As the World Cup’s five goal leading scorer, there can be little doubt that England’s captain Harry Kane is leading by example. His world-class performance in Sunday’s match against Panama demonstrated his winning combination of self-belief and self-control – key Emotional Intelligence (EQ) skills that help you stand out from the competition.
The ability to stay calm under pressure by drawing on your self-control to respond rather than react to emotional triggers (our emotional reactions to people, situations or events) is what differentiates successful people. So whether you’re the captain of the England team or a leader in business, here are six strategies to help you manage your emotions so you can master your self-control and achieve peak performance.
6 Strategies To Help You Master Your Self-Control
1. Reflect then respond – resist the temptation to respond to an emotional trigger with a knee-jerk reaction. Stop and take a deep breath instead. This will help you get oxygen to the brain and give you valuable thinking time to consciously decide on the best way to respond. Remind yourself that how you are feeling is temporary – you won’t always feel this angry, panicked or stressed.
2. Find a healthy outlet for your emotions – now that you’ve managed your emotion, you need to release it in a healthy way. Emotions should never be bottled up. Talk to someone you trust, write it down in a journal or use Mindfulness techniques to help you unwind.
3. Take a break – change your perspective by doing something else. Go outside for some fresh air or grab a coffee. By removing your mind from the emotional trigger, you may find it is less of an issue when you come back to it.
4. See the bigger picture – it’s all too easy to get caught up in the emotion of the moment, so try to keep a sense of perspective. Ask yourself how important it really is, in the grand scheme of things and above all don’t ‘catastrophize’ the situation by imagining the worst possible outcome.
5. De-personalise it – bear in mind that most people are well intentioned and few people actually set out to be mean. Try not to take other people’s actions personally – chances are they are unaware of the emotions they have triggered in you.
6. Retrain your brain – negative emotions bind us to recurring negative thoughts, creating cycles of increasingly negative patterns. So whenever you are confronted with an emotion that makes you feel bad about yourself, replace it with a positive thought. For example, think about someone who makes you feel happy or remember an event that makes you smile.
By following these simple steps to help you stay cool, calm and collected, you will be well on your way to mastering your self-control so that you can focus on the end goal and achieve your full potential. Let’s hope that the England team will be inspired by Harry Kane’s shining example to keep raising their game as they take on Belgium in tonight’s match.