result of instinctively thinking negative thoughts, actively choose to re-label the emotion as a more positive one.  

It will seem like a small change, and it is!  But, it's the small changes repeated over time that make the greatest difference in the end.

Elon Musk, Founder of Tesla Motors and SpaceX is notorious for not letting fear, self-doubt, or any other negative emotion get in his way of going all in on big ideas. 

How does he do it?

It's not that he doesn't feel negative emotions, it's that he knows how to master them for his own benefit.  You need to learn how to do the same!


Alter Your Perspective


Great leaders have great perspectives on life.  Instead of thinking of all the things that could possibly go wrong or how terrible people are, they go around thinking of all the things that could possibly go right and how opportunity-filled the world is!

In addition to re-labeling your emotions to transform them, you should also transform your perspective on life.  Regardless of what you experienced that led to the creation of that perspective, it doesn't need to stay that way!

There is always more than one way to look at life, so ask yourself this: Why choose the most negative way to look at it?  By doing so, you'll only inevitably think worse thoughts and feel worse feelings.

That being said, how do you begin to transform your perspective on business and life?

To change your overall perspective, you need to zoom out to get a bigger picture of the vision or conclusion you want to create.  

Think about the conclusion that you want to reach.  And, NO, a goal that you want to achieve is not a conclusion.  Think of a conclusion as the ultimate, grand impact you want to create through your business!  It’s the thing that you dream about at the end of the day or early in the morning.

With that grand conclusion in mind, your perspective inevitably gets bigger, because you need a big and broad perspective in order to see a big conclusion.

Don't just transform your emotions… transform your perspective as well!


3. Consistent Practice


Mastering your emotions doesn't start and end here.  You can't just read this article through to the end, apply the principles once or twice, and then expect to master your emotions for the rest of your life.  Instead, you must commit to continuous improvement!

By commit to continuous improvement, we mean that you must:

  1. Regularly practice mastering your emotions
  2. Be consistent with your practice and reinforcement

Unless you make the promise to yourself now to always stay on top of your emotions, it's only inevitable that they'll start to master you again!


Simply Practice!


Learning to master your emotions is like any other skill in this world... It takes practice!

Sure, some people have what you might call a ‘natural talent’ of being in control of their emotions, but that is extremely rare.  The real truth is that almost every successful entrepreneur and business owner has to regularly practice mastering their emotions. 

The best way to practice mastering your emotions is staying on top of labeling your negative emotions as positive ones.

And while that might sound easy, that isn't necessarily true.  

There could be a moment when you're feeling a negative emotion and it would be much easier to just throw your hands up in the air and be defeated by it.  But in the heat of the moment, you must have the strength to choose to label the emotion as a positive one!

It doesn't matter how naturally skilled they look, whether it's Steve Jobs of Apple or Jeff Bezos of Amazon, every leader needs to practice keeping their emotions in check!


What makes a strong business leader?


Stay Consistent


If there was a 'secret sauce' that you could sprinkle on something to make it work effectively, it would be consistency!  

Whenever you are consistent with something, it becomes a habit.  When something becomes a habit, you've literally programmed your brain to do something a certain way without you having to put in any effort at all.

For example, if you consistently make the active choice to label negative emotions as positive ones, it will eventually become a habit.

Over time, mastering your emotions will be habitual and require little to no effort on your part.


Final Thoughts on How Successful Business Leaders Master Their Emotions


Remember, if you don’t master your emotions, it doesn't matter if you've got the best idea in the business world, went to the best business school ever, or have a board of directors made up of figures like Jeff Bezos and Larry Page... 

Your emotions, or energy, along with your thoughts carry more weight in success than any other factor!  The hard truth about business and life is that the most successful people are the ones with the greatest rule over their emotions.

Now that you know how the most successful business leaders master their emotions, you have no excuse to not master your own!  You know everything you need to know, now it's just a matter of putting it to practice.  Emotions are a silly thing to let ruin your success parade… So, don’t let that happen!

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