As a business leader you may feel you must keep your feelings from affecting your decisions and try to display self-restraint when dealing with people. Dealing with vendors, employees and customers, there are many occasions where you tolerate behavior just to keep the peace. If you are driven, you know there are times when anger arises when a vendor does not pay or fulfill their end of the deal or when a client causes problems. Most entrepreneurs don't express their anger because they think of it as destructive and unprofessional.
I used to think that being nice and not expressing frustrations was the right thing to do. I was a life coach and needed to be all Zen and positive. I disliked conflict and always tried to find a way around direct confrontation because it was too uncomfortable. If client kept asking for special treatment it was easier for me to let it slide instead of keeping my boundaries. Afterward, I would feel taken advantage of and frustrated. Initially I thought it was the client who was making me angry, but I was actually angry at myself for not speaking up.
Giving Anger a Voice
When I finally I acknowledged the anger that I realized that I was giving away too much and not charging enough for my work. What I realized is that the anger was not an immature emotional reaction, but a deep pressure from within myself to raise a red flag and say something is not right.
Many people teach that anger is a negative emotion. Anger is a survival mechanism that is rooted in passion. If you have a strong desire needing to be expressed that is thwarted, you will have anger. Getting angry is what happens when you tolerate things too long until they escalate into an intense outburst. If you don't get angry, you will eventually experience lethargy and loss of passion.
New start-up entrepreneurs begin with great passion and hope for their business. They hit a few setbacks and start to lose their enthusiasm. If they don't allow themselves to get angry, they end up giving up their dream and getting depressed. Anger is a way to fuel the passion again and keep you moving toward what you want. Sometimes you need to get angry at the status quo in order to do something about it.
Anger Fuels Your Passion
Think of anger as the cord on the lawnmower that you pull to kick-start to motor. The motor does not start by just being nice to it, it takes an aggressive pull. This is especially important for those female entrepreneurs who were taught not to be aggressive and make big bold moves.
Instead of projecting anger outward at random objects, traffic, other people and circumstances, you can use the energy that arises to examine where in your life you feel unexpressed. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
· Where am I not feeling respected?
· What part of my life is not feeling fulfilled?
· What am I afraid to say?
· What am I afraid to do?
· What am I afraid to lose?
Answering these questions can help you gain clarity of things you have been ignoring and passions that are not being fully explored. The anger is just a symptom of ignoring your unexpressed desires. You can use the energy to move your forward in your business by breaking through old fears and enthusiastically going for what you really want.
Whenever I hit a wall in my business, I often use the energy formerly known as anger to be expressed as passion. Breaking out of the status quo is challenging and you cannot do it through logic. You need the intensity of emotion to catapult you to the next level. The next time you feel angry, remember it is your best friend. Your ally to remind you that your business and dreams are worth fighting for and not to settle for a mediocre life.