Written By Katie Thompson

I’ve been thinking about this topic a lot lately. Through the ups and downs of starting my own business, I’ve struggled with really taking the downs personally. Of course, it’s great when you get a great testimonial or have a happy client. I’m flying high and feel great! However, when something goes wrong, usually whether it’s my fault or not, I tend to be really, really hard on myself. I can get in a funk for hours (sometimes days :/), and I’ve struggled to find ways to pull myself out of it. The truth is, I didn’t necessarily need to find a way to cheer myself up; I needed to find a way how to not take things so personally in my business.

While some may argue that you should take things personally in your career as a sign that you’re fully engaged and committed to your career, I do think that you can be personally invested and put your heart and soul into your work, however being emotionally affected by every twist and turn is exhausting. After years of taking things personally in my work, I realized how much of an emotional and mental toll it had been taking on me.

So I put together some tips that have helped me take back that power and feel in control of my emotions again when things go right or when things go wrong.

Ask yourself, “Will I Care In a Year?”

Now this question usually stops me and makes me think. We can get really wrapped up in what we’re doing at the moment (whether that’s a project or working with a particular client), and it can seem like the biggest deal in the world. However, it’s always good to ask yourself if it is going to really matter to you in a year. If the answer is yes, then by all means, being emotionally involved is probably the right choice. However, if the answer is no, then it’s probably not worth getting really bent out of shape. Take stock o the situation, be truly honest with yourself, and gauge whether if you should learn from the experience and then let it go.

Keep Busy

If you’re getting upset about something and you’re starting to feel like your emotions are getting out of control, simply keep busy. Keep your mind busy creating something else you’re passionate about, do a deep clean of your home, or bake a fun and challenging recipe. Go shopping, go out to lunch, or go for drinks/coffee with friends. Give yourself some time and distance and allow yourself to calm down while you’re being distracted. Then come back and evaluate the situation once emotions aren’t so high.

Take a Moment Before Reacting

This really should be advice for life, business, triumphs, and struggles. Making decisions based on emotions can be a tricky way of running your business. If you’re making crucial decisions or reacting when you’re feeling euphoric or feeling really down, you run the risk of doing something rash. So, my advice is, no matter what you’re feeling, if it’s good or bad, take a moment to let those feelings settle and then come back and respond.

Realize That Everything Isn’t About You

Sometimes, it can feel like the world is against us. That everyone is out to bring us down or that everyone else is succeeding but us. Sometimes when we’re turned down or rejected, we think that we’re failures and that we’ll never succeed. Here’s the thing…it’s not all about you. I know, you probably know that but really think about it. Maybe that client snapped at you because they just got bad news, and you caught them at a bad time. Maybe that brand didn’t want to work with you, not because you’re not good enough, but because they’ve already hit their quota of clients they can take on at the time. Maybe a client dropped you, not because your work was bad, but because they’re going through financial difficulties and just can’t afford it even if they wanted to. Just remember, there are usually a lot more circumstances behind something happening, and a lot of the time, it’s not because of you.

Talk It Out

Some people prefer to spend time alone, but I defiantly like to talk about things if I’m upset. Find something that you trust and explain to them that you just need to vent. Sometimes if we just get those “sorry for ourselves” feelings out, we can take a deep breath and move on.

Recognize Your Own Triggers

If you know that you are always up and down emotionally in your business, then maybe it’s time to really take a look at what’s throwing your feeling out of whack constantly. There are probably some reoccurring triggers that tend to set you off. We won’t always have control over these triggers; however, we do have control over how we react to them. Recognizing and identifying why they bother you is the first step. You’ll have a lot more control over the situation now because you won’t be just blindly reacting, you’ll know WHY you’re reacting that way and can adjust accordingly.

Katie Thompson