Jessica Dennehy is CEO Pivot and Kill.
Entrepreneurs like to think that emotions aren’t part of business, but they’re wrong.
Humans are inherently emotional animals. Whether we realize it or not, our emotions influence all of our decisions, including business ones. If you want to be truly successful, connect fully understanding your emotions with how you can be the best version of yourself at work and in life. Rather than letting your emotions get out of hand, being aware of how your emotions affect your behavior becomes a superpower you can wield in business.
You’ve probably heard that the greatest success comes from getting out of your comfort zone. Most of us interpret this phrase in a professional sense, but it’s not just about business. Stepping out of your personal comfort zone can also affect your professional success. Often, it is the things that make us most uncomfortable that provide the most expansive learning experiences for growth. For many entrepreneurs, myself included, connecting with our emotions is one of the most uncomfortable actions we can take. We tend to shy away from feelings and stay busy, rather than stop and devote ourselves to them. We don’t want emotions to distract us. But what if I told you that emotional connection can boost your success, not hinder it?
Constantly moving is often a disguise to avoid processing our buried thoughts and feelings. We figured that if we could simply push away the clutter, we could keep building. This forward momentum is what we use as a benchmark for success. At the same time, your emotional baggage builds up and begins to negatively impact your life, relationships, and career.
We tell ourselves that we have closed the door to disappointment and failure, but if we don’t deal with these feelings properly, they can trap us and keep us from reaching our full potential.
Sales and business growth are all about connecting with your audience and target customers. But how can you connect in a meaningful way if you’re actively trying to suppress your emotions? Without an emotional connection, you will not be able to successfully form strong, lasting relationships with business partners and clients, let alone personal ones. That’s why being aware of what’s going on inside of you opens your eyes to the world outside.
Admittedly, it’s scary to think about tapping into all those old feelings trapped inside of you. You can feel overwhelmed as the emotional floodgates start to open. However, by allowing these feelings to flow through you rather than being trapped inside, you create space for new and innovative energies – a space where you can expand into higher thinking and creativity. Suddenly, you have a powerful wave of energy and ideas that can take you to the next level.
How do I know this? Because it happened to me.
Over the past year, when I suddenly felt stuck, I kept my head down and took whatever action was necessary to move my business forward. Something is missing. My ambitious, logic-focused energy drives me to do the best I can. It was time to pick myself up and be creative again so I could stay motivated and move toward the big, scary goals I had set for myself. In order to balance the aggressive energy I’ve been tapping into, I need to bring my flowing, emotionally driven energy to the surface.
Like everyone else, I don’t get emotional easily. I decided that a change of scenery would help, so I went to Sedona, Arizona on my own to rediscover the inner me. For four days, I ignored the world, didn’t answer anyone, think about my next lead, or even share my journey on social media. It feels super uncomfortable. My success over the past 12 months has been built on these routines, but I forced myself to hit the pause button to let my thoughts and creativity flow and figure out how to dream my limitless potential into reality.
Not only was it difficult, but it also made me realize how closed I was to experiences that would help me release my inner emotional outbursts. My awareness made me lean harder and focus more on letting this experience remove everything that was holding me back and make room for new energies that I wanted to invite into my life.
I dove in. I signed up for my first sound-bath yoga class, climbed mountains to a Buddhist prayer site, and sang Native American folk songs with a guide who played flutes and drums. All of these experiences were completely outside of my everyday life, so they were uncomfortable at first, but I put that discomfort aside and allowed the beauty of something new and different to flow into my heart and mind.
Suddenly, I felt something was wrong. When I allow my creativity to flow, all these imaginative ideas of how to move my business forward start to flow within me. I feel energized and empowered. My newfound clarity allowed me to shift perspective and understand what I wanted, where I was going and why. That’s powerful stuff.
When the ordeal of starting a business feels difficult, remember to connect with your inner self and consider some holistic approaches to get out of it. As the saying goes, if you want something different, you have to try something different.
It may take some work to free yourself from that aggressive, day-killing attitude and tap into your creative side, but keep an open mind. Your energy is not one dimensional. Everyone has action-driven and emotional-driven energies, and if you learn how to use them both, your potential for success is endless.
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