This is a great question to contemplate. I was asked this at a recent workshop I was facilitating. I think it would be mad to think that we can go through life without losing our sh*t. We are human and the pressures of work and family life can get simply too much. Letting off steam and getting angry is part of the whole range of emotions we feel in a day.
So, yes it’s ok to lose your sh*t. But it’s how you manage it afterward that is important. If we are more conscious of what’s happening in our lives and our patterns of thinking. It means we can learn from the situation and process the emotion more easily. If we don’t have a resilience reservoir and are struggling with fractures in our team at work or our relationships at home then negative emotions and outbursts are a lot harder to manage. Emotions are part of the human condition and there is no need to suppress or hide them. It’s important to listen to how you are feeling and respond accordingly. Anger can often be a taboo subject in the workplace but it can also be the springboard to create change. Here’s what to do if ‘you see red.
Take a step back
When you blow a gasket, shout or lose your composure.
Take a minute to breathe! Take a step back. Go for a walk. Take a moment to reflect on what happened and then clear up the mess. This doesn’t mean taking responsibility for someone else’s bad behaviour, nor does it mean overcompensating to make everything better. Take ownership for the part you had to play and agree on how you will move forward.
What can I learn?
Once you have sorted out the immediate consequences it’s time to go deeper and get the long-term learning from the situation. Notice any patterns that trigger an angry response. You can decide to manage it but also express what you need instead of losing your temper. If the situation is out of your control ask yourself, what part did I have to play in this? What can I learn? What was I trying to blame on others or the universe?
Build your resilience reservoir
Losing control of your emotions in a way that is deemed inappropriate is a matter of opinion. However, you know what ‘losing your sh*t’ means to you and what is appropriate. Most often it happens because we have hit the ceiling of our emotional threshold. One way to minimise any outbursts is to build your levels of emotional resilience. When we are tired, hungry, overwhelmed or stressed not only is our tolerance level lower but our ability to respond rather than react is impaired. Finding ways to replenish yourself is so important in this age of being permanently ‘on’. This might be investing a little more in nutrition, getting more fresh air or just taking a break every couple of hours to take some deep breaths.
Often when we are faced with a situation that is out of our control, we can only change the way we react to it. Remember you are in control of how you respond to situations and people. So next time you lose your sh*t, use it as an exercise to look beyond the situation, so you can become a better and stronger version of yourself. You can also use it as a nudge to check in on how you are treating yourself behind the scenes.
If you have lost your sense of direction, coaching can help get you back on course. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.