Emotional control is important. Athletes are a great example. If you look at some of the best athletes in the world, they are very good at controlling their emotions.
Learning how to control our emotions will give us the best performance. If we don’t, we’re out of control, which will not lead to great performance. Learning to master our emotions and channel them correctly will give us the freedom to be present. This is the place where all good things are created from.
Learn To Control
There are a number of things we can do to control our emotions.
The first thing is to own our emotions and be 100% responsible for them. In the context of the inner game, being our thoughts and feelings, it is important that we fully own and take responsibility for our emotions. No excuses—you own them, they are yours, and no one makes you feel anything—you do.
Only we are responsible for how we think and feel. Taking full ownership and responsibility will give us the power to decide, creating personal freedom.
The tool that will get you in charge is to use your breath. Your breath is linked to your emotions. The deeper and lower in the belly you breathe, the calmer you will become.
As an example, at my first World Championships in 1988 in Melbourne, Australia, I was standing on the river bank preparing for my turn to get in the water. It was quite an accomplishment that I made the finals in the jump event at my first world titles. I was only 18 years of age and competing with the top 12 jumpers in the world. Some of them were my heroes, people I had looked up to and wanted to emulate for years.
I was so nervous—my anxiety started to overcome me. John Pennay, future world champion, who was competing for Australia and had been working with the Australian Institute of Sport and their team of sports psychologists noticed my state and offered to help me calm my nerves. He taught me a technique called belly breathing, which I still use to this day to calm myself when I need to. It will calm your mind, your thoughts, and your feelings.
This technique uses your breath to move that energy through your body and stops it from getting stuck. If we stop breathing, the energy will stop moving and we will continue to feel our anxiety. Use your breath to move your emotion through your body. Please pass this technique on to your children and people you love.
The third way to control your emotions is to use your conscious mind to focus on what it is you want to achieve and not on what you don’t want. What we focus on is what we create. Thinking incorrectly and seeing yourself fail is going to create anxiety, nervousness, etc. Use your mind correctly. Nervous- ness and anxiety are big problems that stop people from performing at their best because they allow their thoughts to be focused on negative things happening in the future.
Consciously focus on what you want and use your mind proactively to visualize and feel how good it feels when you achieve it.
An excerpt from The Evolutionary Leader – 5 steps to dramatically develop people and performance by Timothy Carroll.