15/03/2012

By Alexia Leachman, Personal Branding Coach at Blossoming Brands

Have you spotted people around you who always seem to be stressed? Or angry, or sad, or defensive? No matter what's going on or who they're with, they always seem to be exhibiting some negative state of mind or displaying a negative emotion, maybe even the same one. Now if this can be directly linked to an upsetting event, that might be understandable. But often, people drag negative emotional states around with them ALL the time.

No matter what's going on, they always seem to show anger, or stress or frustration. Even when they’re out with their family having a pleasant day out, the invisible unwanted guest will be there. Anger, by the way, has a habit of seeping out and transforming itself into other nasties like criticism, road rage, impatience, being defensive or judgemental... the list goes on.

These negative states are incredibly damaging not only to your spirit and sense of self, but to your reputation and personal brand. People will come to know you as the stressed / angry / whiney one. You will sap other people’s energy as they try to make you feel better. Soon they might just as prefer to avoid you, or not invite you along and let’s face it, neither of these are good.

Now, I'm sure you know someone like this; we all do, but are YOU like this? If you find that you're leaping to your own defence and citing lots of reasons why you behave like this then you're definitely guilty of having some emotional hanger-ons. Now the thing with emotions is that they are very useful; they are a signal to us that we need to listen to. When you’re experiencing fear as you approach the edge of the cliff, the fear is serving you well as it’s warning you of imminent danger. So, it is not our aim to banish negative emotions, but instead to restore them to their proper roles.

Let's look at anger for example. Being angry all the time isn't helpful. Not only does it strain the mind and body, but it reduces the impact of what we're saying as people become immune to the emotional aspect and switch off. Just think of the father who’s always angry and threatening. Eventually the kids don’t respond to his shouts because he always shouts. Whereas a father that rarely displays anger, will achieve far more in his angry state as the kids will know that this time dad means it.

So where have these emotional hanger-ons come from?
Well, believe it or not there is such a thing as a head trash cycle and it goes something like this. In my last article I talked about your values and how when someone crosses them, they have the power to send you into a negative emotional state.

Well, if this pattern has been continuing for quite some time, then you will have been building up huge stores of negative emotional energy that are powering these negative emotional states. This build-up will mean that eventually, you'll be able to get into these negative states all by yourself, without any external triggers. Lucky you! All that practice has paid off!

Now, the fact that you’re reading this means that you might begin to take a wee look at yourself. You might even admit to yourself that, yes, you do have some of these emotional stalkers. This is progress! Once you are aware, you are able to step back and consider some alternative behaviour.

Another thing you could do is to try and figure out what your values are and whether they have the potential to bring about a reaction in you when someone acts in conflict with them. Self awareness is a significant part of a strong personal brand, so taking a hard look at yourself in this way might be painful in the short term, but your will certainly gain in the long term.


Alexia Leachman is a Personal Brand Coach and Head Trash Liberator at Blossoming Brands. She helps entrepreneurs find their mojo by helping them to clear their head trash, tell their story, raise their profile, build their digital presence and manage their reputation. You can find out more at www.blossomingbrands.com www.headtrash.co.uk And you can follow her on Twitter at @AlexiaL and @BBrands


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